|Posted : : 09/08/2005
ACES SETTLE ON MAN BEHIND THE MASK
Matt Underhill returns, second goalie yet to be determined
Alaska Aces Press Release
Anchorage, AK - Goaltender Matt Underhill has signed a one-year contract with the Alaska Aces for the 2005-06 season.
Alaska acquired the 28-year-old Underhill at the tail end of last season in exchange for goalie Lance Mayes and future considerations, which turned out to be the rights to winger Olivier Filion. Playing for a second time under head coach Davis Payne (the two had previously been together in Pee Dee, where Matt represented the Pride at the 2003 ECHL All-Star Game), Underhill immediately settled into a groove, going 3-0 in his three regular season starts for the Aces, including 50 saves in a 4-2 victory over Las Vegas April 8 that clinched the National Conference crown. He saw mostly spot duty in the playoffs behind Peter Aubry, but managed to collect his first playoff win in the pros with 31 saves in a 4-3 overtime victory over Trenton in Game Four of the conference finals.
The 6-2, 210-pound Underhill has split time among four teams in each of his last two seasons, beginning last year with Mississippi, where he actually shut out the Aces at Sullivan Arena with 30 saves for the Sea Wolves in a 3-0 triumph. In addition to suiting up for four different American Hockey League teams, Underhill gained his sixty minutes (and 44 seconds) of fame with a start for Chicago in March of 2004, recording 29 saves before being beaten 4-3 by Edmonton in overtime. That fall, he attended the L.A. Kings training camp before heading to Mississippi.
Underhill graduated in 2002 from Cornell University, where he was an NCAA first-team All-American in his senior season and helped lead the Big Red to within a game of the Frozen Four and their highest win total (25) in 32 years. In four seasons, he accumulated a 42-31-9 record with five shutouts and a 2.32 GAA and earned the Ken Dryden award as the Eastern College Athletic Conference's most outstanding goaltender during his senior campaign.
Alaska and San Diego meet in the 2005-06 regular season opener Friday, October 21, at 7:15 p.m., the first game of a three-game series that continues Saturday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. and Monday night, October 24. Dayton will visit Anchorage for two pre-season games October 12 at 7:15 p.m. and October 13 at 7:00 p.m. The defending West Division champion Aces enter their 11th professional season as affiliates of the St. Louis Blues (NHL) and the Peoria Rivermen (AHL). For 2005-06 season ticket information, please call 258-ACES.