Ice Pilots Goaltender Makes 31 Saves In 3-2 Overtime Win
PRINCETON, N.J. – Stopping a shot by Mississippi’s Jack Baker with 7:24 left in the second period, Pensacola goaltender Brian Eklund recorded his 1,832nd save of the season to break the ECHL record of 1,831 set by Mark Michaud of Hampton Roads in 1993-94.
Eklund had 31 saves on Tuesday making 10 saves in both the first and third periods, nine saves in the second and two saves in overtime. In addition to his 1,845 saves, Eklund leads the ECHL with 31 wins and 3,117 minutes while tying for the league lead with five shootout wins and four overtime wins. Leading the ECHL averaging 35.5 saves per game, the 6-5 and 210-pound Eklund is 31-15-6 with a goals against average of 3.04 and a save percentage of .921 while appearing in 52 of Pensacola’s 59 games.
Selected in the seventh round (226th overall) by Tampa Bay in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Eklund has broken the team records for most saves and shots, both set by Sean Gauthier in 1997-98. The 31 wins is the most in Ice Pilots history and Eklund needs one more win to tie the all-time team record of 32 wins set by Craig Brown of the Nashville Knights in 1995-96. Maxime Gingras holds the Pensacola team records for appearances (57) and minutes (3,381) setting both in 2002-03. Eklund, who was named ITECH HOCKEY ECHL Saver of the Week for November 24-30, became the seventh goaltender in league history score a goal on December 5 at Mississippi.
In his first professional season in 2002-03, Eklund was 10-6-0 with a 3.66 goals against average and a .896 save percentage in 19 games for Pensacola and was 1-0-0 with a 1.00 goals against average and a .974 save percentage in one game with Springfield of the American Hockey League.