Stolie the Goalie is back.
The Philadelphia Flyers loaned Anthony Stolarz to the Reading Royals from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Tuesday morning, which is a sign that Stolarz is ready to return to game action. It was thought to be a lost season for Stolarz after his injury troubles late last season and in the offseason, but he has worked his way back and will likely see game action tonight.
If Stolarz does start tonight, it will be his first game action in over 11 months. He last played on April 12th, 2017, facing just one shot in 1:32 of action before leaving the game with an injury.
Stolarz had just returned to the Phantoms after starting the final game of the Flyers’ season. He was 4-2-1 with a shutout in seven games with the Flyers last season. He had a goals against average of 2.07 and save percentage of .928.
It looked like Stolarz was finally turning a corner a bit and could become an NHL goalie as a backup at the very least, but then he went down with the injury.
Now, after months of rehab, he is ready to take the ice again.
“Every game is going to be like a playoff game,” he said about joining Reading for the stretch run.
Stolarz will presumably spend a few games with the Royals getting back up to speed, and if everything goes well he could see time with the Phantoms before the season is over. Injuries to goalies at every level of the organization have forced them to primarily use Dustin Tokarski in net. He has been decent, with a .910 save percentage, but having Stolarz there would be a huge boost for the team.
Hopefully Stolarz can get back into game shape and help the Phantoms out as they are on the verge of clinching a playoff spot.
The Reading Royals host the Fort Wayne Komets tonight and then play again on Saturday night against the Brampton Beast.
Photo by Heather Barry/Sons of Penn
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