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Senators’ Goalie Joey Daccord Said, “I’m Gonna Win Tonight” and Did

Young Ottawa Senators goalie Joey Daccord wasn’t even supposed to start, but he did. And he won. What has his background been?

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It’s been a while coming, but the Ottawa Senators’ young goalie Joey Daccord won his first NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs by a 4-3 score.  

Related: Trade Rumor: Is Senators and Derek Stepan Marriage Already Doomed?

Daccord Shows His Emotions After His First Win

In the interview below immediately after the game, Daccord shows how emotional it must be for a young goalie to actually win and then discuss his first career NHL victory. It’s a bit of a longish interview – just under three minutes – but it’s a great interview to listen to, especially if you care about the human-ness of the young men who play NHL hockey as a profession.

In this interview, the Sportsnet’s Kyle Bukauskas speaks with the young Senators’ goalie following his first career NHL win when he stopped 33-of-36 shots against the top team in the North Division – the Maple Leafs.

Daccord’s NHL Career: So Far

Daccord got his first NHL start almost two years ago against the Buffalo Sabres in April 2019. He had just signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Senators, and his first start was in the second half of his team’s back-to-back games. He gave up five goals on 40 shots and lost. 

Fresh from an NCAA career at Arizona State University, he’d put together a 21-12-1 record with a goal-against average of 2.36, a save percentage of .926, and seven shutouts during his junior (third) season with Arizona State in 2018-19.

In October 2020, just before the start of this current season, the Senators re-signed Daccord to a three-year contract. For the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons, the contract is a two-way contract. For 2020-21, he’ll make $700,000 in the NHL this first season and earn $175,000 at the AHL level. During the 2021-22 season, he’ll earn $750,000 in in the NHL and $300,000 in the AHL. During his contract’s final year (2022-23), Daccord is on a one-way deal and will earn $800,000.

Senators general manager Pierre Dorion reported at the time of his signing, “We’ve been very pleased with Joey’s development. He’s a big, athletic goalie and an excellent puck handler who exudes the necessary confidence to compete at the highest level. He’s become a valuable asset within our pool of goaltending prospects.”

Daccord’s First NHL Win Was on a Surprise Start

As you can hear in the video, Daccord was not supposed to start the game and only did when starting goalie Matt Murray tweaked something during the warm-ups. Yet, he came in and stoppsed 33 of 36 shots in Sunday’s game to frustrate the Maple Leafs.

Daccord was staked to a lead, when his Senators’ teammates scored two pairs of two-goals during the game. Daccord’s job was to make that 4-1 lead stand, and he did. The last five minutes of the third period was a bit frantic, but the Senators – as a team – gutted it out.

For the Maple Leafs, it was lots of rally but not quite enough goals. Until tonight, Daccord has three losses on his record. However, after tonight his record improved to 1-3-0 in six games on the season. He now has a goals-against-average of 3.44 and a save percentage of .897.

Will Daccord Get Another Start Soon?

Will Daccord start another game soon? Much depends upon Murray’s injury. If it’s serious, the 24-year-old Swiss-American from Boston will likely get another start quite soon.

By the way, Kevin Mandolese served as the backup goalie for tonight’s game. The lanky 6-foot-4 20-year-old from Quebec only has one professional start with the Belleville Senators this season. He played junior with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles for four seasons.

I wonder: will Mandolese have a chance for his first NHL victory this season? Obviously, strange things can happen with the Senators this season.

Related: Senators Coach D.J. Smith Struggling to Balance Young vs. Veteran Roster

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