McNULTY RETURNS TO RIVERKINGS
Major contributor to late season RiverKings success returns to shore up goal line
SOUTHAVEN, MS --- The Mississippi RiverKings of the Central Hockey League (CHL) today (August 12th, 2010) announced they have signed goaltender Kyle McNulty
for the 2010-11 season. McNulty becomes the second goaltender signed this off-season by RiverKings’ Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Kevin “Killer” Kaminski. McNulty also becomes the eleventh player signed by the team for the upcoming year and the fifth returning player from last year’s roster to play for the team this season.
McNulty’s acquisition last season was just “what the doctor ordered” for a team struggling with stability at the goaltender spot during the 2009-10 campaign. Picked up off waivers after being dropped by the CHL’s Arizona Sundogs, the 5-foot-11, 178 pound native of Wakefield, Rhode Island, helped the RiverKings to a 5-0-0 record in six appearances. McNulty fashioned an impressive 2.22 goals-against-average and a save percentage of .922.
Kaminski is happy that the stability McNulty provided will return to the RiverKings’ this season. “He was great down the stretch for us and was a huge part of why we made the playoffs,” Kaminski said. “Kyle is extremely focused, loves to win, and he keeps himself in great shape. Kyle will also push Larry (Sterling) for the number one job. The competition for goalies this year is going to be fun.”
Among the accolades McNulty received for his results last season were being named as the CHL “Performance of the Week” winner, after making 35 saves in his Mississippi debut, a 2-1 shootout victory over the Americans at Allen on Saturday, March 6th. As an encore, he posted 33 saves in a key 5-1 Mississippi victory at Missouri on Sunday, March 7th. Both performances aided him in also winning the league “Goaltender of the Week’ award for that week.
McNulty says he looks forward to playing for a team that stresses defense as much as the RiverKings do. “I liked the way that Killer has designed the team in terms of a defensive mode first and from a goalie standpoint that’s a positive thing,” McNulty said. “You can go into every game and know that you’re going to have a chance to win, whether you score eight goals or one-or-two goals because the scoring chances against are going to be few and far between.”
Prior to signing with the RiverKings last season, McNulty appeared in 24 games for Arizona, where he posted a 3.43 goals-against-average and a save percentage of .883, while earning a 6-15-1 record. He also won a league “Goaltender of the Week” citation with the Sundogs.
In the 2008-2009 CHL season, Kyle went 11-7-2 with the now-defunct New Mexico Scorpions as he managed a 2.82 goals-against-average and a save percentage of .918. He spent his first professional season with both the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the old International Hockey League and the RiverKings in the CHL during the 2007-2008 season.
McNulty was 1-0-0 with the Fury with a goals-against-average of 3.00 and a save percentage of .889. He was originally signed into pro hockey by current Tulsa Oilers’ coach Bruce Ramsay. With the RiverKings later in the 2007-08 schedule, McNulty finished 2-1-0 for his stint with a 2.46 GAA and a save percentage of .917 in Mississippi.
Kyle says his goal is to win games and challenge for a championship, believing the team being put together by the RiverKings can do just that. “I think we’ve got a good shot to make a run and if we stay confident in the locker room and just stay together as a team, then we can make a serious run at it this year.”
Before signing a professional contract, Kyle played four years of NCAA Division I hockey at Clarkson University. From 2003-2007, he posted a career .889 save percentage while helping his team become the number one seed in East region of the 2007 NCAA Hockey Tournament. While with the Golden Knights, McNulty was on the ECAC Conference All-Academic Team.
McNulty played one season in the United States Hockey League at Waterloo (Iowa), appearing in five games there, and also in the Eastern Junior Hockey League with the Boston Junior Bruins, where he was named to the first team all-Northern Division All-Star team.