Hellebuyck’s shutout missionBy: CK Nakhwal | Published: November 10th 2015
The Moose were back at practice today, fresh from a split on the road on the weekend.
Saturday night the team spoiled the Checkers’ home opener with a 3-0 shutout win before Charlotte got some revenge with its last minute win Sunday afternoon.
Connor Hellebuyck was in the Manitoba crease for both games and continued his strong play making 67 saves on 70 shots; including 30 stops on 30 attempts Saturday for his first shutout of the season.
Hellebuyck’s blanking of the Carolina Hurricanes’ top affiliate was the seventh goose egg of his American Hockey League career (just barely into his second season).
But, make no mistake the Commerce, MI product isn’t starting to see holding the other team off the board as no big deal; making his feelings clear after practice Tuesday.
“Shutouts are absolutely special…it’s a perfect game; with a little bit of luck always.”
Oh, and if you think Connor is one of those goalies who is superstitious and doesn’t even want to think about the word shutout; think again.
“I absolutely think about it. I go into every game planning on getting a shutout. I think every goalie should; and could.”
Hellebuyck says he remembers plenty about his many shutouts over the years, but there’s one that might just rank above the rest.
That special “perfect game” came in the 2013 Hockey East Final when his UMass-Lowell team kept rivals Boston University off the board in a 1-0 win for the school’s first conference crown.
But despite is impressive past, and present, Connor is quick to point out while he’s put a lot of work into being able to do his part; the teams in front of him help make it possible with their sacrifices.
Hellebuyck and rookie Eric Comrie (1.96, .942) are forming an impressive one-two punch so far this season with Connor posting both of the team’s wins, an impressive 2.12 average, and a .939 save percentage in playing eight of eleven games.
Analysts, scouts, and fans often speak highly of Hellebuyck’s game and put few limits on his potential but he’s not the time to daydream about what might come his way; he’s content with just trying to keep his net puck-free one outing at a time.
Manitoba hosts Chicago Thursday, November 12th and Friday, November 13th visit moosehockey.com/tickets to get in on the action.