• Vintage Hockey League
  • Day 123Game 731
    WHALERS3
    SENATORS1
    Boxscore 0 Likes
  • Day 124Game 741
    WHALERS0
    CANADIENS0
    Preview 0 Likes
  • Day 127Game 755
    WHALERS0
    BRUINS0
    Preview 0 Likes
  • Day 123Game 729
    Fredericton CANADIENS2
    Saskatchewan STAGS3
    Boxscore 0 Likes
  • Day 124Game 737
    Saskatchewan STAGS0
    Muskegon LUMBERJACKS0
    Preview 0 Likes
  • Day 125Game 746
    Toledo WALLEYE0
    Saskatchewan STAGS0
    Preview 0 Likes
  • Day 128Game 769
    Baltimore SKIPJACKS0
    Saskatchewan STAGS0
    Preview 0 Likes
  • Day 129Game 773
    New Haven NIGHTHAWKS0
    Saskatchewan STAGS0
    Preview 0 Likes

S18 - Stags/Golden Eagles [WB11]

2021-07-04

Another year with the Hartford Whalers on the outside looking in, means the entire organization is now focused on the clubs affiliate team in Regina.  The Saskatchewan Stags once again enter the playoffs as the third ranked team in the division and sixth in the conference.  This season, the Stags are matching up with the Salt Lake Golden Eagles (Calgary) and the series is currently tied up at two wins a piece.

Heading into the series, it was easy to pick out where the battle would be fought and ultimately won; in goal.  For the Golden Eagles, Mike Smith has been the man in charge in goal.  With more VHL games played over AHL games, Smith played sparingly for Salt Lake, but managed a 1.47 goals against average and a save percentage of .947.  Simply put, Smith was on another level during the regular season.

Meanwhile in Saskatchewan, the Stags used a goaltending tandem of Brian Boucher and Alex Auld.  Like Smith, Boucher had a brilliant year and was statistically the better of the two Stags goaltenders with a 1.74 goals against average and a save percentage of .934.  Meanwhile Auld spent a few weeks in the VHL with the Whalers tending to goaltending problems at various points, but would put together a twenty-six win season, with a goals against of 2.12 goals per game and a save percentage at .926.

When the dust settled, the Stags would take the victory in six games, and with these three goaltenders showcasing their skills, the two clubs would combine for twenty-eight goals (or 4.66 goals per game).  For the Whalers, the difference appears to have been a goaltending swap prior to game four, with Alex Auld (who was unavailable to start the series) coming in in relief of Brian Boucher.  With the series tilting in Salt Lake’s favor, Auld would start and win the final three games on the series and establish a goals against of 1.43 and save percentage of .936.

“Alex is a veteran of the AHL, and he showed that veteran mettle coming in with us reeling a little bit.  In game four we played maybe our best game of the season as we held them to ten shots on goal the entire game, and won the battles.  I think at that point we realized that we can be the superior club shift-after-shift and took that mindset the rest of the way.”

Auld, who is the Stags franchise career leader in virtually every statistical category, will look to carry on his hot play in the second round.  As it currently stands, it could be a date with the perennial powerhouse, Muskegon Lumberjacks that awaits them next.

 

WC: 452