Abbotsford Heat goalie Barry Brust set an American Hockey League record Saturday, extending his scoreless streak to 268:17 before allowing a second-period goal against the San Antonio Rampage.
Brust broke the record of 249:51 established by Johnny Bower of the Cleveland Barons in 1957.
Brust set the mark at 18:11 of the first period. He held the Rampage scoreless until 16:36 of the second period, when James Wright scored on a power play.
It was the second goal allowed by Brust this season. He gave up another 1:35 later in what became a 3-2 shootout win.
Less than one period from breaking the record, Brust hadn't appeared in Abbotsford's prior three games, sitting behind Danny Taylor and Leland Irving since posting back-to-back shutouts against Lake Erie on Nov. 13 and 14.
"Barry's shutout streak was really a hot issue right after the two Lake Erie games and then it was, like, how can you not play this guy?" Heat coach Troy Ward told the Vancouver Sun this week. "And I was, like, well, he's a part of the team and we're going through a process. The process has worked for Barry to this point so why would I change it?"
Brust made 26 saves Saturday, giving him 131 on 134 shots for a .978 save percentage.
Since being scored on by Zack Kassian of the Chicago Wolves 8:19 into the first period on Oct. 20, Brust won that game 4-1, then shut out the Toronto Marlies on Nov. 1 (3-0). He posted back-to-back, 29-save shutouts against the Lake Erie Monsters on Nov. 13 and 14 (3-0; 2-0).
But Brust wasn't in uniform again until serving as the backup Friday at Texas, a game Abbotsford won 1-0 in overtime.
"We have three good options in goal here and it's been nice that I’ve been able to share it," Brust told the Vancouver Sun. "I think the situation here is unique. As far as the streak goes, goals against is a team stat and I feel like it's been a nice little feather in our cap, showing how good we've been defensively as a group so far."
For Brust, the pursuit of the record was the latest turn in a well-traveled career. Brust has played for eight teams since 2004, including one season with Straubing of the German league in 2011-12. He won the Calder Cup with Binghamton in 2011 and played 64 ECHL games during stops with the Reading Royals and Florida Everblades.
The 73rd pick of the 2002 NHL Draft by the Minnesota Wild, who never signed Brust to a contract, he has 11 NHL games to his credit, all with the Los Angeles Kings during the 2006-07 season. Brust went 2-4-1 with a 3.70 goals-against average and .878 save percentage.
Brust left the Kings organization following the season and spent the next three with the Houston Aeros, the AHL affiliate of the Wild. In 2007-08, he posted a 2.27 GAA and .919 save percentage and, along with teammate Nolan Schaefer, won the Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award, the AHL equivalent to the William Jennings Trophy in the NHL.
The 29-year-old is hopeful he'll get another chance in the League.
"I'd like to think so," Brust told Dave Lozo of NHL.com. "Obviously some things have to break the right way. I think being in the American Hockey League, you're always a break or two away. You always want to hold out hope and dream, and all I can do is take care of the way I play. I've done a lot since the time I was in the NHL. I'd like to think I can play there (again) someday."
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