November 4, 2000
When Flyers goalie Brian Boucher lost the starting job to Roman Cechmanek in the 2000-01 season, the 28 year old "rookie" from the Czech Republic was not about to give it back anytime soon. The Flyers sixth-round pick of the 2000 NHL draft was here to stay.
On this Saturday night, Cechmanek recorded his first NHL win and first NHL Shutout, a 3-0 blanking of the Buffalo Sabres in front of 19,533 of the Flyers Faithful.
It took until the second period for the Flyers to get on the board, but they did so on a Ruslan Fedotenko goal just 39 seconds in. Just under eight minutes later, Fedotenko would come of the penalty box on a tripping minor and help set up defenseman Dan McGillis’ second goal of the year, making it 2-0 Flyers.
Going into the third period, the Sabres had just 10 shorts on Roman. The Sabres would have to pick up the pace to try and cut the lead in half to mount a comeback. At 11:31 of the third, Keith Primeau put that idea to bed, beating Dominic Hasek to give the Flyers a commanding 3-0 lead. Cechmanek would stop all eight shots from the Sabres in the third, 18 for the game and defeat his Czech counterpart en route to that first career win.
Cechmanek would go on to win his next six starts and solidify himself as the number one goalie for the Orange and Black. In the 2000-01 season, he played in 59 games with a 2.01 GAA. His record was 35-15-6 with 10 shutouts and those 35 wins placed him eighth in the NHL. He was named to the NHL All-Star second team and finished second in the voting for the Vezina Trophy, losing out to the aforementioned Hasek.
Cechmanek's 10 shutouts that season were the most in Flyers history since Hall of Famer Bernie Parent recorded 12 in both Stanley Cup years of 1973-74 and 1974-75. His statistics prove that Cechmanek truly had one of the best regular seasons ever as a goalie in Flyers history.
Mike Watson is a contributing writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on twitter @Mwats_99.