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(S48 Class) Brick Wahl - Player [Reviewed]


Phil
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G - Brick Wahl

Birthplace: Red Deer, Alberta, Canda

Height: 6'4" 

Weight: 210lbs

Jersey Number: 31

Drafted: S36 NYA (GM Rule)

Username: Advantage @Advantage

 

 

Aside from the simple fact that Brick Wahl's name was meant to be a superstar goalie, his career numbers exemplified it as well. Wahl remains embedded in VHL history as a great goaltender and part of the great New York American Dynasty, and as you'll find out, arguably the best performing playoff goalie in the history of the VHL. 

 

Career Awards:

S39 Devon Marlow-Marta Trophy - North American Playoff Champions (NYA)
S40 Devon Marlow-Marta Trophy - North American Playoff Champions (NYA)
S41 Devon Marlow-Marta Trophy - North American Playoff Champions (NYA)
S38 Victory Cup - Regular Season Champions (NYA)
S39 Victory Cup - Regular Season Champions (NYA)
S40 Victory Cup - Regular Season Champions (NYA)
S41 Victory Cup - Regular Season Champions (NYA)
S43 Victory Cup - Regular Season Champions (STO)
S39 Continental Cup - Playoff Champions (NYA)
S41 Continental Cup - Playoff Champions (NYA)

S39 Daisuke Kanou Trophy - Playoff MVP
S41 Daisuke Kanou Trophy - Playoff MVP

 

Season 36 Statistics:

Regular Season:
S36(NYA) 64GP | 25W - 34L - 5OTL | 0.911SV% | 3.23GAA |  2SO | 4A

Brick Wahl came around at the right time. It was, I should mention, not by happenstance. The GM of the Americans, Chris Miller, and the player agency he represents, was scouting the young netminder with the direction of his team very intently. Wahl was the right age such that he would be eligible to start as a rookie goaltender in the first year of the Americans’ rebuild.

 

And so it was in Season 36 that Wahl started his VHL career on a very shallow and young Americans side. Wahl won 28 games, as the Americans finished the season out of the playoffs with a respectable 62 points. He had a personally decent season, boasting a 0.911 save percentage with a respectable 3.23 goals against average. None of the players, management, nor fans were unsatisfied or impatient, as they had another draft full of top picks that they would use to solidify their core which would turn out to be quite a dynasty. 

 

Season 37 Statistics:

Regular Season:
S37(NYA) 64GP | 33W - 26L - 5OTL | 0.919SV% | 2.28GAA |  5SO | 2A

Having drafted two Hall of Famers in the previous season (Low and Xiao), the Americans were looking to fill out their roster even more this season. Miller brought in the future face of the franchise, Odin Tordahl, along with Tom Slaughter (another future Hall of Famer) and the promising rookie of Logan Laich. The Americans, with their much improved depth, finished 21 points above where they were last season, with 83. Under any normal circumstances this would have been enough to make it into the post-season, but with only 3 weak teams in the league, the Americans were shaken off by the Bears, who finished with one more point. It unfortunately came down to the lack of experience, but the Americans were only just starting to rev their engines. Wahl improved his stats from last season to 0.919 SV% and 2.28 GAA. 

 

Season 38 Statistics:

Regular Season:
S38(NYA)  8GP |  6W -  2L - 0OTL | 0.880SV% | 2.51GAA |  0SO | 0A

After what seemed like a short eternity, the Legion finally ceded control of the North American Conference. The Americans scored more goals (239) and gave up fewer (129) than last season, finishing with a towering goal difference of 110. The earned 116 points and handily won the Victory Cup, Brick Wahl's (and many others') first piece of silverware. Unfortunately for Brick Wahl, he spent the vast majority of this phenomenal season on the bench. Miller, in his unselfish way, had brought in legendary goaltender Thomas Tukio for his final season who shone like a thousand suns, posting up a 0.937 SV% and a shockingly low 1.63 GAA, which as of S51, is the 3rd best in the history of the VHL, while his save percentage was tied for 6th all-time. It's no wonder the Wahl was only started for 8 games but the question was how would this play on his confidence? New York met the Legion in the Conference Finals for what was the vast majority of New York players’ first playoff experience. It was a hard-fought series that ended in six games, with the outcome not going the way of the Americans. But with the retirement of Tukio, Wahl would be thrust back into the spotlight... with some enormous shoes to fill.

 

Season 39 Statistics:

Regular Season:
S39(NYA) 64GP | 47W - 12L - 5OTL | 0.912SV% | 2.06GAA |  6SO | 2A
Playoffs: 
S39(NYA) 10GP | 8W - 2L - 0OTL | 0.943SV% | 1.30GAA | 4SO | 0A

The Americans picked right up where they left off. They stay on top of the league and kept their distance from the dangerous European Conference, which feature two teams with +100 points. Davos, the European version of New York finished with 104 points while Vasteras desperately tried to make another mark on the league and finished on the heels of Davos with 101 points. Meanwhile, the Americans almost equaled their last season's total with 114 points, but finally did not have to worry about the Toronto Legion, as they had entered a rebuild and finished with just 30 points. Brick Wahl picked up from where he was stopped 2 seasons ago, finishing up the season with 47 wins, a 0.912 SV%, and a career best (to this point) GAA with 2.06! Meanwhile up front, Miller managed to pick up Wesley Kellinger in the off-season, a move that would seem to work with Tordahl. The two of them combined for a shocking 248 points, with Tordahl getting 127 and Kellinger 121. The rest while they waited for the Bears to beat the Wranglers did not break the stride of their Cup run, as they dispatched them in just 5 games before blowing the helmets off Davos in the Finals to earn them their first Continental Cup of the generation. Brick Wahl showed exactly the true nature of his name. The MVP of the playoffs was undoubtedly him, with a save percentage of 0.943 and a goals against average of 1.30 with 2 shutouts. Alongside the honour of  receiving the Playoff MVP, he took home the Victory Cup, the Devon Marlow-Marta Trophy and the Continental Cup for the first 3 weeks of the off-season. 

 

Season 40 Statistics:

Regular Season:
S40(NYA) 64GP | 53W - 10L - 1OTL | 0.926SV% | 1.80GAA |  8SO | 3A
Playoffs:
S40(NYA) 10GP | 5W - 4L - 1OTL | 0.938SV% | 1.96GAA | 2SO | 0A

The established dynasty had no intentions of going anywhere fast. They had a league best 121 points for a third Victory Cup of the generation, 21 points clear of 2nd place Cologne Express. They scored the most goals (254) and let in the fewest (139). Tordahl, Slaughter, XxX, Bennett Wahl, and Low all had more than a hundred points, with Tordahl leading the way with 115. Wahl had career high numbers again with 53 wins, 0.926 save percentage, and 1.80 goals against average, finishing second in the league in both categories behind Moher and Salo, respectively. His performance of last season's playoffs really seemed to get him to find his form. They stormed through the Wranglers in 5 games, who had just finished upsetting Quebec City, only to be stopped in their tracks by a team that finished 27 points back of them – Riga Reign, who won the Cup in just 5 games. Wahl still put up solid post-season numbers, with a 0.938 SV% and 1.96 GAA, but in the end it wasn’t enough and the offense let them down. Still, They took home another Devon Marlow-Marta trophy to add to the trophy case and they weren't finished with this era. 

 

Season 41 Statistics:

Regular Season:
S41(NYA) 64GP | 52W - 10L - 2OTL | 0.923SV% | 1.90GAA | 11SO | 2A
Playoffs:
S41(NYA) 12GP | 8W - 2L - 2OTL | 0.934SV% | 1.89GAA | 2SO | 0A

With Odin Tordahl retiring in the off-season, New York needed something to fill that gaping hole left by him. Surprisingly, Miller first traded for Matt Bentley, superstar defenseman, but the trade was justified when Conner Low switch up to forward, leaving Bentley to handle things alone in the back. This had a very similar feel to what Hall of Famer Matt Bailey did. Regardless, it seemed to work and the transition was basically flawless.  They easily captured another Victory Cup with 121 points. Wahl finished with similarly impressive numbers to last season, with +50 wins, 0.923 SV% and 1.90 GAA, finishing third and second in the league, respectively. Mike Szatkowski Jr., the Riga netminder, dominated the goalie leaderboards and walked away with the Shaw Trophy. However, in the playoffs. it was all about Brick Wahl. They outplayed Quebec en route to another final with Riga, a series that went to seven. It was tied heading into the final three minutes of the games when Bentley slip the puck across to Slaughter who wired it home, giving the Americans their second Cup in Wahl's career. Wahl Shone bright like a diamond once more, posting a 0.934 SV% and a 1.89 GAA to once again earn the honour of Playoff MVP. 

 

Season 42 Statistics:

Regular Season:
S42(NYA) 64GP | 43W - 15L - 6OTL | 0.922SV% | 2.05GAA |  3SO | 3A
Playoff:
S42(NYA) 12GP | 7W - 4L - 1OTL | 0.935SV% | 1.76GAA | 4SO | 1A

Brick Wahl entered his penultimate season knowing this would be one of his last chances for a Shaw Trophy - the VHL's top goalie. Having been able to prove to the league that he could win Championships, and be the MVP of the playoffs, he had just that one box left to tick off on his to-do list. The Americans were slowing down and Miller had no trouble admitting that this would likely be their final season of competing. Wahl's numbers, like the rest of the aging American team, were down.  He finished again 2nd and 3rd in the league for save percentage and goals against average. New York replaced some of their old pieces for young budding stars such as Christoph Klose and Jody 3 Moons, but this year, the Meute was too strong and for the first time in his career, Wahl would have to play a first-round playoff series. They got rid of the Legion quite easily, however Wahl's season and the New York American Dynasty was put to an abrupt halt by Bruno Wolf and the Meute and Miller had no choice but to raise his white flag and rebuild.

 

It is worth noting that although they didn't get to the VHL Finals, Brick Wahl's post-season numbers were once again astonishing. They were, in fact, better than both his Daisuke Kanou winning seasons, with just as many games played. In his 12 playoff games, he earned a 0.935 save percentage and a 1.76 goals against average. This is just a testament to the veteran offense not being able to deliver enough on the offensive end. 

 

Season 43 Statistics:

Regular Season:
S43(STO) 51GP | 37W - 11L - 3OTL | 0.920SV% | 1.80GAA | 13SO | 1A
Playoffs:
S43(STO)  5GP | 1W - 4L - 0OTL | 0.890SV% | 3.68GAA | 0SO | 0A

For his final season of his career, Wahl was traded to the newly relocated Stockholm Vikings in a monster deal involving Miller releasing Wahl, Slaughter and 3 Moons in exchange for the young netminder Jax Barnstormer, De Rossi, two 1sts and a 2nd round pick. With the help of these new recruitments, the Vikings stormed up through the ranks and barely edged out the Cologne Express to the top of the league with 116 points compared with the trains' 115 for Wahl to claim, remarkably, his fourth Victory Cup. Wahl's team allowed the lowest goals against with 124, leading to Wahl's goals against average being top of the league at 1.80. His save percentage had dropped to 5th in the league with 0.920 but those number were still good enough for him to be considered for the Shaw Trophy, However he was still 1% behind Brookside, who also had a 1.84 GAA and tied Wahl in shutouts with 13 and therefore in the Award Voting it was a clean sweep for Brookside. The playoffs were full of surprises, with The Bears sweeping the Legion in the first round, the Express handily dispatching Wahl and the Vikings in 5, and then the Bears somehow pulling off the miracle with a game-7 win for the most underdog story in VHL history. Because of this, no one would really remember Wahl's final season in the VHL for being the last season of a great goaltender. 


Career Totals:
 
Regular Season:

443GP | 296W - 120L - 27OTL | 0.918SV% | 2.18GAA | 48SO

Playoffs:

49GP | 29W - 16L - 4OTL | 0.931SV% | 1.93GAA | 12SO

Not many goaltenders have made it into the hallowed halls of the VHL Hall of Fame without winning at least one Aidan Shaw Trophy, but an anomaly is definitely Brick Wahl. Wahl was a part of one of the greatest dynasties in recent VHL history and posted up consistently great numbers throughout his career. He had to wait a few seasons before the Board of Governors inducted him, but the atmosphere within the BoG was such that each season he was not selected, there was no doubt that he eventually would be. Wahl's incredible performances in the post-season can really only be compared to that of the great Daisuke Kanou, as there has been no goalie in a long, long time, if ever, that can hold a candle to what Wahl managed to do in his post-seasons with New York. In fact, among goalies who have played over 10 playoff games, Wahl ranks 3rd OA in save percentage, behind Van Urho and Gegeny, and 1st in GAA. Yeah, there was no way Wahl was not getting in. 
 

Edited by Phil
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