Kolzig nets spot behind Beaupre HOCKEY

September 26, 1993|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Staff Writer

The Washington Capitals go into Philadelphia tonight with their goaltender situation sorted out.

Veteran Don Beaupre will be in the nets for the 7:05 game and rookie Olie Kolzig, the winner of a preseason dual for the backup spot, will be on the bench.

"It was a very hard and close decision," Capitals coach Terry Murray said. "But after watching both Olie and Byron [Dafoe] throughout training camp and through the preseason games, we've decided Olie is the best of the two right now."

But Murray was quick to say that Dafoe, who will leave today to join the American Hockey League Portland Pirates, "is on the threshold of being an NHL goalie."

Through seven preseason games, Kolzig and Dafoe have battled on almost equal terms.

Friday night, against Philadelphia, Kolzig seemed to solidify his position, stopping 17 shots in the first 30 minutes of the game, which the Capitals eventually won, 4-3.

During the final 30 minutes, Dafoe was saddled with Philly's three goals, all of which were not his fault.

Murray said the game had "an impact, but not a big one." The deciding factor was that Capitals management is most impressed by Kolzig's growth as a player the past year.

Murray said Kolzig, a 6-foot-3, 205-pounder who played last season in Rochester, has learned to use his size better and doesn't over-react to plays in front of the net.

NOTES: The Caps made several other moves yesterday: C Jason Allison was returned to London of the Ontario Hockey League; RW Martin Gendron has been reassigned to the Canadian Olympic team; and G Duane Derksen has been loaned to Milwaukee of the international league.

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