A lot of roster updates for World Championships, general CHL playoff updates and of course good news to go around in this week’s edition of Around the World of Goaltending. Hope you enjoy!
1. Firstly is the biggest news to come out this week regarding the Women’s World Championships which is that the USA women have reached a 4-year deal with USA Hockey. This is fantastic news and we can now watch USA vs Canada Friday March 31st on TSN if you’re in Canada or NHL Network/NHL.com if you are in the USA.
2. The second biggest news of the week is a great hockey program is being cut. The women’s hockey team in North Dakota is ending which has provided many National Programs with great Olympic players. The worst part though is the administration didn’t even have the respect to tell the team before the news stories came out in the media.
3. Back to the positive goalie related news, it’s not often you can post a Quality Start while letting in six goals. St. Louis Blues prospect Luka Opilka did just that versus Owen Sound when he made 64 saves on 70 shots giving him a 0.914 SV% and a Quality Start.
4. 2017 NHL Draft eligible and Cape Breton Screaming Eagles goalie Kyle Jessiman was named the CHL Goalie of the Week. Jessiman is having an all-around good playoff run so far sporting a 0.667 QS%, 3.573 GSAA, and a 0.928 SV%. A long and successful playoff run could be the boost Jessiman needs for his draft stock.
5. In the QMJHL there’s another goalie making his mark and it’s 2000-born Alexis Gravel. Gravel’s Mooseheads are up against the higher seeded Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and the series is currently tied at 2-2. Gravel has been phenomenal so far with a 0.947 SV%, 1.000 QS%, 9.421 GSAA, and a 2.261 GSAA/60 all while facing ~41 SA/60.
6. The QMJHL is looking at having a potentially strong core of goalies for the 2018 NHL Draft with Alexis Gravel, Kevin Mandolese, and Olivier Rodrigue.
7. If you’re going to catch one series in the first round of the OHL playoffs I’d suggest Sudbury vs. Oshawa. It’s a great match-up of the top CHL overage goalie (Jeremy Brodeur) and a young, up-and-coming goalie (Jake McGrath).
8. If you missed it I caught a game of the Oshawa/Sudbury series so you can request the game report on either Brodeur or McGrath or both HERE.
9. Out in the WHL it’s been the veteran goalies leading the way. Connor Ingram, Ty Edmonds, and Jordan Papirny are all leading the WHL goalies. All three goalies are the only WHL goalies with a +6.000 GSAA and Ingram/Edmonds are the only WHL goalies with a +2.000 GSAA/60.
10. Drummondville, Sarnia, Quebec, Victoriaville, Baie-Comeau, Rimouski, and Brandon have all been eliminated so what does this mean for Team Canada’s U18 team?
11. A few options open up to supplement Ian Scott. The most notable goalies eliminated are Olivier Rodrigue, Aidan Hughes, Derek Baribeau, and Justin Blanchette. I don’t expect Blanchette or Rodrigue to be considered much at all as they are both 2000-born goalies. I think both Baribeau and Hughes should receive a fair amount of consideration. While both haven’t been fantastic this season they have shown the ability to put out high end performances.
12. Rosters for the men’s U18 WHC camps are being announced by other countries. Finland has announced they’ll be bringing Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Lassi Lehtinen, and Oskar Autio to camp.
13. Sweden has also announced their camp roster and is bringing goalies Olle Eriksson Ek, Arvid Soderblom, and Adam Ahman.
14. Also in international news the Russia women’s national team has finalized their three goalies: Nadezhda Alexandrova, Nadezhda Morozova, and Maria Sorokina.
15. The German national women’s team have named their three goalies also and will be bringing Jennifer Harss, Franziska Albl, and Ivonne Schroder.
16. Lastly the Czech women’s national team will be bringing Kristyna Blahova, Klara Peslarova, and Blanka Skodova to Plymouth.
17. There are two new NHL signings to announce! Firstly is Bowling Green State University goalie Chris Nell who signed a 2-year ELC with the New York Rangers.
18. Also QMJHL and Sherbrooke goalie Evan Fitzpatrick signed a 3-year ELC with the St. Louis Blues. This makes Fitzpatrick the 3rd goalie from the 2016 draft to sign an ELC and leaves Filip Gustavsson as the only goalie in from the 2nd round without an ELC.
19. Who loves goalie goals? Everyone does of course! Jonas Gustavsson is the latest goalie to have scored a goal and he did so in the AHL with the Bakersfield Condors.
20. Also happy to report on another milestone being reached in the AHL. This time it was Dan Vlader of the Providence Bruins who recorded his first shutout in a 5-0 score and 34-saves over Albany.
21. Last thought of the week. Watch out for the Swiss at the Women’s Hockey Championships. In a short tournament having the sensational goalie Florence Schelling and Patty Kaz Memorial Finalist Lara Stalder could prove to be a deciding factor in a Quarter Final game.