(Puck Daddy presents its annual look back at the year in hockey. Check back every day through the New Year for our many lists and hot takes.)
Saves are a lot like snowflakes in that they may look similar, but have plenty of differences. Some of the goalies on this list used similar methods in making unbelievable stops, but each made theirs unique enough to separate themselves from the rest.
Let’s take a look back at the top saves of 2015.
Honorable Mention: Louie Belpedio, Miami RedHawks
Miami nearly pulled off an unbelievable comeback against Providence in the NCAA tournament in March. A 6-2 lead quickly became 6-5 with 90 seconds to play in the third period. The Friars almost put the game out of reach with an empty-net goal had it not been for Belpedio’s incredible effort.
10. Tuukka Rask’s desperation stop on Michael Grabner
Grabner and the majority of the fans inside Nassau Coliseum thought for a brief moment that Rask’s shutout had ended during their game in January. Oh no, said Rask, who got his stick juuuust on the ice in time to rob Grabner.
9. Henrik Lundqvist’s stick save on Ryan Johansen
The New York Rangers had a 3-0 lead on Blue Jackets, and just when Johansen thought the good fortune was heading Columbus’ way with a fortunate bounce Lundqvist finds a way to make a stop.
8. Jake Allen robs Marko Dano
Officially, a review was deemed that the puck did not cross the line. That’s a good thing, otherwise Allen wouldn’t be on this list, even though it probably was a goal. Just listen to how John Kelly and Darren Pang react.
7. Colin DeAugustine makes diving stop, fools goal horn operator
You know when you’ve fooled the goal horn operator you came oh so close to scoring. That’s what happened to Nick Swaney of the Waterlook Blackhawks when he looked to have a goal, but Youngstown Phantoms netminder Colin DeAugustine said no, sir.
6. Petr Mrazek’s amazing stick save on Brian Boyle
Boyle had so much room to shoot at after faking out Mrazek, but the Detroit Red Wings goaltender was fortunate that he placed his stick exactly where the Tampa Bay Lightning forward decided to put it. Even John Forslund thought it was a goal.
5. High school goalie makes amazing glove save
(Vine via Blue Jackets)
St. Francis de Sales goalie Kade Phillips helped his side win the Ohio state title with a 23-save performance during a 3-1 win. This was one of two big saves in a nine-minute span for Phillips that helped them to victory.
4. Ryan Ruck drops his stick to make save
(Vine via Jashvina Shah)
The Northeastern goaltender figured he’d have a better chance at stopping the shot sans stick, so he dropped it as he spun to the other side of his crease and made the save with his stick-less hand.
3. Carter Hutton’s spinning swat
It was quite the adventurous sequence for Hutton against the Toronto Maple Leafs in early February. First, he got some help from the post, then a couple of wacky bounces caused the puck to squirt behind him, but a good sense of awareness allowed Hutton to swing around and bat it away to prevent a goal.
2. Cam Ward makes another stick save
It seems like Ward makes one of these great saves every season. He kept the tradition alive in October with this stunning stop on Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche.
1. Kasimir Kaskisuo gets “lucky” with behind-the-back save
Miami’s Cody Murphy held on to the puck long enough that it appeared the opportunity was there to beat Minnesota-Duluth’s Kaskisuo. But the Bulldogs netminder threw up his glove with his body turned and made what we’re calling the 2015 save of the year.
Tomorrow: Top 10 Fan Moments of 2015
Previously on the Year in Hockey 2015:
- Top 10 players of 2015
- Top 10 hockey people of 2015
- Top 10 social media moments of 2015
- Top 10 most shocking transactions of 2015
- Top 10 Most Heinous On-Ice Acts of 2015
- Top 10 images of 2015
- Top 10 biggest busts of 2015
- Top 10 best pop culture hockey moments of 2015
- Top 10 best shootout goals of 2015
- Top 10 most controversial people of 2015
- Top 10 hockey fights of 2015
- Top 10 heartwarming moments of 2015
- Top 10 Jersey Fouls of 2015
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