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At the Rink blog

Aittokallio to make NHL debut in Avalanche net

Thursday, 04.11.2013 / 4:02 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  / 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

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2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Aittokallio to make NHL debut in Avalanche net

With regular starter Semyon Varlamov scratched due to a hip injury and the Colorado Avalanche playing their third game in four nights, they will turn to Sami Aittokallio on Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings (10:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, NHLN-CA).

The team announced via its Twitter feed Thursday that the 20-year-old will be making his first NHL appearance after veteran goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere started four of Colorado's past five games, posting a 1-2-1 record.

A fourth-round pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, Aittokallio has spent much of the season playing for Lake Erie of the American Hockey League. In 26 games with the Monsters, the native of Tampere, Finland posted a 2.89 goals-against average and .903 save percentage. He was the starting goaltender for a Finland squad that finished fourth at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.

With eight games remaining in their season, the Avalanche (13-22-5) sit last in the Western Conference and will make Aittokallio the second-youngest starting goaltender in franchise history, behind Marc Denis, who was 19 when he started a game in 1996.

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It's a little different but it feels amazing. A new chapter in my life and I'm excited. It's been amazing. Better than I expected. The weather is great, the place is just amazing. I can't say enough good things about it. I'm glad to get the season going.

— Ryan Kesler on his transition to the Anaheim Ducks