After earning a call-up to the Chicago Blackhawks for the home stretch of the 2017-18 National Hockey League (NHL) season earlier this week, former Merrimack goaltender Collin Delia, who played for the Warriors from 2014-17, knew that a potential NHL debut could be in store over the next week.
That possibility became a reality on Thursday, as Delia was thrust into the starting spot for the Blackhawks prior to their game against Central Division power Winnipeg at the United Center in Chicago; Anton Forsberg, Chicago’s scheduled starter, was hurt in pregame warmups. The former Warrior shined, turning away 25-of-27 shots in his pro debut before leaving early in the third period with a minor injury. Delia earned the win in his debut.
According to reports out of Chicago, Delia left the game with a cramping issue in the third period, and will start his second NHL game tonight, when the Blackhawks visit the Colorado Avalanche. Delia is the only the second goaltender in program history to play in the NHL and first since Jim Hrivnak ’89 did so from 1991-94, when he totaled 85 games and went 34-30-3 in that span.