As told by Royals Goaltending Coach Lynden Sammartino
• Vancouver Giants (32-21-3-2) at Victoria Royals (30-23-5-2) – Sunday, March 1, 2020
• Tensions are high as the Royals and Giants battle for the third time in three days.
• The Giants score first, but an injury-depleted Royals line-up digs deep to secure a 4-1 win in front of 5,802 roaring fans.
• Little did everyone know that this Sunday matinee would end up being Victoria’s final home game of the 2019-20 season. In retrospect, how fitting to have it end with fans and players on the ice for a Royals’ matinee tradition – the post-game skate!
• After two lop-sided Vancouver wins on Friday and Saturday, Brandon Cutler has helped Victoria right the ship with a three-point effort that includes a clutch third period goal.
• Now with the Royals leading 3-1 half-way through the final frame, Vancouver is out-chancing Victoria and has started their push.
• The sequence begins in the defensive zone, with the Giants in possession at their left point.
• The Vancouver player (30 goal-scorer Tristan Nielsen) looks poised to shoot, but instead makes a cross-ice pass that manages to squeak through to a pinching Bowen Byram.
• You can almost hear a collective gasp from the Victoria crowd as the Colorado Avs’ fourth overall pick and recent World Junior captain for Team Canada, appears to have half the net to shoot at… Enter Adam Evanoff
Now that you have seen it (maybe twice!), read below as Lynden uses the overhead slow-motion replay to break down six technical aspects of this stunning save by Evanoff (aka. Evs).
1. Goalies are always tracking the puck with their eyes, constantly working to maintain visual attachment with the puck. When player bodies get in the way, like they do in this case, it increases the difficulty of tracking the puck. This is especially common on cross-ice passes like this one.
2. At the start of this sequence, while the puck is still at the point, Evs establishes good depth near the top of his crease.
3. As Evs tracks the trajectory of the pass and identifies the location of the shooter, he knows that to make the save he must get back to his glove hand side post.
4. Using great technical skating, he C-cuts backwards with his left skate, while loading his right leg to help make a strong athletic push with his right skate. This push helps him accelerate into a slide on his left pad.
5. As he moves across the crease, Evs does a great job to able to activate his core strength to remain tall, which in turn allows his left arm to remain at full extension.
6. Finally, and because he does such a good job of tracking the puck all the way to the shooter, he is able read the shot release. This allows him to make a last second adjustment with his wrist to ensure that he catches the puck in the webbing of his trapper. No rebound, no red light!
Unless it’s a shootout win-clinching save, goalie cellies aren’t too common of an occurrence on the ice. But sometimes a big glove save can be an exception to that rule! Sean Gulka (Gulks) pays his respects to a great effort with a stick tap to his goaltender’s pads, but the slow-motion overhead replay allows us to appreciate some of the nuance of the way Evs finishes his save. Let’s call this one a fluid understated windmill.
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