Goaltenders aren’t privy to scoring lots of goals and being familiar with the feeling of putting the puck in the back of the net. So when they do end up accomplishing the rare feat, more should celebrate like Carolina Hurricanes prospect Pyotr Kochetkov did on Friday night.
Playing with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves, the 23-year-old netminder launched the puck the full 200 feet of the ice, from behind his own goal line, and into the Manitoba Moose net.
After pulling off such an uncommon move, Kochetkov went wild and celebrated extremely hard with his teammates.
Banging the glass in the opposition’s arena, spinning and hugging his teammates, laying flat on the ice in disbelief, and then finally pumping his fist to the crowd on his way to the bench as he went down the line and got congratulated, Kochetkov might have been the happiest person in the entire world at that moment.
The scene would bring a smile to just about everyone watching it unfold — except the opposing players.
In the dying minutes of the game, after Kochetkov did his celebration routine, the goaltender was in the middle of a team-wide scrum after he was challenged by Manitoba’s captain, Jimmy Oligny.
Kochetkov was eventually kicked out of the game for being willing to fight Oligny in a fair bout.
The young netminder is known to be a fiery player, willing to drop the gloves at any moment. During last season’s playoffs, he didn’t back down from maybe the league’s premier pest in Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand.
That certainly takes some confidence and we know Kochetkov has that in spades. And his play backs it up. Through 19 appearances for the Hurricanes this season, he has earned a .913 save percentage and a 2.33 goals-against average, and his AHL stats are even better.
Kochetkov might just become everyone’s favorite goaltender in a year or two.