Photo courtesy of Rich Stieglitz/Bridgeport Sound Tigers
While the New York Islanders are currently reaping the benefits of developing two young NHL caliber goaltenders, Rick DiPietro and Wade Dubielewicz, in Bridgeport, the Sound Tigers found themselves short in talent between the pipes when Dubielewicz got the call up to the parent team just before the 2007 playoffs and stuck. Over the summer, the team made goaltending one of its top priorities, and from the look of things, the Sound Tigers have come up with a true diamond in the rough.
Joey MacDonald has a junior pedigree, having come up through the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League pipeline with the Halifax Moosheads, followed by a stint in the Ontario Hockey League with the Peterborough Petes.
After a short stint with the Todedo Storm, where he posted just 12 wins in 38 starts for a weak ECHL team, Joey Mac stepped up to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL where is pro game gelled. In 2005-06, he played in 32 games, won 17, lost 9, made 789 saves and had a saves percentage of .885.
Last year was spent between the AHL and NHL, where Joey Mac got his first taste of major league hockey. He made his NHL debut on Oct. 19, 2006, with the Detroit Red Wings as a replacement for Chris Osgood, who had let in three power play goals in the game's first 15 minutes. He picked up his first win came on Feb. 11 in a 7-4 Red Wings victory over the Calgary Flames.
But soon thereafter, MacDonald was released by the Red Wings. The Boston Bruins quickly claimed him, and he stopped 26 shots in his first start with Boston, a 4-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils. When Boston released him at the end of the season, the Islanders quickly stepped in and offered Joey Mac a home between the pipes at the Arena at Harbor Yard. His overall record in the NHL was 3-7 (with 2 overtime losses), a 3.12 goals-against average and an .884 saves percentage.
He comes to Bridgeport ready, willing and waiting for a call to the big time should the his presence be needed on Long Island. In the meantime, Joey MacDonald, as well as backup goalie Mike Morrison, give the Sound Tigers the type of one-two punch in net needed to make a run at the Calder Cup.
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH ... JOEY MACDONALD
Birthdate: Feb. 7, 1980 in Pictou, Nova Scotia
Height: 6 feet 1inches
Weight: 198 pounds
On the Jersey: No. 35
Favorite Team Growing Up: Toronto Maple Leafs
Favorite Hockey Player Growing Up: Curtis Joseph
What I Do Over the Summer: Farm
What's Playing on the iPod? Carrie Underwood
What Joey Would Be If He Wasn't a Hockey Player: Landscaper
Joey Mac By the Numbers:
.936 - Grand Rapids Griffins Team Record: Highest Save Pct. in a Season
70 - Grand Rapids Griffins Team Record: Most Career Goaltending Wins
14 - Grand Rapids Griffins Team Record: Most Career Shutouts