Former Riverman Sanford Makes NHL Debut With St. Louis Blues

Curtis Sanford, who played for Peoria in 2000-01 and 2001-02, made 12 saves in his National Hockey League debut in St. Louis’ 7-1 win over Columbus on Thursday.

Sanford, who set the ECHL record with a goals against average of 1.91 in 2000-01, lost the shutout when Jaroslav Spacek scored with 12 seconds left. Sanford entered the game with 53 seconds remaining in the opening period when rookie Reinhard Divis left due to a strained groin.

“Really, there was no time to get nervous,” Sanford said. “I was thrown right out there. Maybe if I had some time to think about it, it would have been nerve-racking. You have to be ready when called upon. When you get the opportunity you do what you can to seize it.”

Eric Boguniecki, who played for Dayton in 1997-98, scored his first NHL goal on the power play in the first period, and scored again in the second period.

Sanford becomes the 194th former East Coast Hockey League player to advance to the NHL.