Alex Stalock knows his NHL debut will be fleeting. The former UMD All-American goalie from South St. Paul was called up to the San Jose Sharks on Monday to be used Wednesday as a one-game backup to Antti Niemi in a road game against the L.A. Kings at the Staples Center. San Jose starting goalie Antero Niittymaki injured his groin last week and returns from the injured reserve list Thursday.
Stalock, 23, has been the starter for Worcester (Mass.) in the American Hockey League the past two years. He arrived in San Jose on Monday and practiced with the team Tuesday before an hour flight to Los Angeles.
â€œItâ€™s going to be a thrill to go through a day-in-the-life of an NHL player, to get a grasp of what itâ€™s like,â€ Stalock said Tuesday from Los Angeles. â€œBecause I had been in a couple of (San Jose) training camps, some of the guys came up and shook hands before practice, and then it was time to get to work.â€
This season Stalock is 17-17-4 with a .907 save percentage and 2.65 goals-against average. He left UMD in 2009, after three seasons, as the school career leader in save percentage (.910), goals-against average (2.48) and shutouts (nine).
Heâ€™ll be back with Worcester for home games Friday and Saturday against Bridgeport and Providence, with his team in the midst of a battle for an American Hockey League playoff spot.
Minnesota Duluth freshman winger J.T. Brown was named WCHA offensive player of the week for his performance in last week’s series at Michigan Tech. The league release isÂ here.
One of college hockey’s good guys — Michigan State coach Rick Comley – announced Tuesday he’s retiring at the end of the season. He coached in the WCHA at Northern Michigan. A Lansing (Mich.) State Journal story is here.