Former Gophers goalie Adam Hauser was called up several times by the Kings, but only played in one game, allowing six goals on 24 shots in relief.

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Moments of glory series: Adam Hauser's one NHL game

  • Article by: BRIAN STENSAAS
  • Star Tribune
  • June 5, 2012 - 12:13 PM
The most enduring athletes in Minnesota history are well known. Names such as Puckett, Killebrew and Tarkenton bring about images of long-term success. But what about those with local ties who only had a chance meeting with the big-time? Here we remember their one victory, their one appearance -- their one moment. Today: Adam Hauser's one NHL game.

Two shots, two saves, one hook from coach Andy Murray.

Welcome to the NHL, Adam Hauser.

"I'm trying to play it cool, but I mean, this is my first regular-season game you know?" the former Gophers goaltender said. "And just like that, they put [Mathieu] Garon back in after like two minutes."

Hauser's trip back to the Los Angeles Kings bench on Jan. 14, 2006, didn't last long. Fresh off a shutout two nights earlier in Boston, Garon was woefully off his game in Buffalo and was pulled. Hauser replaced him for two saves, and Garon came back in. After Garon allowed a fourth goal on 10 shots through just nine minutes of work, Hauser was between the pipes for a second time. He played out the balance of the game, allowed six goals on 24 Sabres shots but didn't take the loss in a brutal 10-1 drubbing.

"We had guys hurt for that game, had like two 5-on-3s and at least two of the goals were 2-on-1," Hauser said. "No idea what was going on with the team that night. Nothing was going right. The team was just not there."

That night in Buffalo sticks as his lone NHL game he played in. Hauser was back on a flight to Manchester, New Hampshire, the next morning to rejoin his AHL teammates.

After backstopping the Gophers to the 2002 national championship, Hauser put up respectable numbers in the ECHL and was promoted to Manchester in 2003. He received a smattering of call-ups to the Kings. But with larger paychecks available overseas, Hauser bolted for Europe for the 2006-07 season and has remained there since.

Hauser spends the summer in Minnesota running his hockey camps. He gives on-ice lessons in addition to motivational talks. He's hung onto the helmet, leg pads, glove and blocker from his one NHL appearance, even if the experience was hardly all positive.

"I always wanted to play in the NHL and I can say I did," he said. "As negative as those numbers are, I made it. But I tell the kids, 'Your career as a hockey player is longer than today.' ... I got worked over in one game, and it wasn't even a full game. I played there, and I'm thankful I did."

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