A goalie born on Vancouver Island will be in the crease tonight for game one of the Stanley Cup Final.
Comox-born Adin Hill is getting the start for the Vegas Golden Knights as they take on the Florida Panthers.
Hill took over the starting job from Laurent Brossoit, who was born in Port Alberni, and spent part of the 2009-10 season with the BCHL’s Cowichan Valley Capitals. Since then Hill’s had seven wins in nine games, with two shutouts.
“It’s pretty surreal,” says Hill at the NHL’s media day. “It’s what you kind of dream of as a kid.”
Hill says his first Stanley Cup memory was going to game six of the 2004 final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Calgary Flames. The game went to double overtime and the eventual champion Lightning forced a game seven. He would have been eight years old at the time.
Both teams are vying for their first ever Stanley Cups. The Golden Knights are in their second final in six seasons of existence. The Panthers are in their second final as well, but their last came in 1996 – which coincidentally is the year that Hill was born.
The Panthers barely made their way into the playoffs, only one point ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins, but have gone on to a Cinderella run. In the first round, they upset the Boston Bruins who set the record for most wins and points in NHL history. Then they crushed the fourth best in the league, Toronto Maple Leafs through five games in the second round. They followed that by sweeping the second place Carolina Hurricanes in the third round.
Vegas has faced some adversity as well, besting three good teams. After beating the Winnipeg Jets, they beat the Edmonton Oilers who boast the two best players in the world – Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Then they topped the Dallas Stars in the Conference Finals.
The puck drops on game one of the Stanley Cup Final at 5 pm.