(Edmonton) Third-year University of Alberta Golden Bears hockey goaltender Kurtis Mucha made team and conference history Oct. 26 when he became the first goalie to be credited with a goal in the history of Canada West. Mucha was credited with the Golden Bears' first goal during a 7–1 win over the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns at Nicholas Sheran Arena in Lethbridge.
The Pronghorns had pulled goaltender Damien Ketlo for an extra attacker during a delayed penalty to Golden Bears defenceman Jordan Rowley. When the ‘Horns dumped the puck in, Mucha steered it to the corner; then an errant pass back to the point by Lethbridge sailed by everyone and banked off the side boards—and into the empty Lethbridge net. Mucha, the last Golden Bear to touch the puck, was credited with the unassisted goal at 12:40 of the first period.
“It’s a pretty cool feeling; obviously goalies don’t score very often. I don’t even know if it happens once a year in any league, so it was a definite once in-a-lifetime experience,” said Mucha. “I didn’t know it was my goal until the five guys on the bench skated over and started telling me. Usually when we score, the guys all skate by, but this time they stopped and told me.”
Mucha's tally stood as the game-winning goal until late in the third period, when Lethbridge scored with 4:22 remaining in the game.
With the goal, the Sherwood Park native now sits 16th in team scoring, eight back of team leader Jordan Hickmott, and 10 points back of the Canada West scoring race lead. He does, however, lead Canada West in goals against average, 1.33, and also owns a .928 save percentage and a 3-1 record.
“The funny thing is, I almost had a couple of assists that night too,” laughed Mucha. “I moved the puck up ice a couple of times and was the third assist on a couple of goals, so I was pretty close to a two or three point night.”
“The guys on the team, especially the guys without goals, are all chirping at me for sure,” he said.
The Golden Bears now have a 5-3-0 record after winning both games in Lethbridge, and will next be in action against the Mount Royal Cougars in a home-and-home series. Alberta will play in Clare Drake Arena Nov. 3 at 6 p.m.
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