Former Vernon Vipers goaltender Andrew Hammond made 44 saves picking up his first career playoff victory in Game 5 Friday 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.
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This is posted on the Avalanche website:
Hammond Shines In Game 5 To Extend Series
Netminder Andrew Hammond made 44 saves in the Game 5 victory
by Callie Parmele @CallieParmele / ColoradoAvalanche.com
NASHVILLE, Tenn.--The Colorado Avalanche has had a next man up mentality all season, and goaltender Andrew Hammond was the embodiment of that attitude Friday night.
With Semyon Varlamov and Jonathan Bernier both out with injuries, Hammond made his second career start for the Avalanche and stopped 44 of the 45 shots he faced, setting a new career high (regular and postseason combined).
Hammond led Colorado to a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena in Game 5 of the clubs' first-round series of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Surrey, British Columbia, native is the first Colorado goaltender to post a performance of 40 or more saves in a playoff game since Varlamov made 45 stops in Game 3 of the Avs' first-round series against the Minnesota Wild almost four years ago to the day on April 21, 2014.
"I was seeing [the puck] pretty well tonight, and for the most part I thought guys did a really good job letting me see pucks through lanes and boxing out," said Hammond. "And when it wasn't, you know you just got back to your roots. I have said it before, I think I am more of a battler as a goalie than necessarily technically perfect, but you will take it however it comes."
He was especially strong in the third period when Nashville sent 19 pucks at the Colorado net.
"He comes in, he is an experienced guy. I loved his demeanor the last couple days when he knew he was going to take over," Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar said of Hammond. "I gained some confidence in him just the way he handled the last couple days, I know our guys did as well and everyone is hoping for the best.
"Good for him, I mean he comes in here and the shots were tight and the chances were tight after two periods, but when they opened it up in the third period there--they had 20-plus shots and a bunch of real good looks--he was strong. The only one they got was off the rebound that hit him in the chin pad, so good for him. I am happy for him. I am proud of him, and he has waited a long time this year for this opportunity and he is making the most of it."
Hammond was acquired by the Avalanche on Nov. 5 in a three-team trade involving Colorado, Nashville and the Ottawa Senators. He served as either Varlamov or Bernier's backup for much of the regular season but only made it into the crease for one game for the Avs. He made his Avalanche debut against the Philadelphia Flyers on March 28 and stopped 31 shots in a 2-1 loss.
He stopped all eight shots he faced on Wednesday in the third period of Game 4, but the contest in Nashville was his first NHL postseason start since April 17, 2015 at the Montreal Canadiens.
The game was scoreless through the first 50 minutes, and the Predators struck first after the puck bounced off Nashville's Nick Bonino's skate and just found room inside the right post.
However, the Avs kept pushing and scored twice in the last five minutes of the game to earn their second victory of the best-of-seven series.
"[Hammond was] just so calm and steady all night long, and the one they do get in at the end, it's a tough bounce and a good rebound shot and it goes in off their skate," Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog said. "But even after that, he is so calm and just keeps working, keeps playing. With a 2-1 lead there with a minute and a half left, they found some scoring chances and he was just so solid. It's fun to see."
Landeskog got Colorado on the board when he buried a Nathan MacKinnon pass in front, and Sven Andrighetto gave the Avs the lead with his first career postseason goal less than three minutes later.
Nashville pulled its goalie for the extra attacker, but Hammond remained sharp in the closing seconds of the game to seal his first playoff win.
For Colorado, the season was on the line as the team went into Game 5 behind 3-1 in the series, but the extended the campaign for another outing.
"I mean I said it yesterday, you want to play meaningful hockey and when the games mean more, I think I try to take my game to another level and obviously I was able to do that tonight," Hammond said after the matchup. "The guys kept battling, didn't waver even when we get down 1-0 late. To win it in regulation, it just speaks to the character we have here and the no quit. That's the same approach I expect for Game 6 now, keep grinding away.
"It was obviously a lot of fun and we are excited to have another game. We didn't want this to be the last one of the season, and I think to a man we all did whatever we could to make sure that wasn't the case."