Collin Delia shines to help the Blackhawks to a third-straight victory

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 21: Goaltender Collin Delia #60 of the Chicago Blackhawks makes a save against Nathan MacKinnon #29 of the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on December 21, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

DENVER – When he was called up to the team to replace Corey Crawford on the Blackhawks’ roster, he spoke openly about his growth in hockey over the past year.

The goalie with the Indy Fuel of the ECHL, then worked up to the AHL Rockford, to the NHL team for a bit, then back to the IceHogs where he helped the team to the Western Conference Finals.

It was a journey that taught Collin Delia a lot about himself, while at the same time building faith in his own abilities in goal.

“The adversity I went through last season, starting in the ECHL, kinda working my way up, it was certainly a character building moment for me,” said Delia on Monday when he arrived to join the Blackhawks. “I had to see where my game was at, see if this was something that I could take to the next level.

“I think I kinda proved to myself and teammates, coaches, staff that I had those capabilities.”

On Friday night, he proved to all of those people that he does again – and continued the team’s longest stretch of success this season.

Delia stepped into goal for the first time this season against the Avalanche and delivered a 35 save performance that was needed for the Blackhawks. Goals from Alex DeBrincat and Artem Anisimov were enough the team to pick up a 2-1 win at the Pepsi Center.

It extends their winning streak to a season-high three games, as Delia provided one of the best performances of the season between the pipes.

“It felt good,” said Delia, who was playing in just his third career NHL game on Friday. “A little sloppy at times, but overall pretty good. I thought I could have controlled a few more rebounds, play the puck a little better, but sometimes you just have to battle it out, and that’s what it was tonight.”

Delia certainly did that as he faced an early onslaught of shots from the Avalanche, but the goalie stopped them all for the first 20 minutes. Alex DeBrincat’s 16th goal of the season put the Blackhawks up 1-0 after the first period.

Only some solid passing was able to get the Avalanche on the board in the second as Alexander Kerfoot found J.P. Compher in front of the net for the goal 2:58 into the first to tie the score. Artem Anisimov put the Blackhawks back ahead in the third with some help from Patrick Kane, whose shot trickled through Phillipp Grubauer, leading the center with an easy tap-in near the goal line.

Delia did the rest after that, holding off the Avalanche the rest of the way for his first victory of the year.

 

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