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Prospect of the Week: Kristers Gudlevskis

by Phil Novotny / Tampa Bay Lightning

Third-year Syracuse Crunch goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis is known for being an intense and focused player on and off the ice as described by Crunch head coach Rob Zettler.

His performance this season confirmed that description as he went 7-6-1 along while compiling a 2.46 goals against average (GAA). On Nov. 14, the 23-year-old made a career-high 47 saves on 48 shots against the Utica Comets and recorded his first shutout of the season against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers two weeks later.

This past week, the 6-foot-3, 218-pound goaltender was selected to play in the AHL All-Star Classic and will participate with the North Division Team.

“People are starting to take notice,” Zettler said. “And they should.”

In addition to being on the All-Star team, the Aizkraukle, Latvia, native had another robust performance over the weekend as he made 28 saves for the Crunch in their 2-1 victory over Rochester. His night was punctuated by a highlight-reel save in the third period that held the lead for the Crunch. When asked about the save, Zettler called it a reaction save and labeled him as a competitor that doesn’t give up on anything.

Gudlevskis has moved up and down between the AHL and NHL a few times this season along with fellow netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy, who was recovering with a blood clot near his left collarbone at the beginning of the season. Gudlevskis made his second NHL start on Oct. 24 against the Chicago Blackhawks where he stopped 31 of 32 shots before the Lightning bowed out in overtime 1-0.

When asked about his role moving forward, Zettler said it’s unknown but things change quickly. “As the old saying goes, you have to be prepared for the opportunity and he will be,” Zettler said.

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