Before the season began, there were some netminders who were obvious potential candidates for save of the year. For instance, one could have expected the Canadiens’ Carey Price, Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist and Predators’ Pekka Rinne to make more than a few marvellous saves this campaign.
One name who wouldn’t have been considered, though, is Northeastern University netminder Ryan Ruck. But it just so happens Ruck has put his name squarely in the conversation for the best stop of the season. Honestly, the stop is so good it could easily beat out some of the best stops from the NHL this season.
Check it out:
The way Ruck tracks the puck on the cross-crease pass is ridiculous and his reaction speed — seriously, watch his blocker fly up like it was shot out of a cannon — make this an easy candidate for save of the year. This could be the greatest save Ruck ever makes in his career no matter how many games he plays following Friday’s outing.
Making the entire stop even better is that there’s no rebound somehow. Ruck actually snatches the puck out of the air with his blocker. That’s incredible, especially considering how well Minnesota’s Justin Kloos hit that one-timer.
The 3-0 Minnesota scoreline isn’t an accurate reflection of just how well Ruck played, either. Ruck actually entered the game in relief after starting netminder Derick Roy allowed three goals on four shots. In his relief appearance, Ruck stopped 21 of the 22 shots he faced in 48 minutes of action. It was just his second career game in the NCAA.