The recent showing at the Olympics highlighted many players, but none surprised as much as Tampa Bay Lightning prospect and Team Latvia goaltender, Kristers Gudlevskis.
His standout performance in the quarterfinal game against Canada stunned fans, as Gudlevskis turned away 55 of 57 shots faced. Team Canada took a 2-1 win; however, the netminder earned respect after the Latvians were outshot by the Canadians 57-16, testing and showcasing the 21-year-old's on-ice stamina.
Gudlevskis later said he learned a lot from the experience on an international stage.
"It was a great experience for me as a goalie and hopefully it will give me a lot more confidence in games," he said. "The game against Canada was like an NHL game, I felt it was a really exciting moment all game long."
Selected 124th overall in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, the 6-foot-4, 190-pound goaltender is currently plays for the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League (AHL). Gudlevskis, who currently has a record of 11-8-2 for the 2013-14 campaign, also leads Crunch goaltenders with four shutouts.
Following his Olympic debut, Gudlevskis was recalled by the Bolts on emergency basis and has been on the ice in recent practices. While there is no timetable for his return to Syracuse, the Crunch's home record of 8-9-2-3 will be tested this weekend as they prepare for back-to-back home games, and look to get back on the winning track.