NHL history was made when the puck dropped at 6pm at the United Center on Sunday, October 26. Two Illinois born goaltenders, Scott Darling (Lemont) and Craig Anderson (Park Ridge) were charged with minding their respective nets during the Chicago Blackhawks vs. Ottawa Senators game Sunday evening. The Blackhawks and Darling ultimately claimed a 2-1 victory over the Senators. Oddly enough…the last Chicagoan to mind the net for the Blackhawks? Anderson, who stopped 43 of the 45 shots on goal Sunday night.
Darling made his NHL debut with the Blackhawks after being recalled from the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League (AHL) on Tuesday, October 21. NHL Veteran, Anderson, was drafted by the Blackhawks in 2001 (3rd round, 73 overall) and played 56 games for the Hawks between 2002 and 2006. He has since played for the Florida Panthers and Colorado Avalanche before making Ottawa his home in 2010. Both Darling and Anderson played for Illinois Tier I AAA hockey teams Chicago Young Americans and Team Illinois.
Darling and Anderson are only 2 of 6 Illinois natives to mind the net in the NHL:
- Gregg Naumenko (Chicago) – Anaheim Mighty Ducks (2000-2001)
- Al Montoya (Chicago) – New York Islanders (2010-12), Winnipeg Jets (2012-2014), Florida Panthers (2014-2015)
- Bob Janecyk (Chicago) – Chicago Blackhawks (1983-84), LA Kings (1984-1989)
- Gerald Coleman (Evanston) – Tampa Bay Lightening (2005-2006)
- Craig Anderson (Park Ridge) – Chicago Blackhawks (2002-2004, 2005-2006), Florida Panthers (2007-2009), Colorado Avalanche (2009-2011), Ottawa Senators (2010-2015)
- Scott Darling (Lemont) – Chicago Blackhawks (2014-2015)