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For one night, at least, the Flyers finally have a reason to be optimistic about the future of their goaltending position.
The best prospect the team has trotted out between the pipes in basically a couple of decades made his NHL debut against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday, with Carter Hart stopping 20 of the 22 shots he faced en route to a win and a first-star selection in his first career start.
As poised and calm as the 20-year-old was during the surely nerve-racking start in front of a usually hostile Philly home crowd, the same can’t be said about his mother, who was essentially an emotionally wreck (in the absolute best way possible) throughout the contest and stole the show almost as much as her son did throughout the night.
Her son’s first career save, for instance, left her in tears:
Carter Hart's mom is crying so now we're crying.
She was overwhelmed with emotion watching her son make his NHL debut ❤️ pic.twitter.com/zWoNiFCvSp
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) December 19, 2018
After Hart was named the game’s first star, well, that was another proud moment for the parents of the top goaltending prospect in hockey.
In his first big-league post game interview following his debut, Hart said the thought of his mom crying in the stands was about to leave a little dust in his eyes as well.
“Now I’m going to get emotional too,” he said.
After all the fireworks (and waterworks), father, mother and son got to reunite in the Flyer’s lounge area following the game and, you guessed it, the tears continued to flow.
20 year old Carter Hart is youngest Flyers goalie ever to win NHL debut
His parents came from Canada to see his debut. They were emotional seeing him for the first time after the game
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) December 19, 2018
Aside from being the youngest Flyers netminder ever to win his first NHL game, Hart also became the youngest to grab a W in his debut since Carey Price in 2007.
Flyers fans have seen six (yes, six) different goalies start games for the team this year, and all the excitement toward Hart’s future is certainly warranted. He entered Tuesday as the consensus top goaltending prospect league-wide, coming off a season in which he posted the WHL’s best save percentage (.947) in more than 20 years.
He was also named Western Hockey League goaltender of the year each of the last three seasons (a record) and is the only player to ever win the Canadian Hockey League’s goalie of the year award in two straight seasons.
I believe that is what we call a solid resume.
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