Rookie pro Kevin Regan needs some ice time, and the Gwinnett Gladiators need to win some games to ensure they make the ECHL playoffs. That made Regan’s assignment to the Gladiators by the Boston Bruins a good match.
In Providence, Regan has played in just 14 games this year, posting a 3.33 goals against and a .875 save percentage behind starter Tuukka Rask. Regan is coming off a strong career at the University of New Hampshire. The 24-year-old was a ninth-round pick of the Bruins in 2003.
Regan essentially replaces Kevin Nastiuk with the Gladiators, who was assigned from Providence at the beginning of the year. Regan is expected to return to Providence after the end of next weekend, according to Gladiators head coach Jeff Pyle.
Regan was assigned down on Friday, and Pyle tossed Regan right into the fire. He played the team’s next game, a full-house match-up against the league-leading Florida Everblades on Saturday night.
"An American League goalie should be able to handle it here," Pyle said. "I thought he played well."
Two of the four goals Regan gave up were breakaways, and another was an uncovered trailer in the slot. The wide-open style the Gladiators play is evidenced by the fact that none of the five goaltenders they’ve used this year have broken the .900 save percentage barrier.
Hockey’s Future talked to Regan after Saturday’s game as he rode an exercise bike and watched the Atlanta Thrashers on TV.
HF: Is this your first time in the south?
KR: I’ve been to Florida two times, but never Georgia. I’m looking forward to looking around a little bit.
HF: It’s not much warmer down here, is it? (around 30)
KR: It’s still warmer than it is back home — it’s about 5 degrees out.
HF: Pyle said you’re here for about 10 days?
KR: Yeah, we kind of had a soft schedule in Providence and I haven’t been playing a lot since Thanksgiving. They thought it would be good for me to come down here and get some games under my belt.
HF: How many days had it been since you played?
KR: I played on Sunday, but just three games since Thanksgiving. Sunday was an emergency start — I wasn’t really supposed to play.
HF: Were you starting to feel rusty?
KR: Yeah, definitely, I think it showed a little bit in my game and the coaching staff made the decision with me to get some games. You practice a lot, you skate every day and you work on it, but it doesn’t always transfer to game-time experience.
HF: You played against (fellow Gladiators goaltender) Joe Fallon in college.
KR: Yeah, college, juniors, been playing against him a long time. It’s the first time I met him face to face, sort of funny. Put a face and personality to the mask and pads.
HF: Was he tough to play against?
KR: He was always tough. He always played well against us. UNH and Vermont games were always battles, always good games. Never one-sided. He had a great career out there, broke a couple of Tim Thomas’ records — it says a lot about what kind of goalie he is.
HF: I asked Fallon about playing you in college and he said he won the last game.
KR: He did. Beat me on my own senior night (laughs). I love that. But we won the season series, so I can take that from him.
HF: Do you find yourself bored this year with no school work to do?
KR: Not complaining, that’s for sure. You got really busy with all the school work you had to do. I’m enjoying it for now.
HF: Are you reading any good books?
KR: Right now I’m reading Liar’s Poker, a Wall Street book.
HF: You got called up for a Boston practice recently, how was that?
KR: It was a lot of fun. I grew up in South Boston so I’ve been to camp. Practice was pretty school and I don’t take that for granted. Guys were pretty nice to me, I’ve been hanging around in the summer so I know a lot of the training staff, coaches and a couple of the guys so they made it pretty easy on me.