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NWHL All-Star Goaltender Katie Burt Practices with Preds

Netminder Stops Pucks Alongside Rinne, Saros Ahead of NWHL All-Star Weekend in Nashville

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Senior Communications & Content Coordinator

Burt Skates With Preds

Katie Burt practices with Preds

NWHL All-Star goaltender Katie Burt practiced with the Preds on Friday afternoon in Nashville

  • 03:04 •

It shouldn't have been fair.

Katie Burt, a 5-foot-6 six goaltender for the Boston Pride of the National Women's Hockey League, took her spot in the crease at Centennial Sportsplex at Predators practice on Friday.

And then 6-foot-6 Brian Boyle parked his massive frame right in front of her.

"I [went into the] butterfly [position], and his hips were taller than I was," Burt laughed following the session. "He's a great screener, I'll tell you that."

There's no denying Boyle's ability to take away the eyes of an NHL netminder, but as Burt did everything she could to see around her teammate for the day, she got her glove on a shot. Then a blocker. Then a leg pad.

When all was said and done, she may not have allowed a single puck to get past.

Surprised? Well, just like her goaltending counterparts Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros, she is one of the best in the world at what she does, and it was on full display Friday afternoon.

Video: Katie Burt practices with Preds

Burt is in town to participate in the NWHL's All-Star festivities that will take place this weekend in Music City, first with the Skills Competition at Ford Ice Center on Saturday night, followed by the All-Star Game on Sunday afternoon after the Preds take on the St. Louis Blues at Bridgestone Arena.

One of the most accomplished goaltenders in NCAA history, Burt spent her collegiate career at Boston College and posted three, 30-win seasons. Those numbers were good enough to hold the NCAA wins record with 121 to her name.

After stars like Kendall Coyne-Schofield and Brianna Decker received national attention at the NHL's All-Star Skills Competition in San Jose two weeks ago, there is undoubtedly some added attention from hockey fans all over the country, and the world, toward the women's game.

Now, the very best will call Nashville home for a few days.

"It's such a great city, and they've grown into such a great hockey town," Burt said of Nashville. "Our skills competition is sold out, and it just goes to show that they're not just Predators fans, they're hockey fans. I know they're ready for us to come into down and put on a show."

Burt gave those in attendance - and on the ice - on Friday a preview of what's to come as she took part in the Predators' practice before the team jetted off to St. Louis to begin a home-and-home set with the Blues.

She shared the net with Saros - whom she affectionately referred to as "Juice," just like everyone else - and took shot after shot from the NHLers, stopping the overwhelming majority and making some new fans in the process.

"It was awesome to have her out here, and she was great," Preds Captain Roman Josi said of Burt. "I didn't score on her. I tried, but I couldn't score… it's a really great thing for women's hockey to show the whole world how good they are, and you saw today. She was unbelievable, and it was fun to have her."

"I feel like it's a special breed," Rinne said of meeting a fellow puck stopper. "Everybody is interested in their gear and whatnot, and just the position in general… It was awesome to share the net with her, and she was very talented, lot of skill and it was fun to watch. You could tell she was having a blast."

For Burt to have an opportunity to work alongside Rinne and Saros, well, those chances don't come around every day, and she wasn't about to pass it up.

Video: Rinne, Josi talk Katie Burt at practice

"It's an honor," Burt said. "We have two of the best goalies in the NHL right here, such a great tandem. I look up to all the goalies in the NHL, and you model your play after at these guys. To get on the ice with them and share the net with them was unbelievable."

Fans can see Burt, and the rest of the NWHL All-Stars, on Sunday afternoon at Bridgestone Arena, and those with tickets to see the Preds and Blues will be permitted to stay in the building to watch the showcase.

After getting a firsthand look at the skill on display on Friday, it'll be well worth it.

"It's great that we can support an event like this in any way we can," Predators Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. "Having Katie out there was awesome. For her to come in and be a part of our day and share her experience, we get to share with her and she gets to share with us, it was a good day."

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