#FormerColonialWatch: Men’s hockey alumnus Justin Kapelmaster victorious in AHL debut


Justin Kapelmaster earned the win in his AHL debut last night. Photo Credit: Garret Roberts

Tyler Gallo

CEDAR PARK, TEXAS– While the Robert Morris men’s hockey season came to a close two months ago, the program was alive and well in Cedar Park, Texas last night when former goaltender Justin Kapelmaster earned the win in his AHL debut for the Cleveland Monsters, the AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Kapelmaster was donning the same mask and pad scheme he wore at Robert Morris, with the mask featuring Robert Morris prominently on it.

Kapelmaster with the Cleveland Monsters. Photo Credit: Cleveland Monsters

Kapelmaster turned aside 26 shots as the Monsters took the Texas Stars to overtime on the road. Cleveland’s Adam Helewka scored the overtime winner with just over a minute remaining, sealing the Monsters’ victory and Kapelmaster’s first win in the AHL.

Kapelmaster spent his senior season at Robert Morris after transferring over from Ferris State and he had a season to remember. He was top five in several goaltending statistics in the AHA. His .929 save percentage, 2.51 goals-against average, and 30.37 saves per game all rank first Colonials’ history.

He started the season in the ECHL with the Allen Americans before being loaned to Cleveland, where he signed a PTO (professional try-out) contract. The Cleveland/Columbus organization experienced injury trouble in net with Joonas Korpisalo being knocked out for the season and Cam Johnson ill.

Brad Thiessen had no backup in Cleveland after Matiss Kivlenieks was recalled to Columbus and Daniil Tarasov was recalled to the taxi squad, necessitating the signing of Kapelmaster.

The Monsters have five games remaining and four of them will be against the Grand Rapids Griffins, with their next game being at Grand Rapids on Wednesday. Kapelmaster will likely see the ice once more in these games.