University of Alberta Golden Bears hockey goalie Kurtis Mucha traded one “golden coloured bear” logo for another, when he suited up for the Boston Bruins during their practice in Edmonton on Wednesday, December 11, 2013.
The Bruins are in town for a December 12th game against the Edmonton Oilers, whom Mucha had a try-out with in 2009, but were short a goalie for their practice when regular starter Tuuka Rask became ill. Michael Chan, a video coach with the Golden Bears who also helps the Oilers with video analysis, overheard the Bruins request for a goalie and put them in touch with Mucha.
The fourth-year goalie, who hails from Sherwood Park, was on the ice with the Bruins just over an hour later.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Mucha. “It was really exciting to be out on NHL ice with NHL players like Zdeno Chara and David Krejci. “And, I did better than I thought I would do. I mean, I won’t lie, they sniped a few past me, but considering I hadn’t skated since the end of November, I fared pretty well. My adrenalin was very high and I think that helped me out.”
“The whole team was great to me and it was just a great experience,” Mucha added. “On the ice and in the dressing room, they treated me very well. Their captain, Zdeno Chara, went out of his way to shake my hand and thank me a few times, and the team got me four signed sticks, a signed hat and tickets to the game. It was a great experience, and I’m really grateful to the Boston Bruins for how they treated me.”
It’s just another memorable moment in a great CIS career for Mucha. Last season he was awarded the CIS goaltender of the year award; he became the first goaltender in Canada West history to be credited with a goal, and he set a CIS record for consecutive shutouts with five. In fact, Mucha’s shutout streak (335.06 minutes) is the longest in modern-day play for the CIS, the WHL, and the NHL, but it falls short of the NCAA record of 375:01, but is longer than the modern-day NHL record of 332:01 set in 2003-04 by Brian Boucher of Phoenix.