International Ice Hockey Federation

Vay to Go

Vay to Go

Hungary goaltender surprises

Published 24.11.2016 14:54 GMT+2 | Author John Sanful
Vay to Go
ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - MAY 11: Hungary's Adam Vay #30 makes a pad save with Marton Vas #42 and Finland's Sebastian Aho #20 in front during preliminary round action at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Adam Vay's start against Finland at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship opened a lot of eyes, even those of his head coach.

Hungarian head coach Rich Chernomaz admitted to being pleasantly surprised after his team's 3-0 loss to Finland. Sure it was a loss that kept Hungary winless at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship but the performance of Adam Vay offered a hopeful moment for the coach and the team.

After replacing Zoltan Hetenyi in a 7-1 loss to Canada, Vay got the start against Finland and proceeded to have the game of his life. He turned aside 45 of 48 shots. Had it not been for Vay, the Finnish margin of victory might have been much, much wider.

To give a better idea as to how good Vay was in net consider that he was able to keep the game a scoreless tie after the first period and except for a second period goal at 16:22 by Atte Ohtamaa, Hungary was still very much in the game. 

In the first two periods alone, Vay made 38 saves and his team was down by a lone goal. 

“I think we saw in this group one of the best goalie performances.” Finnish head coach Kari Jalonen marveled. “Vay was outstanding today. He made us work really hard to score those three goals.”

With Vay's surprising start what may have been lost was his exception play began in the previous game against Canada wheh he made his World Championship debut in relief of Hetenyi. Vay gave up a lone goal on the twelve shots he faced against a very talented Canadian squad that remains undefeated in this tournament.

“One unbelievable and pleasant surprise was Adam Vay, who only came into our radar last year, playing in the MOL league." Chernomaz said after the game. "He has a future. He’s 22 years old and very athletic. He came into the game with nothing to lost and was outstanding.”

The MOL Liga, as it is known, is the official league for teams based in Hungary and Romania and sponsored by the petrochemical company, Vay suits up for Debreceni HC. He played in 39 games and posted a 2.77 goals against average.

Prior to that, Vay spent two seasons with the El Paso Rhinos in the Western States Hockey League in the United States. He led his team to the Thorne Cup finals in both of his seasons there. When they won the Thorne Cup in 2014, Vay led the league in goals against average and save percentage. In those two seasons he won 53 games, lost five and posted ten shutouts. For the 2015/2016 season, Vay returned to Hungary and began his professional career.

Vay followed up his performance against Finland with another solid effort taking on the United States. After facing fifteen shots in the first period, Vay stopped 32 of 37 shots in the game, proving his first start was no fluke.

Vay has got everyone's attention. Now he must make the most of his opportunity in the spotlight for the Hungarian national team in the years to come.

His performance at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship also earned him a contract with the Minnesota Wild. In the organization he has been the backup at the AHL's Iowa Wild while logging ice times one tier below with the ECHL's Quad City Mallards. He was the first Hungarian signed by an NHL team since Janos Vas in 2005.


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