New Flame Goalie

By pbadmin

In early January ’98 the Saint John Flames looked in trouble. With goaltending problems in Calgary that sent Tyler Moss to the NHL and a knee injury that sidelined J-S Giguere, the flames looked in trouble. Then team scouts pulled an incredible little Russian rabbit out of their hat. That goalie was playing in the UHLs Port Huron Border Cats and was Igor Karpenko, Karpenko got his first shot, coming in after Cory Cadden was pulled with the flames in a 5-4 loss in Copps Coloseum, then the team came home and hosted the Albany River Rats (and some members of this mailing list were in attendance). Albany looked calm and had visions of stealing an easy 2 points from the home team. Then the little russian pulled his magic off, and shut out the powerful Rats and sent many fans home talking about the teams 2nd shutout of the season and some goalie from no-where. Game 2 saw the flames host the Fredericton Canadiens and Karpenko looked incredible once again, the shutout streak remained intact until there was only 8.7 seconds remaining in the 3rd period. Karpenko set an incredible shutout record for the flames at 119minutes and 51.3 seconds. He wasn’t about to leave that quickly, the next night the flames hosted the Portland Pirates and “Little Iggy” did it again shutting the Pirates out 3-0.

So where is this going, shortly after his performance Karpenko was recalled by the UHL’s parent club (Las Vegas of the IHL) and the fans were left wondering…what if. Now that question may be answered, the Flames are in the process of signing Karpenko to a contract and although he will be assigned to the flames new ECHL affiliate in Johnstown, Pa. he will be on the next flight through Toronto to Saint John whenever he is required. He may even start the year in Saint John, depending how he does at the flames camp, which is just over 5 weeks away, fans may get the answer to that..what if.