(via Champions League/YouTube)
Vienna Capitals netminder J-P Lamoureux has turned in an early contender for save of the year. During a 5-on-3 penalty kill, Lamoureux dove across his crease to make a spectacular glove save in Champions League play.
The KHL season begins Monday and the NHL campaign is nearly two months away from its opening puck drop, but Vienna Capitals goaltender J-P Lamoureux wasn’t about to wait to turn in a potential save of the year candidate.
Lamoureux was making his debut for the Vienna Capitals during the opening day of Group N action of the Champions Hockey League when he found his club down not one, but two men on the penalty kill against Sweden’s Skelleftea AIK.
With the Capitals defenders trying to clear out the front of the net and prevent an easy rebound, Skelleftea’s Adam Pettersson was left alone to the left of Lamoureux’s goal. Pettersson was spotted and received a perfect slap pass, but he slowed the puck down for a brief second, giving Lamoureux just enough time to locate the puck and dive across his crease to steal the surefire goal:
Lamoureux’s massive glove stop would prove incredibly important as the game wore on, too. Vienna was protecting a one-goal lead against arguably the strongest team in their three-team group, and the stop would help the Capitals stay ahead long enough that the contest would head to overtime.
In the extra frame, Vienna picked up the victory just 31 seconds in. Jamie Fraser skated in alone and rifled one past Skelleftea netminder Erik Hanses for the win.
Skelleftea would pepper the Capitals with 35 shots over the course of the contest, but Lamoureux turned in a gem of a 33-save performance and was announced as the player of the game. Maybe it shouldn't come as a surprise that Lamoureux turned in such a performance, though, as the former University of North Dakota netminder was one of the EBEL's best goaltenders with the top goals-against average and playoff GAA and save percentage during the 2015-16 season.
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