Goaltender Richard Bachman has spent almost the entire season in the AHL, stuck in third on the Vancouver Canucks depth chart behind Ryan Miller and Jacob Markstrom. At the end of the season, though, Bachman will likely be the top-ranked of the three when it comes to who made the greatest save of the season.
In the final game of the Utica Comets’ season, Bachman got the call against the St. John’s IceCaps and he made a spectacular, must-see stop on Bud Holloway.
With the IceCaps pressuring, the puck was moved in front by St. John’s center Daniel Audette but careened off of a leg in front and landed right on Holloway’s tape. The puck was rolling and left Holloway unable to get all of the shot, but he knocked it toward the Comets’ goal. No one would have blamed Holloway for celebrating before the puck crossed the goal line, but Bachman — who had bit towards his far post to stop an attempted cross-crease play — rotated his back, threw his glove hand up in the air and caught the puck backhanded:
Go figure that Bachman made a save of the year candidate in the final game of the season, and it’s a nice way to finish off what has been a fairly mediocre campaign for the 28-year-old netminder. Bachman’s .900 save percentage and 2.74 goals-against average in 34 games this season is far from his best season and is a precipitous drop in from his .918 SP and 2.38 GAA from last season with the Oklahoma City Barons in 2014-15.
As for the game Sunday against St. John's, Bachman probably wants to forget all of it except for his save on Holloway. He allowed seven goals on 39 shots and the Comets lost 7-1 to the IceCaps. Years from now, though, fans in Utica probably won’t be remembering Bachman’s exact numbers or the score of the game, but they might remember the time Bachman made an almost impossible save by contorting his body.