Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports: Former Texas Tornadl and current Ottawa Senators goal tender Ben Bishop

Texas Tornado Have Presence In Ottawa Senators - Winnipeg Jets Game

When the puck dropped in Ottawa as the Ottawa Senators hosted the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday there was a Texas Tornado flavor to the game.

Texas Tornado

The Texas Tornado were represented by Winnipeg netminder Al Montoya, Ottawa netminder Ben Bishop and Senators forward Stephane Da Costa. This was the second time in their NHL careers that Montoya and Bishop have stood 178 feet from one another. The Texas Tornado are the only NAHL team to ever have former goaltenders oppose each other in a NHL game and now it has happened twice.

Their first meeting came on March 5, 2011 when both were with previous teams. In that contest Montoya and the Islanders prevailed 5-2 over Bishop and the St Louis Blues. Saturday was a much closer affair as the Senators fell to the Jets 1-0 on a deflection over Bishop’s shoulder at 5:57 of the third. With Montoya making 33 saves in the shutout and Bishop making 36 saves in the loss they were named the number one and number two stars of the game.

Da Costa nearly figured in the scoring as well. At about the mid-point of the first period Da Costa went sprinting up the ice on a breakaway and made a bid to go stick side, but Montoya made a blocker save to keep the Senators off the board.

Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports: Former Texas Tornado and current Winnipeg Jets goal tender Al Montoya

Montoya made his debut with the Tornado during the 2000/01 season as a 15 year old, in just the second season on the ice for the Tornado. As the back-up to Brandon Crawford-West that season Montoya played in 15 games putting up a 10-3-0 record. As he had in the teams expansion season, Head Coach Tony Curtale led the team to a division crown and then on to the first of their five Robertson Cup National Championships. Montoya played one game in the post season picking up the win allowing two goals with a .920SV%.

In spite of his young age, Montoya’s play caught the eye of USA Hockey and in the 2001/02 season he moved on to the US National Team Development Program for his final season in the NAHL. Following his two seasons in the NAHL Montoya spent three years at the University of Michigan before starting his professional career in 2005.

Level

GP

MIN

W

L

OTL

SO

GAA

SV%

Tornado

15

780

10

3

0

0

2.92

0.891

NAHL

39

2,124

16

14

4

0

3.31

NCAA

123

7,246

86

29

8

13

2.36

0.978

Minor Pro

197

10,606

96

72

7

9

2.68

0.904

NHL

59

3,290

23

17

10

3

2.75

0.906

 

Like Montoya, Ben Bishop played a single season with the Texas Tornado in 2004/05. It was Bishop’s only season in the NAHL before heading off to the University of Maine. Bishop was between the pipes for 45 regular season games for the Tornado, winning 35 with a 1.93GAA and a .920SV% both of which are good for second in team history for goalies who have played more than five games. Bishop led the league with 35 wins, was second in shutouts with 5, second in goals against average at 1.93 and third in save percentage at .920. His efforts earned him a position on the NAHL All-Rookie Team. Bishop was the winning goalie in the 2005 NAHL All Star Game.

In the playoffs that season Bishop put up a very impressive 10-2-0 record with a 2.58GAA and an .897SV%. It was the second of the Texas Tornado’s three consecutive Robertson Cup National Championships since moving to Frisco, TX and Head Coach Tony Curtale’s third with Texas and fifth overall.

 

Level

GP

MIN

W

L

OTL

SO

GAA

SV%

Tornado

45

2,577

35

8

0

5

1.93

0.920

NCAA

98

5,607

55

34

7

5

2.27

0.917

Minor Pro

175

10,260

91

68

10

9

2.59

0.913

NHL

25

1,264

7

10

3

1

2.71

0.903

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports: Former Texas Tornado and current Ottawa Senators forward Stephane Da Costa

Stephane Da Costa came to the Texas Tornado from the French National Team for the 2006/07 season as a 16 year old. Da Costa played a total of 15 games with the French team during three World Junior Championships scoring 32 points on 12G-20A. During his single season in the NAHL with the Tornado, Da Costa was second on the team in goals scored and third in points.

The Tornado were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs that season by the eventual Robertson Cup National Champion St Louis Bandits. In the playoffs, Da Costa had 3G-4A in 10 games.

The following season, Da Costa was drafted by the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL where he would finish out his junior career. After two seasons with Merrimack College, Da Costa signed a free agent contract with Ottawa and played four games with the Senators to close out the 2010/11 season.

Level

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

+/-

Tornado

50

23

17

40

31

USHL

99

43

61

104

45

-3

NCAA

67

30

60

90

83

+12

Minor Pro

77

22

38

60

22

-5

NHL

29

3

2

5

8

-10

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Tags: Al Montoya Ben Sishop NAHL Stephane Da Costa Texas Tornado

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