Maple Leafs goalie Joseph Woll makes NHL postseason history


Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Joseph Woll of Dardenne Prairie, Missouri made National Hockey League history by becoming the first goalie ever to win an elimination game as his first three Stanley Cup Playoff victories. He accomplished the feat on Thursday in a 2-1 Maple Leafs win over the Boston Bruins. With the game six win at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, the Maple Leafs tied the best out of seven Eastern Conference First Round Series at three games apiece, and will now play the Bruins on Saturday night at the Toronto Dominion Garden in Boston, Massachusetts for the seventh and deciding game. (That last sentence is not a misprint. The Bruins do play in a home arena named after a Toronto bank).

Look at the three Woll wins

Woll’s first playoff win came in game four of the second round of the 2023 Eastern Conference Playoff Series versus the Florida Panthers. Woll replaced Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov of Magnitogorsk, Russia in game three of the series, but lost 3-2 on an overtime winner by Sam Reinhart of West Vancouver, British Columbia. In the fourth game of the series with the Panthers leading 3-0, Woll made 24 saves on 25 shots in a 2-1 Toronto win. Florida closed out the series with a game five 3-2 overtime win. Nick Cousins of Belleville, Ontario scored the game-winning goal.

In the first round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Bruins were leading the Maple Leafs 3-0 heading into the third period of game four when Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe made a change. He replaced Samsonov with Woll. The American netminder made five saves on all five shot attempts in the final frame, and gained Keefe’s trust for the fifth game of the series, a 2-1 Toronto win. In the fifth game, Woll made 27 saves on 28 shots, while Matthew Knies of Phoenix, Arizona scored the overtime winner. Then on Thursday, the Maple Leafs won by an identical 2-1 score as game five. William Nylander scored twice, while Woll made 22 saves on 23 shots. Boston’s lone goal came less than a second left.


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