12/12/2013 6:30 AM
Throwback Thursday presented by Student Prince Cafe and Fort Restaurant: Robert Esche
Goaltender Robert Esche appeared in 77 games with the Springfield Falcons, ranking fifth in franchise history with 34 wins, sixth with a 2.83 goals-against average, fifth with a .909 save percentage and tied for third with four shutouts.
A sixth round draft selection of the Phoenix Coyotes in 1996, Esche graduated from the Falcons to go on and play in 186 NHL games. Over eight seasons, he finished his NHL career with 78 wins, a 2.75 goals-against average, .899 save percentage and 10 shutouts.
The Whitesboro, New York native enjoyed his most productive seasons in 2002-03 and 2003-04 as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers. In 2002-03, Esche won the William M. Jennings Trophy, awarded to the NHL goaltender who allows the fewest number of goals in a single season, posting a 12-9-3 record with a 2.20 goals-against average, .907 save percentage and two shutouts in 30 games played.
In 2003-04, he followed up his best season to date with an even better one. Esche appeared in 40 games for the Flyers, boasting a 21-11-7 record, 2.04 goals-against average, .915 save percentage and a career-high three shutouts.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound netminder finished his career in Russia’s KHL, playing two seasons with the St. Petersburg SKA from 2008-2010 and one with the Minsk Dynamo in 2010-11.