Kaden Fulcher registered first AHL goaltending win

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It’s been a long time coming.

Brigden’s Kaden Fulcher turned aside 27 of 28 shots and was chosen the first star of the game after backstopping the Grand Rapids Griffins to a 2-1 win over Cleveland in American Hockey League action Wednesday night.

The Griffins scored twice in 95 seconds in third period to erase a 1-0 deficit. It was Fulcher’s first-ever AHL victory and his first pro goaltending triumph in more than two years. Prior to last night, his latest was a shutout win for the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye over the Indy Fuel in March 2019.

“It was good to get back in the win column,” said Fulcher with a wide grin during post game comments. “It’s kind of funny that it has been that long.”

The Brigden native was limited to just two games with the Walleye last season due to injury and the pandemic and he has only played twice for the Griffins this year. He has spent a lot of time this season on the Detroit Red Wings’ taxi squad.

Fulcher credits Jeff Salajko and Brian Mahoney-Wilson, the goaltending coaches with the Wings and Griffins respectively, with helping him to slow the game down and he’s leaned on the experience of Wings’ veteran goalie Jonathan Bernier as well.

“When I was up in Detroit, he told to always have your eyes locked on that puck. If you watch him, he’s one of the best guys in the league, I believe, at finding those pucks. It’s really helped me to get dialed in.”

Fulcher now has a win and an overtime loss for Grand Rapids this season. He has a goals-against average of 2.46 and a .912 save percentage.