Wednesday, 30 January 2019

It's Happened In Five Leagues

Finnish-born netminder Joni Ortio is probably best remembered in North America for the short time he spent in the Calgary Flames organization. The image to the left is him playing the KHL's Vityaz team, but he's certainly seen almost every corner of the planet after stints in Alaska with the ECHL, Stockton with the AHL, and Skelleftea in Sweden before landing with Vityaz this season. He's never had poor stats on any of his teams, but it seems he just can't catch a break. That is, until today.

It was another typical KHL game between Vityaz and Traktor Chelyabinsk. The game was tied 2-2, Vityaz was defending their zone as they attempted to gain control to have the delayed penalty called, and then this happened.
Oh no. Traktor's Marcel Sholokhov attempted to saucer-pass the puck over the stick of Vityaz's Alexei Makeyev, but the bouncing puck hopped over the stick of defenceman Alexei Petrov and went the length of the ice and into the abandoned net that Vasily Demchenko had left in favour of the extra attacker. That's about the worst case of luck that a team can have when it's preparing to go on the power-play.

What makes this goal even more special? Well, since no from Vityaz had touched the puck to cause the referee to whistle the play dead, the last player who did touch the puck would be credited with the goal. And according to the scoring summary, here's your goal scorer.
Joni Ortio's first career goal at the pro ranks came at 17:01 of the second period to put Vityaz up 3-2. The final score in today's game? That same 3-2 score, and that means your game-winning goal scorer was none other than goaltender Joni Ortio!

Ortio joins four other goaltenders this season who have scored goals in Tristan Jarry of the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins who scored on November 14, Ian Scott of the WHL's Prince Albert Raiders who scored on November 16, Atte Tolvanen of the NCAA's Northern Michigan University Wildcats who scored on December 7, and Roman Durny of the USHL's Des Moines Buccaneers who scored on December 18. If you're keeping track, there has now been a goalie goal scored in three consecutive months and in five major leagues in the hockey world. The ECHL and NHL have yet to provide us with a goalie goal this season, but there's still lots of time on the calendar left!

Has there ever been a year for goaltenders like this one?

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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