(ISN) – In BCHL circles, Andrew Hammond is remembered as an RBC Cup champion with the Vernon Vipers and winner of the 2009 BCHL Top Goaltender award. Now, the rest of the hockey world knows him as ‘The Hamburglar’ for his creative mask design and larcenous ways in the Ottawa Senators crease.
Tonight in Raleigh, N.C., he can match a Hockey Hall of Famer, Frank Brimsek, who in the 1938-39 campaign with the Boston Bruins established a mark by starting his career with 12 straight games allowing less than three goals. Hammond will attempt to tie the record this evening as the Senators take on the Carolina Hurricanes.
Hammond is 10-0-1 so far this season along with a .955 save percentage, 1.39 goals-against average and two shutouts. Last week he was named NHL 3rd Star of the Week
Despite just 11 games played, he is already sixth in the NHL 3 Stars Standings
So popular has Hammond become in Ottawa, fans are wearing McDonald’s Hamburglar costumes to Senators games and tossing burgers on the ice during the 3 Stars ceremonies.
Senators coach Dave Cameron even got the urging of his priest to start Hammond in a recent game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Hammond and the Senators wound up winning the game 2-1 in a shootout with Hammond stopping Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds and Claude Giroux in the skills contest.
Hammond’s story is one he could be dining out on for the rest of his life. Literally. On Monday, John Bergeron, who just so happens to be the father of Hammond’s NCAA coach Chris Bergeron of Bowling Green, delivered a card for Hammond that gives him free food at McDonlad’s for life.
Most importantly for the Senators, Hammond’s play has the team back in the hunt for an Eastern Conference wild card spot. And even with all the fanfare and media glare, Hammond would no doubt like to be remembered most as the goalie that got the Sens back to the playoffs.