MONTREAL - The Bulldogs are just two games into their season, but their new goalie is already turning some heads in Hamilton.
Curtis Sanford stood tall in the Bulldogs’ home opener on October 9, stopping all 38 Rockford shots and picking up his first shutout of the young season. The 30-year-old was also named the first star of the game. His whitewash at home came just days after his 27-save 3-2 shootout win debut in Toronto.
Joining the Bulldogs after a stellar campaign out west last season with the Manitoba Moose and the Vancouver Canucks, Sanford was in Montreal for training camp this September before making his way between the pipes in Hamilton.
The Owen Sound, ON native suited up for two preseason games with the Canadiens, owning a 2.03 goals-against average and a sparkling .935 save percentage. Sanford is no stranger to life in the NHL, having played 108 regular season games in the big league since 2002, posting a .901 save percentage in that span.
Sanford started in 15 NHL games last year, relieving the Canucks’ No. 1 netminder, Roberto Luongo before heading to the farm team in Manitoba. Sanford was stellar for the Moose with a 1.73 goals-against average and .940 save percentage.
“The Sandman” as he’s known in hockey circles has managed to put the opposition to sleep over the course his eight AHL seasons, posting 15 shutouts over his 161 career starts.
A wall in the Bulldogs’ crease in his own right, Cedrick Desjardins nailed down the top job in Hamilton last season after bouncing between the AHL and the ECHL in 2006-07 and 2007-08. The 24-year-old netminder registered a dazzling .919 save percentage over his 30 appearances last year.
Hardly losing any sleep over the state of his goaltending these days, head coach Guy Boucher boasts an embarrassment of riches between the pipes. With a pair of talented, not to mention experienced goalies at his disposal, Boucher has a problem rival coaches would love to have. Vincent Cauchy is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Manny Almela and Shauna Denis.See alsoHabs call up Shawn Belle Habs Notebook - Oct. 13, 2009 Canadiens assign Yannick Weber to Hamilton Habs this week - Oct. 12, 2009 Vote for the Play of the weekWhat's your Top 10?