Henrik Lundqvist’s stick stop could stand as save of the year, but that doesn’t mean the save won’t have challengers for the honor. In Czech League action, goaltender Marek Ciliak flew from right to left to turn aside a one-time attempt with his glove while on the penalty kill.
Slovakian netminder Marek Ciliak isn’t exactly what one would call a superstar. The 25-year-old wasn’t drafted, has never won individual honors and in what little international experience Ciliak has, he’s either gotten shelled or been the backup goaltender.
That said, by season’s end, people will be bringing up Ciliak when discussing the most incredible stops they’ve seen over the past year.
In Czech Extraliga action, Ciliak’s Kometa Brno were on the penalty kill when he stuck out his left pad to turn aside a shot from the blueline. The rebound came off of Ciliak’s pad and into an area where HC Trinec’s Erik Hrna could one-time it for what looked as if it would be a surefire goal — that is until Ciliak sprawled back into position and turned the shot aside with his glove:
(Video via Reddit/andyko2611)
It’s no Henrik Lundqvist stick save, but Ciliak’s recovery on a terribly controlled rebound was fantastic. His push from right to left to get back into position — or at least get a limb on Hrna’s shot — was strong and you can tell by Hnra’s body language that he was near certain he was about to score.
Making Ciliak’s save better was that it was just enough for Kometa to hang on for a 2-1 victory over Trinec. Through eight games this season, Ciliak has a 5-3-0 record with 3.00 goals-against average and .886 save percentage.