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Bizarre set of circumstances puts an OHL forward in goal

Mar 4, 2012, 10:55 PM EDT

(Photo from (Photo from

How does a goaltender earn the first star of a game after allowing 13 goals? Well, it helps if you’re normally a forward.

There have been times in the NHL where an injury to a goaltender prior to the start of a game has forced a team to take extraordinary steps so that their team still had a backup goaltender in case the worst happened. For example, back in November, the Minnesota Wild inked 51-year-old Paul Deutsch to an amateur try-out contract because Niklas Backstrom was unavailable. But for the Wild, that’s where the story ended, because Deutsch never actually had to play between the pipes. The OHL Erie Otters were not so lucky on Sunday.

With their normal backup goaltender unavailable before the game began, the Erie Otters were forced to list forward Connor Crisp, who had been sidelined all season because of a shoulder injury, as their number two netminder. However, starting goaltender Ramis Sadikov lasted a mere 1:45 minutes before the Otters had to resort to their worst case scenario: put Crisp in goal.

Crisp put on Sadikov’s skates, which were “three times too small and not wide enough” and did his best to block shots. All things considered, it actually might have gone a bit better than expected. Crisp faced a staggering 45 shots and his team ended up losing 13-4 to the Niagara IceDogs. However, he won over the IceDogs fans, who gave the 17-year-old a standing ovation following the game.

“It was appreciated so much — beyond words,” said Crisp. “Honestly, it was embarrassing to let some of those goals in, but I think the IceDogs fans knew. I can’t say enough about how fun and classy that was today.”

Crisp is eligible to be selected during the 2012 NHL entry draft, although we think it’s safe to say teams won’t be looking at him as a goaltender.

(Photo from

  1. stakex - Mar 5, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    What jumps out at me the most here is that his team allowed 45 shots. You would think they would have stepped up their defensive effort and put everything they had into limiting the amount of shots that got through to the net.

    Still though, gotta give it to this guy. 13 goals on 45 should might sound bad, but given the circumstances its amazingly good.

    • imacdane - Mar 5, 2012 at 2:09 AM

      True, but its also very possible that the other team was taking that they wouldn’t normally take as the likelihood of them going in was much greater. If they were shooting from all over the ice it would have been difficult to keep the number of shots down.

      • stakex - Mar 6, 2012 at 8:46 PM

        Good point.

  2. taytay099 - Mar 5, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    Pretty memorable first game of the season after shoulder surgery.

  3. cmutimmah - Mar 5, 2012 at 7:36 AM

    What happened to assistent coaches being emergency goalies? Back in the day, a trainer would have wore the gear and gotten embarrassed… not some prospect who could have been injured even though he hasn’t been drafted/signed by a team… Kid is lucky he didn’t get injured in the process, I hope he gets picked up.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Mar 5, 2012 at 1:16 PM

      As far as I know, there is an age maximum of 20 for OHL players, so that would seem to rule out a coach or trainer donning the pads. That might work in pro leagues, depending on their rules.

      • cmutimmah - Mar 5, 2012 at 1:29 PM

        You’re right. I was thinking of mentioning that in my post, but didn’t want to get too long winded, lol. I think there should be an exception made in these cases… but either way, it’s a cool story.

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