Recently Named ECHL Goaltender of the Month
February 6, 2020
Lehigh Valley, Pa. – The Philadelphia Flyers, parent club of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, announced today that goaltender Kirill Ustimenko has been reassigned to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. In addition, goaltender Felix Sandstrom has been assigned to the Reading Royals of the ECHL.
Ustimenko, 21, is in his first professional season and has played 30 games for the Reading Royals this season. He has amassed an impressive 18-4-5 record with a 2.48 goals-against average and a 0.916 save percentage. He was recently named the ECHL Goaltender of the Month for January after he went 6-1-1 with a 1.87 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage in eight appearances during the month. Ustimenko is currently third in the ECHL with 18 wins while ranking sixth with a 2.48 goals-against average and tied for eighth with a .916 save percentage.
A native of Gomel, Belarus, Ustimenko was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the third round (80th overall) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, and spent the previous three seasons in the Junior Hockey League (MHL) in Russia for Dynamo St. Petersburg. Last season, he led all MHL goaltenders, and set an all-time MHL record, with 12 shutouts, bettering his previous best of 11 from 2017-18. He won a bronze medal with Russia at the Under-18 World Junior Championships in 2016-17.
Sandstrom, 23, is in his first full season in North America and has played 16 games for the Reading Royals this year. He has posted a 6-10-0 record with a 3.66 GAA and 0.879 save percentage along with two shutouts in the ECHL. Sandstrom has appeared in one game for the Lehigh Valley this season, saving all seven shots he faced in a third period relief appearance on January 31. He played in one game for the Phantoms last season when he made his North American debut on April 12, 2019 in Providence and made 40 saves in 4-3 win against Bruins.
A native of Gavle, Sweden, Sandstrom was drafted in the third round (#70) of the 2015 NHL Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers. He spent the last five seasons in the Swedish Hockey League, spending time with Brynas IF from 2014-2017 and then playing 2017-19 with HV71. This past season he appeared in 19 games for HV71 going 10-8 with a 2.16 goals-against average and 0.910 save percentage. Sandtrom was the starting netminder for Sweden in the 2016 and 2017 World Junior Championships. in 2017, he led Sweden to a fourth place finish with a 5-1-1 record and was named the WJC Best Goaltender, beating out Flyers goalie Carter Hart. Sandstrom signed his three-year, entry-level contract with the Flyers on March 27, 2018.
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