Room for new heroes in injury-riddled condensed season | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaRoom for new heroes in injury-riddled condensed season

Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2013 | 11:28 PM

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Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ben Scrivens makes one of his 34 saves  against the Ottawa Senators in Toronto on Saturday. (Chris Young/Canadian Press) Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ben Scrivens makes one of his 34 saves against the Ottawa Senators in Toronto on Saturday. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

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With all the injuries to the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs, somebody had to step up and produce. For the Maple Leafs, in their 3-0 win, the somebodies were fourth-liner Frazer McLaren and backup goalie Ben Scrivens.

The latest chapter in the NHL's Battle of Ontario lacked the usual bombast when the provincial rivals met at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday.

That was to be expected. There was no Erik Karlsson, Jason Spezza or Milan Michalek on the Ottawa Senators' side. Joffrey Lupul and James Reimer also were absent with injuries from the Toronto Maple Leafs' lineup.

But somebody had to step up and produce. For the Maple Leafs, in their 3-0 win, the somebodies were fourth-liner Frazer McLaren and backup goalie Ben Scrivens.

McLaren scored the second goal of his NHL career and first in 38 months on his first shift of the game to give the Maple Leafs a comfy 1-0 lead. Scrivens made 34 saves, including 19 in the second period, for his first career NHL shutout in his 20th game.

For the newlywed Scrivens, married last summer, the shutout was the latest triumph in the wild run for the 26-year-old son of Wayne and Donna Scrivens of Spruce Grove, Alta.

Scrivens once paid $1,500 to engineer his own trade from the Calgary Canucks, where he billeted with his grandparents, to his hometown Spruce Grove Saints. He wanted to be a No. 1 netminder, and the Canucks wanted something in return.

So Scrivens dipped into his bank account and played well enough for the Saints to earn a scholarship to Cornell University.

Undrafted, he became a person of interest for NHL teams after a standout senior season in 2009-10 at Cornell, in which he became a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.

Allaire disciple

The summer before Scrivens was a fill-in at Francois Allaire's goaltending camp in Switzerland, thanks to his Cornell teammate Justin Krueger -- the son of Edmonton Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger -- who was coaching in Switzerland at that time.

David Aebischer, Martin Gerber and Jonas Hiller also were at the camp. Scrivens learned plenty and became an Allaire disciple.

So when it came time to sign with an NHL team, it was easy choice to select the Leafs since Allaire was their goaltending coach at the time.

Scrivens started at the bottom of the pro game with the Reading Royals of the ECHL. But it wasn't long before he was promoted to the AHL Marlies. Last season, he enjoyed his first stint with the NHL and exhibited his promise.

Scrivens continued his development with a brilliant playoff run to the Calder Cup final with the Marlies last spring that included a .935 save percentage.

He was given the Maple Leafs starter's role out of the brief training camp last month, but eventually lost his No. 1 status after Reimer regained his form.

Now with Reimer out with a sprained knee, Scrivens has another chance. He preserved the win when Reimer went down last Monday against the Philadelphia Flyers. He wasn't up to snuff against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday. But he rebounded to help the Maple Leafs win their fifth in six games on Saturday.

Scrivens stepped up. After all, somebody had to produce. And there appears there will be plenty of chances for the unheralded in this injury-riddled condensed season.

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