Philipp Grubauer continues to build on his impressive rookie year, as this week the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) named him the Reebok Hockey Rookie of the Month for January. Grubauer played in nine of the South Carolina Stingray’s 13 games in January, going 7-1-0 with one shutout, a 1.66 Goals Against Average, and a .935 Save Percentage during that span. The Stingrays went 11-2-0 in January.
Earlier this season, Grubauer was named Reebok Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the Week (Oct. 31-Nov. 6), and was the ECHL’s Goaltender of the Month for November.
Grubauer should expect another heavy workload in February — goaltending partner Daren Machesney sustained a groin injury during a game on Sunday, and will be out for an “extended period of time,” according to Stingrays trainer D.J. Church. Coach Spencer Carbery later confirmed that Machesney is expected to miss six to eight weeks.
While Machesney is on the mend, the Stingrays dealt for goaltender Billy Sauer from the Florida Everblades Wednesday in exchange for future considerations. The Stingrays opted for a trade instead of signing an emergency back-up goaltender due to the length of time Machesney is expected to be out.
“The injury was such that we couldn’t rely on an emergency back-up for a long period of time,” Carbery told the Charleston Post & Courier. “We’ve seen Billy play and he’s someone that we’re confident can get the job done when he’s called upon.”
Grubauer is expected to get most of the starts while Machesney heals, but luckily for the Stingrays, Grubauer relishes pressure situations. “I prepare to play every game like I’m the starter,” Grubauer said this week.