Friday, 15 February 2019

Season Of The Goalie Goal

There may not be as many people that know of the GOJHL - the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League - as much as they know the NCAA, the KHL, the AHL, the WHL, or the USHL, but all six of these leagues have something in common aside from being developmental leagues for higher-level hockey. I guess the KHL isn't truly a developmental league in the truest sense of the word, but you get what I mean. In any case, the GOJHL might have seen one of the strangest scenes in hockey tonight, and the end result was another goal for a goaltender.

In a game tonight against the Komoka Kings, the Kings did a rather unusual thing - they pulled their goalie in double-overtime! In looking at the standings, Kokoma is sitting in sixth-place with a playoff spot already guaranteed, and they were looking to make up ground on fifth-place LaSalle late in the season for a better playoff match-up. With nothing to lose, the coaches of Kokoma decided to go for broke by playing the 3-on-3 overtime period without a netminder to try and get an advantage.

It should be noted that in the GOJHL, there is no shootout at the end of overtime. Rather, if the two teams are tied through the 3-on-3 overtime period, both teams end the game with a point. Kokoma is running out of track when it comes to games remaining, so they gambled. And they lost both the gamble and the game.

Why is this news? With the game tied 0-0 in the second overtime period and with Kokoma running four players out there, Sarnia-born goaltender Anthony Hurtubise did the unthinkable.
Hurtubise had the presence of mind to make the glove save, drop it to his stick with traffic incoming, and loft it down the ice into the yawning cage with 1:13 left in double-overtime for the game-winning goal! On top of that, he also records the 27-save shutout of Kokoma as the netminder had himself the best night that any goalie likely could have statistically!

That's the sixth goal captured on video this year by a goaltender as Hurtubise joins 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, and Jon Ortio of the KHL's Vityaz Moscow who netted his own empty-netter on January 30.

If NHL teams are looking for unlikely offence as they near the trade deadline, they want to look for that offence from their own crease with how often goalies are scoring this season!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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