Over the weekend of the 27th and 28th of April, Jaden Pine-Murphy of the Melbourne Mustangs recorded back-to-back shut-outs against the Perth Thunder. On Saturday, he registered a 5-0 win, and Sunday is recorded as a shut-out after the game finished 0-0 at the end of both regulation and overtime (Pine-Murphy would go on to lose the shootout, conceding the only goal of the entire game).
This event got me thinking – when was the last time a goalie recorded back-to-back shut-outs on the same weekend? More importantly, and the topic of today’s Stats Stuff, what is the AIHL record for longest goalie shut-out streak?
First of all, let’s establish some terms and expectations of what we are looking for – a “shut-out” is where a goalie allows no goals of any kind during a game. The streak is from the time a goal gets scored on the goalie until the next goal gets scored on that goalie. So with those in mind, let’s start looking.
(Some quick conditional clarifications: My data is in an SQL database, with data retrieved directly from AIHL game sheets. If the official game sheets are incorrect, then my data matches that same mistake.)
Our first database dive looks at all shut-outs in the AIHL:
These results show there was a total of 1,482 results where goalies allowed no goals. Hrmm, that doesn’t make sense – nearly 1,500 shut-outs? Well, it’s true, as it includes back-up goalie stats who did not play in the games – no goals allowed! Let’s remove back-up goalies who did not play by isolating goalies who played any kind of time in a game:
That’s more like it, but still not quite right – in these results is a game by Stuart Woodall of the Canberra Knights (vs. Mustangs, 25 August 2012), where he played for 29 seconds and allowed no goals on zero shots. Thinking more about it, a shut-out should earn the goalie a win, so could we look at only shut-outs where the goalie is credited with the win?
Better, but still not right – Fraser Carson was credited with the win after playing only 9:05 of the game (18 July 2015, vs Ice Dogs). And we know Pine-Murphy played all of the games in Perth over the 27th and 28th. So let’s not use wins or losses as the basis of the investigation, and instead look at games where the goalie played at least 43 minutes of game time:
Why 43 minutes? In 2013, the league changed from 3x 15 minute periods to the 15-15-20 minute structure we know today (but more on this later). So to include 2012 shut-outs, we have to allow for games with only 45 minutes. And why not 42, or 41 minutes? I’d like to get as close as I can to a complete game, without having to think about a few seconds lost here and there for goalies leaving the ice on delayed penalties and so on.
Having only 67 results is about as good as I can scratch into SQL, so I’m going to move this list into Excel and dig deeper into these stats. By sorting the data by goalie, and then by date, we get a list of shut-outs for each goalie, sorted by when they happened. By using a formula to see how different the dates are between shut-outs (specifically a single day), we get to see who has posted shut-out streaks of longer than one game:
The highlighted cell shows Pine-Murphy’s shut-out streak from the 27th and 28th. The only other line marked as such is Pine-Murphy’s games, also in Perth, for the Melbourne Ice on the 26th and 27th of April, 2014 – no other goalie has had back-to-back shut-outs across a weekend. And by double-checking the dates on other goalies close to such a range, their team played in games where a shut-out streak was broken.
Before we say Pine-Murphy holds the record, let’s check games pre-2012. The difficulty with determining shut-out streaks across these games is that games were played for double-points, resulting in the same game being recorded “twice”. However, this is a moot point, as there were no true back-to-back shut-outs during this time. This was certainly a period for offense, as only 52 shut-outs were recorded through 674 games from 2005 to 2011. This also means we don’t have to account for the “3x 15min periods” calculation we were concerned with earlier.
So we know Pine-Murphy holds the record, and the record is at least 100 minutes (as both stretches took place after 2012). How long is the actual record?
Let’s have a look at the 2014 streak first. It actually started with Pine-Murphy’s last game of the 2013 season,a 5-2 win by the Ice over the Adrenaline in Adelaide on the 25th of August. The last Adrenaline goal was scored at 18:57 of the third period, by Kevin Phillips, assisted by Greg Oddy and Josef Rezek. Dahlen Phillips closed off the 2013 season for the Ice, and Pine-Murphy did not play the Ice games on the 12th and 19th of April, 2014, due to IIHF representative duties for New Zealand. So his next AIHL game was the aforementioned back-to-back shut-outs in Perth, which takes his shut-out streak to 118:57. Jaden was the backup for the Ice game against the Ice Dogs on the 4th of May, meaning Pine-Murphy’s next start was the 5-3 win over the Mustangs on the 10th of May. The first goal allowed was a short-handed goal at 6:43 of the second period (scored by Jamie Bourke, assisted by Jack Wolgemuth), so 8:17 had already passed by the time the goal was scored. Adding another 15 minutes for the first period and the shut-out streak ends at 142:14.
Looking at the 2019 streak, Pine-Murphy is now playing for the Mustangs. The shut-out streak starts on the 20th of April, after a power play goal scored by Zach Boyle of the Adrenaline at 9:26 of the third period, assisted by Josef Rezek and Jake Riley. Pine-Murphy then records back-to-back shut-outs in Perth again, one of which is a 55-minute overtime game, so the streak goes to 114:26. The next goal he allows is another power play goal, this time by Lliam Webster of the Ice, assisted by Jason Baclig and Jesse Schwartz, at 4:07 of the second period, during their game on the 10th of May. Adding in 15 minutes for the first period, and adding the 10:53 that had already elapsed in the second period, the shut-out streak ends at 140:19 – just 1:55 short of his previous record.
Some really odd coincidences occur between the two streaks:
– Both started with games against the Adrenaline
– Both started from goals in the third period
– Both back-to-back shut-outs were in Perth against the Thunder
– Both ended with goals in the second period
– Both ended with an odd-man advantage (one short-handed, one power-play)
– Both ended on May 10th
So Jaden Pine-Murphy holds the AIHL record for a goalie shut-out streak at 142:14. Congratulations, Jaden!