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Two 2010 draftee goalies duel


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Calvin Pickard, drafted 49th overall in 2010, played his junior years with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL. After four seasons in Seattle, Pickard held the all-time save record and owned a 91-120-27, maybe not the best record for a junior goalie, but Calvin also played 241 games and faced 8,359 shots allowing 769 goals. Calvin would finally break into the Avalanche affiliate team, the Lake Erie Monsters, along-side fellow draftee Sami Aittokallio, who was drafted in the 4th round 107th overall in 2010. Calvin Pickard would only play two games in his first season with Lake Erie, one of which was a start and the other in relief. In his first full season Pickard managed to stay about .500 and ended with 47 games played 20-19-5 record with 5 shutouts. Followed by a less productive 2nd season playing 43 games with a 16-18-7 record and 2 shutouts. This season he posts 13 games and a 6-4-3 record with Lake Erie and one shutout. The Avalanche chose to call up and allow Sami Aittokallio to play when former goaltender J.S. Gigure needed to be absent from a game in which Semyon Varlamov did not play in. In his two NHL stints Aittokallio finished 0-1-0, his first game Sami would leave in the 3rd period due to severe leg cramps from lack of conditioning, a game he played solid in allowing 2 goals against the Los Angeles Kings. In his second career game he would allow 3 goals on 18 shots and be pulled at the end of the 2nd period. In his two seasons with Lake Erie, he lost the number one job to Calvin Pickard and owns a career record of 63 games played, 29-27-4 seeing 1,762 shots and allowing 168 goals.


Calvin Pickard was drafted in the 2nd round by Colorado for a reason, because he is a contender and he battles as hard as anyone. His recent call up to the NHL has proven that over and over as he starts his 10th career game tonight (12/21/14) against the Detroit Redwings. In two separate call ups, Pickard has started nine straight games and six straight since the most recent call up. This will mark Calvin’s first career game against the Detroit Redwings and it comes against a fellow 2010 draft pick in Petr Mrazek.


Petr Mrazek is a 22 year old Czech born goaltender who played three seasons under the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s. In 132 career games in the OHL Mrazek showed he has some serious talent and teams that passed up on him would one day wish they had not. Petr had a great 75-37-10 record with the 67’s and that allowed him to move up and play for the Redwings affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins where he has been just as great in 74+ games owning a 45-25- 3 record before the 2014-15 season.



Tonight Calvin Pickard and Petr Mzarek will play one another for the third time this season, but the first time at the NHL level. Calvin Pickard is 5-5-2 for the Avalanche while Mrazek is 3-2-0 for the Redwings. Both goalies are looking to make their mark on the NHL while their clubs number one goalies sit injured. Calvin has locked in the number one spot over backup Reto Berra for the rest of the season while Varlamov is injured. Petr Mzarek’s story is a little different as Jonas Gustavsson is the Redwing number two goalie, Gustavsson suffered a separated shoulder and not expected back in the lineup for at least two more weeks.


So who wins this battle? Colorado is coming off a 5-1 win in Buffalo last night 12/20/14 where they scored 4 different ways with a Power play, short-handed, empty net and two even strength goals. Detroit played the night before last where Jimmy Howard was injured in a Redwings loss to the New York Islanders 2-1. Calvin Pickard continues to turn heads at the NHL level while many saw Petr Mzarek last season and only expect good things from the kid. This game will come down to who can score first and who can stop the other team. After one period the game is tied 0-0 as the two goalies strut their stuff, Avs were out-shot 10 to 5 and will remain on a penalty kill to start the second period. 




Calvin Pickard would make 34 saves and Petr Mrazek would make 22 saves as the 22 year old rookies would take their teams to a shootout, each goalie would allow two goals in the first three shots before shutting the door. After 9 rounds, Calvin Pickard and the Avalanche would win after a goal by vet Jarome Iginla in the final round and a save by Pickard on Brendan Smith for his first career shootout shot. If you have to choose who wins this duel, in a game of 35 shots plus 9 rounds, Calvin Pickard runs away in this one with 2 HUGE glove saves in regulation to keep the Avalanche in it. Erik Johnson would score his 4th goal in 4 games with just under 5 minutes remaining in the game. 


Pavel Datsyuk had the lone Redwings goal a little under 5 minutes into the third period. Av killer Johan Franzen has 4 shots but was held off the score sheet, something every Avalanche fan held close to their hearts hopping it is the start of nothing in future games for the Mule. 

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