(1090 The Fan) — When the Seattle Thunderbirds took the ice Friday night against Everett to start the second half of its season, Justin Myles was the starting goaltender.
It worked out well for the T-Birds as Myles made 36 saves and helped Seattle earn its 10th win in 11 games.
“Myles played really good,” said Seattle head coach Steve Konowalchuk
after the game, Friday.
So far through 36 games this season, coach Konowalchuk has nearly split the goal-tending duties 50-50 between Myles and 17-year-old Danny Mumaugh. Myles, 18, has now posted an 11-5 record in 19 games with a .896 save percentage and 3.39 goals-against-average (GAA).
Mumuagh, meanwhile, is 11-5-1-3 in 21 games with a 3.00 GAA and .916 save percentage. Contrary, perhaps, to common procedure, Konowalchuk has been completely comfortable splitting the starting goalie reps between his two netminders.
In fact, as Seattle enters a busy 2-week stretch in which it plays eight games, Coach Konowalchuk doesn’t anticipate leaning heavily in one direction or the other.
“Not really. I don’t plan to right now. I mean, right now our guys are playing well,” said Konowalchuk. “It’s kind of nice to have that luxury and we’re going to be playing so many games here in the next little bit, that we are going to need them both.”
That’s just fine with Myles, who thinks the competition has helped both goalies perform at their best.
“You just be ready for whenever you get the nod,” Myles said. “I think me and Danny have a pretty good thing going. We both have been playing pretty well. We’re good friends and I mean, we both want to see our team win, right?
Coach Konowalchuk said Mumaugh will get the start Saturday in the second of back-to-back games against the Silvertips.
Seattle played its third consecutive game without rookie center Mathew Barzal who remains sidelined with an upper-body injury. Barzal posted six goals and 25 assists in 32 games in the first half.
The injury also forced Barzal to miss out on the opportunity to play with Team Pacific in the Under-17 World Hockey Championships being played in Nova Scotia beginning Sunday and running through January 4th.
According to coach Konowalchuk, Barzal is “week-to-week.”
The team is also still without Connor Honey, who is struggling to come back with an injury that has sidelined him since early October.
“We think he’s getting close,” said Konowalchuk. “It has been a tricky one to figure out.”
-Anthony Dion, 1090 The Fan
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