Spencer Knight has only been on an active NHL roster for two days, but he already has one win under his belt. On Tuesday evening, starting over the resting Sergei Bobrovsky, the former Boston College star shined in his debut, stopping 33 of 34 shots, as the Florida Panthers defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-1.
"He looked very cool and calm in the net," said Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville about his goalie, the first netminder to start a game who was born in the 2000s. "The way he came out and handled pucks, assessed all his options, you could see an understanding of where everybody is around the rink. He tracks the puck extremely well... Very composed."
Knight, who finished his career in March after Boston College lost to St. Cloud State in the NCAA tournament, wasn't rattled by his first start. "I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be," he explained. Knight got the call due to the Panthers have back to back games. "The guys did a good job of keeping it light and telling me to just go out and play hockey. At the end of the day, it’s just hockey... It was awesome.”
Knight was the top ranked goal tender in the 2019 draft, and was selected 13th overall by the Panthers. He played two seasons for the Eagles, with an overall record of 39-12 and a .932 save percentage, along with eight shut outs. Knight ranked fifth in the nation in save percentage and tied for fifth in wins, the most among sophomore goaltenders.
The young goalie played incredibly well, and because of his effort, he was named one of the three stars of the game.
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Photo courtesy of BCEagles.com/Anthony Garro