(Courtesy of the Memphis RiverKings) SOUTHAVEN---Memphis RiverKings Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Kevin McClelland said early on that he wanted to improve the teams goaltending. He thinks they did just that as the team announced today that they have signed 2005 All-Star netminder and former New Mexico Scorpion Miguel Beaudry (BO-dree).
This definitely improves our goaltending situation, McClelland said. He is an all-star caliber goaltender with great credentials. We heard nothing but good things from people around the league about Miguel. He has proven he can be a top-notch goaltender in this league.
Beaudry will be entering his third professional season in 2005-2006. He became a free agent when the New Mexico franchise ceased operations for one year to wait for the construction of their new arena in Rio Rancho.
To be honest, it was an easy decision to sign with Memphis, Beaudry said. Coach McClelland made me feel like I was really wanted there and the fact that they have won two championships in the recent past is probably the most exciting part for me. I just want to go there and win a championship.
In his two seasons in Albuquerque, the native of Verner, Ontario had a record of 39-41-7, a 3.04 goals- against average and a .913 save percentage. Last season , the 23 year-old Beaudry was 24-24-5 with a 3.11 G.A.A. and a .911 save percentage for a team that ranked 14th in the C.H.L. in shots against with an average of 35.45. Meanwhile, the RiverKings ranked 16th with an average of 36.28 shots given up per game.
Beaudry registered one shutout, a 6-0 win at Austin on February 13, while appearing in 55 games for the Scorpions last season. Among goalies, his 55 appearances were second only to San Angelo Gorilla Scott Reids 56 appearances. At one point last season, Beaudry started 15 straight games and 25 of the Scorpions final 26 games. He started 2004-2005 with a 10-4-1 record and was selected to his first All-Star Game in January where he was the winning goaltender for the Northern Conference. He played the entire third period, overtime and shoot-out.
RiverKings fans will like this stat: In his three career games against the teams chief rival, the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, Beaudry is 1-2-0 but has a 1.35 G.A.A. and a .964 save percentage. The RiverKings and Mudbugs faced each other 11 times last season and more than likely a similar number of times this season.
As far as his goaltending style, Beaudry describes himself as a solid position goaltender.
I feel that I have good athleticism. I also think that a big strength is my preparation and mental approach to the game, he said. Because I am not a real big guy (510,185), I have to rely more on my positioning and athleticism.
He hopes that style will lend its hand in the RiverKings success this season as he makes his move to the Mid-South.
I will miss the dry heat of Albuquerque, but am looking forward to playing in Memphis, the 2005 all-star said. I know that both New Mexico and Memphis had similar seasons with both playing a more run-and-gun style and not playing much defense. From what Mac (McClelland) says I am sure things will definitely be different this year and I am excited to be a part of that.
Beaudry had a strong rookie campaign with the Scorpions in 2003-2004 with a 2.93 G.A.A., a .916 save percentage and a 15-17-2 record. He was the C.H.L. Goaltender of the Week three times that season. Prior to turning pro, he played junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League with the Sudbury Wolves and Mississauga Ice Dogs. He helped lead 2002-03 Mississauga Ice Dogs to their first ever OHL playoff appearance.