Monday, March 26, 2012

Absurd Goalie Monday: Darren Jensen

With the NCAA Tournament going on, it's time to take a look at one goalie who was able to win two of them in his four years playing-- for a team who's name cannot be named. He came in like a flash, got the NHL, and then went out in the blink of an eye. This week-- the profile of Darren Jensen

Jensen started his career in the 1977-78 season with the Penticton Vees of the BC Junior League, playing in 29 games and finishing 22-7-0, while going 16-21-1 in 42 games with the Vees in the 1978-79 season.

After two seasons in Junior A, Jensen decided to move to the NCAA ranks with the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux, going 13-0-1 in the 1979-80 season-- helping North Dakota win the NCAA National Championship. After playing 25 games in the 1980-81 season (no record around), Jensen again went 13-0-1 in 16 appearance, helping the Sioux win another National Championship and being named to the All-Tournament Team that year. Jensen would spend his senior year, playing in 16 games (again, no record) to close out his collegiate career.

When he moved into a pro career, Jensen signed with the IHL's Fort Wayne Komets for the 1983-84 season-- playing 56 games and compiling a 40-12-3 record with four shutouts, then going 2-4 in the playoffs. It was a big year for Jensen, winning the James Norris Memorial Trophy for fewest goals-against, Garry F. Longman Memorial Trophy for Rookie of the Year, James Gatschene Memorial Trophy for IHL MVP, and was named to the First Team All-Star team.

After his impressive season, Jensen signed with the Philadelphia Flyers after the Hartford Whalers didn't retain his rights. The 1984-85 season, Jensen spent it with the AHL's Hershey Bears, finishing with a 12-20-6 record in 39 games. Jensen would also play in one game with the Flyers, a loss. In the 1985-86 season, Jensen would be starting and ending his season with the Bears-- cumulating with 14 games and an 11-1-1 record and a 5-1 record in the playoffs.

Jensen would be called up under bleak circumstances for the 1985-86 season, as he would replace the late Pelle Lindbergh, playing in the first Flyers' game since his death; as starter Bob Froese pulled his groin in the warm-ups. Jensen would win 5-3 over the Edmonton Oilers and would finish with a 15-9-1 record in 29 games, helping himself and Froese win the William M. Jennings Trophy for fewest goals against. However, Jensen would be pushed out of the Flyers fold when the Flyers traded for Chico Resch late in the '85-'86 season.

In the 1986-87 season, Jensen would be back in the AHL with the Hershey Bears as Ron Hextall came up as a rookie and took over for Jensen. With the Bears, Jensen went 26-26-0 in 60 appearances for the Bears.

In August of 1987, Jensen and Daryl Stanley were traded to the Vancouver Canucks for Wendell Young and a Draft Pick. Jensen would be sent to the AHL's Fredericton Express, going 18-19-4 in 42 games and then 7-5 in 12 playoff games, losing to the Hershey Bears in the Calder Cup Finals.

Jensen would signed with the IHL's Milwaukee Admirals for the 1988-89 season, playing in only 11 games with a 7-2 record before retiring from playing.

After hockey, Jensen was bouncing around the minor hockey coaching ranks before landing with the Kelowna Rockets as a goalie coach and assistant coach from 2002 to 2004. At last check, Jensen was the goalie coach for the BC Interior Select 1996-birth year team.

Jensen started out with a bang-- coming onto the college scene and winning a National Title and then again two years later. He got into the NHL under some bad circumstances, but played to the best of his abilities when he was up there, but would ultimately be pushed out because of too many goalies in the system. Even so, he has a lot to be proud of and pass along to the next generation.

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