Photo from the Shreveport Mudbugs' official Facebook page

Grand Rapids native James Durham named NAHL goalie of the month

Photo from the Shreveport Mudbugs’ official Facebook page


By @StefanKubus –

Sometimes all you need is opportunity.

James Durham seized his when fellow Shreveport Mudbugs netminder Gustavs Grigals headed overseas to play for his native Latvia in one of the World Junior Championship tournaments.

The 18-year-old Grand Rapids, Mich. native was named the final Vaughn NAHL Goaltender of the Month award winner of 2017.

Durham embraced the starting role for Shreveport in Grigals’ absence, posting a 7-1-2 record, 1.57 goals-against average and .946 save percentage during the month.

With his December, Durham now ranks first in save percentage (.942), is tied for first in wins (13) and shutouts (5) and sits second in goals-against average (1.60).

“James been a very solid in the net for us. I believe it starts from practice and challenging yourself to get better everyday and James has really improved his practice habits in the last coupe months and has translated into his game,” said Shreveport head coach Karlis Zirnis.

“We have something special going on here in Shreveport. I knew I had to be there every single night for my team. We are very connected here and all on the same page, so it makes it easy to go for war for them,” said Durham. “My dream is to play NCAA Division I college hockey and there has been some good interest, but my short term focus right now is to keep winning games for my team and take us as far as we can go in the playoffs.”

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