By Woody Wommack
ESTERO — As the Florida Everblades prepare for the final push toward the Kelly Cup playoffs, they hold out hope that a Houston Aeros goalie will return and help lead the team to its first ever Kelly Cup championship.
Sound familiar? While Florida is hoping that Barry Brust’s broken foot heals in time for him to return to the ice, it was just one year ago that Everblades fans were praying that Anton Khudobin would be the team’s saving grace come playoff time.
An injury to Brust last year forced Houston to recall Khudobin, and he became the Aeros’ No. 1 goalie. The 23-year-old hasn’t looked back since. Earlier this season, Khudobin even earned his first call-up to the NHL, notching two victories before the Olympic break.
“It’s been a crazy year,” Khudobin said. “In February of last year I was there playing with the Everblades and February of this year I was playing for the Minnesota Wild.”