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Surprising Goalie Controversy Brewing in Victoria

by Matt MacInnis | April 9, 2017, 4:05 PM ET

Despite the Vancouver Island Norsemen’s successful regular season to date, it’s the emergence of Joonas Korpisalo as potential playoff starter that is what fans are talking about.

Jonathan Quick has owned since a pair of trades by the Norsemen leading up to the 2011 draft brought him to the franchise.  Unfortunately, the team has been mired in mediocrity since then, appearing only in one SICHL playoffs.  Despite these failures, he owned the goaltending recordbook for the team, leading in career wins, games played, shutouts, shots faced, minutes and pre-game smoothies.

He was the presumptive starter heading into the season, even with young bucks Matt Murray and Jonas Korpisalo battling for the back-up role.  But a funny thing has happened this year…

Joonas Korpisalo has simply been better.

Although he’s only appeared in 27 games to Quick’s 54, Korpisalo’s given up 0.38 fewer goals per game and has a superior save percentage.  Korpisalo also has 66% as many shutouts in just 50% of the games played.  Megastar rookie prospect Matt Murray started and won his only SICHL appearance of the season. 

Fans are calling for Korpisalo to get more starts, which in fact he has recently, getting the nod in the Norsemen’s last three games.  But what will happen come the start of the playoffs?

“We’re taking it one game at a time right now,” said HC Pronger. “We like wahat Joonas has been doing so far, but we also realize that Quicker is the more experienced, battle-tested goalie.  The boys are really comfortable playing in front of either guy, so it doesn’t really matter.  Our first goal is to win enough of our last four games to secure home ice advantage throughout our run here.”

Neither goaltender was made available to the media today.

Notes

-          Sidney Crosby is narrowly trailing Connor McDavid for the league’s scoring race. However, the club has already stated that he will not dress for any games that won’t change the club’s position in the standings.

-          Hampus Lindholm has had a significant impact on the team in his first full SICHL season, scoring 38 points so far and logging #1 minutes for much of the season.

-          Pavel Datsyuk has been a key pickup, scoring 10 points in the 14 games he’s played with the club.  With one more point in the final four games, Datsyuk will take sole possession of #15 in career SICHL points

-          On a related note, Crosby trails Mark Recchi in career points by 3 for #28 all-time.

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