Anaheim Ducks goaltender and former West Kelowna Warrior Kevin Boyle made his first start in the NHL on Wednesday night against the Vancouver Canucks. The 26-year-old could not have asked for a better result as he made 35 saves and earned the shutout in a 1-0 Ducks win.
Boyle was extremely busy right from the drop of the puck as the Canucks outshot the Ducks 15-6 in the first period and eventually 35-22 in the game.
The Manalapan, N.J. native admitted last night’s game surpassed even his own expectations.
“It’s something you dream of growing up as a little kid playing street hockey,” Boyle said in an interview published on NHL.com. “To be able to come out here and get a win the first game, I can’t even describe it. I can honestly say it’s exceeded everything I ever dreamt of.”
With injuries to Ducks starter John Gibson and backup Ryan Miller, Boyle was called up from the San Diego Gulls of the AHL on Feb. 8 and made his debut in relief the following day against the Philadelphia Flyers where he stopped 24 of the 26 shots he faced.
Boyle became the second Anaheim goalie to earn a shutout in his NHL debut, joining Gibson, who also accomplished the feat against Vancouver.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound goalie has a 19-7-1 record this year with the Gulls and owns a .909 save percentage and a 2.72 goals-against average, which led to him earning a spot in the AHL All Star Game.
Boyle played one season in the BCHL for the West Kelowna Warriors in 2010-11. He was named to the All-Rookie Team after he went 20-16-1 and had a .907 save percentage.