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Philipp Grubauer, Gina Minert Named West Division Stars of March

Avs goalie earned 12 wins in the month, Minert helped lead the vaccination clinic at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children

by Callie Parmele @CallieParmele /

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer and Gina Minert, a nurse at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, have been named the NHL West Division's Stars for March, the league announced on Thursday.

In 15 appearances last month, Grubauer went 12-2-1 with a .933 save percentage and 1.56 goals-against average while Minert has spent more than 21 years with RMHC/Presbyterian St. Luke's.

Minert worked as the hospital incident commander and helped lead the hospital's efforts in navigating a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She has been instrumental in leading the vaccination clinic at the hospital, working all hours to ensure every vaccine dose is used and never wasted.

For Grubauer, his 12 victories in March set a franchise record for a single month and equaled the NHL record for wins in a month, shared by Sergei Bobrovsky (December 2016), Jimmy Howard (March 2010), Ray Emery (March 2006) and Bernie Parent (March 1974).

The Rosenheim, Germany, native had a career-high, eight-game winning streak from March 10-25, tied for the fourth-longest run in franchise history. He allowed one or fewer goals in all eight appearances (seven starts) during that stretch, becoming the first NHL goaltender to go eight-plus decisions without allowing more than one goal since John Vanbiesbrouck in 1991-92 (eight).

During that stretch, Grubauer established a career-long shutout streak of 147:38 from March 18-22. The scoreless bid began after the Minnesota Wild scored at 8:41 of the second period in Colorado's 5-1 win on March 18 and ended when Oliver Ekman-Larsson ruined his attempt for a second straight shutout with 3:21 left in regulation in the Avs' 5-1 win at the Arizona Coyotes. 

Earlier in the month, the Avalanche goalie was named the NHL's First Star for the week ending on March 14 after he went 3-1-0 with a 1.24 goals-against average, .932 save percentage and one shutout in four appearances.

The 29-year-old netminder had three shutouts in March to set a new career high with five on the season. It's the most clean sheets by an Avs goaltender since Semyon Varlamov also had five during the 2014-15 campaign. Grubauer now has 16 career shutouts and 10 as a member of the Avalanche, the fourth most in franchise history.

Video: MIN@COL: Grubauer records fifth shutout this season

He capped his eight-game win streak with his 20th victory of the year on March 25, becoming the fastest goaltender in franchise history to reach 20 wins in a season (27th game). Patrick Roy hit 20 in his 30th contest of 2000-01.

Grubauer also added another milestone in the month with his 100th NHL victory on March 29, joining Thomas Greiss (139) and Olie Kolzig (303) as the only German goalies to hit the century mark.

Overall, Grubauer helped Colorado finish March with a 12-2-3 record, the club's most wins in a single month in franchise history. The Avalanche's 27 points in the month were the most by any team in the NHL and also set a new franchise mark.

Grubauer is the first Avalanche player to be named to the league's stars of the month since Nathan MacKinnon picked up Second Star honors for November 2019. 

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby was the star of the month in the East Division, Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid was recognized in the North Division and Florida Panthers' captain Aleksander Barkov was the star in the Central Division.

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