Carter Hart stones Kieffer Bellows on breakaway, makes 31 saves to win professional debut

The goalie of the future is here. Well, in Lehigh Valley at least.

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms had their fifth season opener on Saturday night at the PPL Center. It was a rather high-scoring affair, with the Phantoms beating the Bridgeport Sound Tigers by a score 6-3.

Although the Phantoms scored six goals, all eyes were on the other end of the ice. Top goalie prospect Carter Hart was making his professional debut, and he looked the part for the full 60 minutes.

Hart was tested in each and every period. He had a perfect start, with 10 saves on 10 shots in the opening stanza. In fact, he made at least 10 saves in each of the three periods. He was 10-for-11 in the 2nd period and 11-for-13 in the 3rd. He allowed one power-play goal in the second period, then another power-play marker and an even-strength goal in the third period.

The biggest test that Hart faced came in the form of a Kieffer Bellows breakaway in the second period.

The former first-round pick and top prospect for the Islanders was also making his professional debut. He skated in all alone and tried to beat Hart on the blocker side, but Carter turned him away.

A big stop by Hart.

“I was feeling pucks as they come. Taking things one play at a time and that was just my focus throughout the game,” Hart said.

Hart made 31 saves on 34 shots for the Phantoms in his debut. It’s a good start to Hart’s professional career.

The Phantoms will now have five days off before taking on the Springfield Thunderbirds in a home-and-home on Friday and Saturday.

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