Friday, April 20, 2018

Ex Viper Hammond Gets Start In Goal For Avs In Game 5:

Former Vernon Vipers goaltender Andrew Hammond will get the start in goal for the Colorado Avalanche in tonight's Game 5 vs the Nashville Predators.

Hammond has played the past five seasons with the Ottawa Senators/American Hockey League Binghamton Senators before being traded to the Colorado Avalanche November 5th 2017. Hammond has spent this season in the American Hockey League with the Belleville Senators, San Antonio Rampage & NHL Colorado Avalanche.

After four seasons with Bowling Green University, Hammond signed his first pro contract with the Ottawa Senators on March 20th 2013. Hammond attended the Chicago Blackhawks 2012 development camp and Ottawa Senators 2013 development camp.

Hammond made his NHL debut  February 27th 2014 vs the Detroit Red Wings. Hammond was called up that night from the American Hockey League as the backup for Senators starting goaltender Robin Lehner. Hammond would replace Lehner late in the 2nd period who was pulled after giving up six goals on fifteen Detroit shots. Hammond would finish the game playing just over thirty four minutes stopping all eleven Red Wing shots in a 6-1 loss to Detroit. Hammond made his first career NHL start February 18th 2015 vs the Montreal Canadians, recorded 42 saves in a 4-2 win over the Habs for his first career NHL victory. 

Hammond played parts of two years in Vernon (2007-2009) after coming over in a trade with the Surrey Eagles during the 2007-08 season. In 52 regular season games with the Vipers Hammond posted a (33-15-1) record recording 6 shutouts.

Andrew Hammond's Player Profile:

This is posted on the Avalanche website:

Avs Confident In Goaltender Andrew Hammond

Netminder will make his third career postseason start

April 19 2018

by Scott MacDonald /

From the team's third-string goaltender to its starting netminder in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Andrew Hammond will be between the pipes for the Colorado Avalanche when it takes on the Nashville Predators in Friday's Game 5 matchup at Bridgestone Arena.

With goaltender Jonathan Bernier ruled out with a lower-body injury and Semyon Varlamov still on the shelf with a knee injury he suffered in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks on March 30, Colorado will turn to its confident No. 3 goalie in must-win matchup.

"It's a great opportunity for Hammond," said head coach Jared Bednar. "He's been working hard since he's been here."

Hammond will take on the challenge of trying to keep the Avs' postseason hopes alive in Nashville as the team finds itself down 3-1 in the best-of-seven series.

Hammond, who was acquired from the Ottawa Senators in a trade on Nov. 5 and has been with the Avalanche off and on throughout the season, came into Wednesday's Game 4 for the start of the third period after Jonathan Bernier left with a lower-body injury. With his team down 3-0, Hammond pitched an eight-save, third-period shutout for Colorado en route to what turned out to be a thrilling finish in the 3-2 loss.

"You know it's not an ideal situation to go into but in the end we came up a little bit short, but for me to get my feet wet in the series was important," Hammond said of Game 4. "Overall, I think it helps going into tomorrow night."

Before entering the game on Wednesday, the netminder only saw the ice once for the Avalanche, making 33 saves in a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on March 28. And before that, the goaltender hadn't seen any NHL action since Feb. 7, 2017.

In total, Hammond has started in 49 regular-season contests in the NHL, going 27-15-6 over that span with a 2.31 goals-against average and .923 save percentage.

Affectionately nicknamed "The Hamburglar," Hammond burst on to the NHL scene in 2015 as a 25-year-old rookie. He had himself a phenomenal first season with Ottawa, posting a 20-1-2 record with a 1.79 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage.

The fifth-year pro isn't all that unfamiliar with postseason play either. Hammond started two games for the Senators in its first-round matchup against the Montreal Canadians during his rookie year, posting a .914 save percentage after stopping 35 shots in his Game 1 start and 39 shots in a Game 2 overtime thriller.

The pressures of playoff hockey isn't new to the netminder and when he leads the team onto the ice at Bridgestone Arena on Friday, he'll be confident in the group of guys in front of him to help him out.

"When I got here it was pretty evident there was a lot of character in the locker room… It's just a team where there's no give-up in them," Hammond said. "I've been really impressed since Day 1, since I've been here, the fight that they have in that locker room."

Hammond's confidence in the team in front of him was reciprocated by his teammates on Thursday.

"We're all excited to have him," said veteran forward Blake Comeau. "He had one start for us and played outstanding for us… We're confident that he'll step up for us, and we're excited for Game 5."

"We've got a lot of confidence in him," echoed rookie forward Alexander Kerfoot. "It's not like he's just been up here for a little bit, he's been around the team for a while now. When he's gotten his opportunity here and other places in the league, he's done a good job. So we have a lot of confidence in him, and it shouldn't change the way we approach Game 5."

While excited for the opportunity, the stoic, even-keeled backstop is more focused on the result of the game. 

"At the end of the day, it won't really matter unless I prepare the right way and do the right things to make sure I'm ready to play… My focus is just on getting ready for tomorrow night and making sure I'm ready to play a good game," said Hammond.

"You always want to play meaningful hockey, and I think tomorrow night it doesn't get more meaningful than that so from that standpoint, I think it's very exciting to get that opportunity."

If Hammond and the Avalanche can get the win at Bridgestone Arena, they can force a Game 6 on Sunday back in their friendly confines in the Mile High City.

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