The National Hockey League preseason is underway and on Tuesday night the Winnipeg Jets played host to the Minnesota Wild at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Preseason action is when teams get to know who their players are and what matchups will work during the regular season. It is also a time to give up-and-coming prospect goaltenders a chance to show people what they have between the pipes. That is exactly what former UMass Lowell River Hawk standout goaltender Connor Hellebuyck did on Tuesday.
After both squads failed to scoring during regulation, the two teams headed to overtime in the new NHL 3-on-3 format.
During the final 1:15 of the overtime period, Winnipeg failed to score on an odd-man rush one way, but the Wild turned around with 3-on-1. What Minnesota didn’t expect was who was standing between the pipes for the Jets.
While the Wild made a few passes on the 3-on-1 giving the puck to forward Tyler Graovac who thought he may have the game-winning goal. However, it wasn’t enough to deter Hellebuyck in net who made an outstanding glove save to keep the scoresheet blank.
Hellebuyck ended the contest allowing a single goal at 4:12 of the overtime period, only 0:09 following the excellent save. He stopped 6-of-7 in relief of starting goaltender Ondrej Pavelec.
Last season, Hellebuyck posted a 28-22-5 record with six shutouts, 2.58 goals-against average and .921 save percentage over 58 games with the St. John’s IceCaps of the AHL. It is likely the goaltender will start the 2015-16 season as the No. 1 netminder on the Manitoba Moose.