August 03, 2017

Hockey Heroes: Matt Underhill

As of the end of 2015, there have only been 13 players in the NHL's 99 year history whose last name started with the letter U.

And only one of those players was a goaltender.

Matt Underhill only played in one NHL game, a 4-3 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers on March 8th, 2004. Underhill, who made 29 saves, was a surprise call up as regular Hawks goalie Michael Leighton came down with the flu.

Underhill left his home on Vancouver Island, British Columbia to play junior with the famed Notre Dame Hounds in Saskatchewan.

From there Underhill joined the Ivy League Cornell Big Red hockey program. Cornell historically has produced a lot of really good goaltenders, including the great Ken Dryden.

Underhill had quite the career at Cornell, himself. So impressive, in fact, that he was inducted into the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame. His best year came in 2002 when he was a first-team All-American and won the ECAC's Ken Dryden Award as the best goalie.. He had previously led Cornell to an ECAC Hockey title in his junior year.

Underhill, originally a Calgary draft pick, graduated and pursued a four year professional career. Aside from the one game with Chicago, he bounced around the minor leagues with seven different teams!

Underhill retired in 2006 after leading the Alaska Aces to the ECHL's Kelly Cup championship.

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