I had a conversation with an associate of mine last season concerning the lack of a veteran netminder for the BDevils. At the time, the suggestion he/she provided was free agent Zane McIntyre. That could be a huge addition as my thought process went into an overload of the possibility of landing such a quality, veteran goaltender. What we conversed back then came to fruition today, as McIntyre is here and has made an impact in a short span for the Binghamton Devils.
It has been a good start for the native of Thief River Falls, MN, as the BDevils are in a playoff run for the final quarter of the 2019-’20 season. He was traded straight up for Louis Domingue to the Vancouver Canucks during the NHL trade deadline. At 6’ 2”, 206 lbs McIntyre will share the net with rookie prospect Gilles Senn, no slouch himself at 6’ 5”, 191 lbs.
A former University of North Dakota product where McIntyre participated through the years of 2012-’15 with a 58-24-9 record, 2.16 GAA, 0.925 SV% in 92 appearances for the Division I Fighting Hawks. He had a standout season in 2014-’15 ( 29-10-3, 2.05 GAA, 0.929 SV% ) and as a result with numerous award mentions that included;
- All-NCHC First All-Star Team
- NCHC Goaltender of the Year
- NCAA (West) Second All-American Team
- Mike Richter Award – NCAA Top Collegiate Goalie
- Hobey Baker Award Finalist
McIntyre was previously drafted in the 6th round by the Boston Bruins in 2010 and #165 overall as he soon left his Junior semester and signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Bruins in the off-season of 2015 and who could blame him. That was just an outstanding recognition listed. He then began his pro career with the AHL Providence Bruins in the fall.
From 2015 - 2019 while tending goal for the Providence Bruins, McIntyre posted an 86-50-12 record in 155 games with an overall average of 2.45 GAA, 0.910 SV%.
In the 2016-’17 season, Providence reached the post-season after finishing in 4th place of the Atlantic Division as he helped carry the Bruins to the third round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. In 16 games, McIntyre posted an 8-7-0 record, with a 2.57 GAA, 0.906 SV% as the Syracuse Crunch advanced 4-1 before eventually losing out to the Grand Rapids Griffins in the Calder Cup finals.
McIntyre then left the Bruins organization as a free agent and was signed to a one-year, two-way contract with the Vancouver Canucks on July 1, 2019. The new start saw immediate results as the Utica Comets ran out of the gate with an 8-0 record with McIntyre in goal for five of those contests in October. But ultimately, he ended up with an overall 11-10-2, 3.16 GAA, 0.894 SV% record after 24 games for the Comets before being traded to the NJ Devils.
I asked Ben Birnell of the Observer-Dispatch, reporter who covers the Utica Comets, on his thoughts as to why McIntyre was moved at the trade deadline;
“Zane had a bit of an up and down season after that strong October. And, Mike DiPietro kind of seized the goaltending reins since about late January with his play. He’s been solid for the Comets. As for *why* the Canucks decided to trade McIntyre for Domingue, I don’t know for sure. It is possible they just felt Domingue was a better option for now with Jacob Markstrom out.”
“I should also add that it seems Vancouver wants DiPietro to continue to play a big role with the Comets in this playoff push. That’s why he wasn’t called up to serve as backup to Thatcher Demko.”
McIntyre made his NHL debut as a rookie playing for the Boston Bruins on October 26, 2016, where he made 26 saves in a 5-2 loss to the NYRangers.
Since his relocation to the Southern Tier, it has been a breath of fresh air along with a new scenario that has paid dividends for the 27-year-old goalie in his 5th professional season. McIntyre is 3-0-0, and a sizzling 0.33 GAA, 0.990 SV% while making 97 saves on 98 shot attempts, including two shutouts that have helped regain hopes for the Binghamton faithful.
McIntyre has a quick glove, gives up little rebounds, and likes to handle the puck outside the crease as you’ll see him chasing down loose pucks more often than not, creating a sixth player option offensively as well defensively.
However, the focus remains on prospect Gilles Senn, as he has been fabulous in his development and should benefit from a veteran status of McIntyre while in Binghamton. But the big picture gives the BDevils a luxury in a formidable 1-2 punch in net for the final stretch run and possibly a bid in the post-season and beyond.
So there’s some playoff experience that will benefit the Binghamton Devils down the stretch and I for one, am thrilled. It’s been quite the journey, but this team has some serious depth and could go a long way that begins in goal, and Zane McIntyre seems to fit that role.
Tracey’s Updates From Adirondack
If the Adirondack Thunder want to earn a spot in the Kelly Cup Playoffs come early April, it may take a miracle to do so.
After a 5-4 loss at home to Worcester on Tuesday night, the team sits in fifth place in the ECHL’s North Division with a record of 22-28-8-5 and 57 points, 11 points behind fourth place Maine, with just 9 games remaining on the season.
A recent five game losing streak—including a three-game sweep last week in Newfoundland—has severely damaged the Thunder’s postseason hopes. Any combination of Thunder non-wins and Mariner victories totaling 8 will eliminate Adirondack from reaching the playoffs for the first time since moving to Glens Falls prior to the 2015-16 season.
The current North Division standings after Tuesday night’s games:
1. x-Newfoundland: 60 GP, 42-17-0-1, 85 points
2. x-Reading: 60 GP, 37-17-5-1, 80 points
3. Brampton: 62 GP, 34-25-3-0, 71 points
4. Maine: 62 GP, 32-26-3-1, 68 points
5. Adirondack: 63 GP, 22-28-8-5, 57 points
6. Worcester: 61 GP, 21-36-4-0, 46 points (Eliminated)
The Thunder will take on Brampton in a home and home set, traveling to Canada on Friday night then hosting the Beast on St. Patrick’s Day.
A Weekend of Milestones
The last two games of the Thunder’s recent homestand were, in a few ways, record-setting.
Let’s start with Friday, February 28th. It’s a night Matt Salhany will not forget anytime soon.
In a 6-5 Thunder shootout win over Reading, Salhany put on a show. It all started midway through the first period with a power play goal, cutting a 2-0 Royals lead in half. After Reading jumped out to a 4-1 lead at the 7:57 mark of the second period, Salhany and Ludvig Larsson scored 11 seconds apart to bring the Thunder back to within one. After the Royals took a 5-3 lead early in the third, Salhany single-handedly rallied the Thunder to tie the game up, completing the hat trick 6:23 into the third, then picking up his fourth goal to tie the game at 5 with 4:48 remaining in regulation. He wasn’t done yet, though, as he scored a fifth time in the first round of the ensuing shootout, helping the Thunder to a come from behind 6-5 win.
Salhany became the second Thunder skater to record four goals in one game. The line of John Edwardh, Mike Szmatula, and Salhany combined for nine points, with Edwardh adding two assists and Szmatula adding three helpers.
The next night, February 29th, may have been a 4-2 Thunder loss, but a record was set. The largest crowd in Adirondack’s 5-year ECHL history—5,484 people—witnessed the game. The Cool Insuring Arena—formerly known as the Glens Falls Civic Center—has a seating capacity of exactly 4,794, but can fit up to 1,000 more standing room only around the concourse.
Charlie Curti (camp invite): Curti has 11 goals and 20 assists in 56 games. He has at least one point in six of his last eight outings (all assists) and is one of four rookies to crack the ECHL’s top 20 in defensemen scoring list.
James Henry (camp invite): The Thunder captain has 8 goals and 24 assists in 50 games. He returned to the lineup on February 28th after missing three weeks due to injury.
Ludvig Larsson (AHL deal): Larsson has 5 goals and 8 assists in 19 games. Unfortunately, upcoming surgery for a broken hand suffered in Friday’s contest in Newfoundland has ended his season.
Ara Nazarian (AHL deal): Nazarian continues to lead all first year Thunder players in scoring, with 12 goals and 20 assists in 54 games.
Nikita Popugaev (AHL deal): Popugaev has 9 goals and 16 assists in 47 games. He was placed on injured reserve as of March 1st, missing the last four contests.
Matt Salhany (camp invite): Salhany’s recent hot streak has moved him into the team lead in scoring, with a career high 26 goals and 25 assists in 62 games. He has 13 points in his last 9 appearances (8 G, 5 A).
Michael Sdao (camp invite): After returning from a late October concussion on February 7th, Sdao has not missed a game. He has two assists in 20 games and is the active team leader with 56 penalty minutes. (Defenseman Gabriel Verpaelst, who was traded in January, is the current leader with 64.)
Colby Sissons (ELC): Sissons has 7 goals and 23 assists in 48 games. He scored in each of his first two games since returning from Binghamton on February 29th.
Kelly Summers (PTO): Summers, who returned to the team on Monday after sitting as an extra defenseman for Binghamton, has 9 goals and 15 assists in 44 games. In his first game back on Tuesday, Summers had a goal and an assist against Worcester. Fun fact: without Summers in the lineup, the Thunder are 3-10-3-3, with both his AHL stints coinciding with extended winless skids.
Ryan Walker (camp invite): Walker has 8 goals and 11 assists in 49 games. He has two assists in his last two games, his first points since the southern road swing where he had three goals in three games.
Evan Cormier (ELC): Cormier is 3-5-5-1 in 15 appearances, with a 3.50 GAA and .885 save percentage. He is still winless since December 30th, going 0-4-3 in 8 games since, with a few trips to Binghamton in between. In his last start on Saturday, he gave up 4 goals on 18 shots in the first period against Newfoundland and was pulled. He also took the loss in game 1 of the three-game set against the Growlers on Wednesday, stopping 34 of 38 shots in defeat.
Eamon McAdam (AHL deal): McAdam is 15-19-2-2 with a 3.25 GAA and .893 save percentage in 40 games. After winning three out of five starts during the late February homestand, he went 0-2 with 10 GA during the three-game sweep at the hands of his former team, the Growlers, who he helped win a Kelly Cup during the 2018-19 season. His 19 losses are tied for second among all ECHL goaltenders, and he ranks third in minutes played with 2,324.
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