Kris Muhr is back where it all started. Junior hockey wise, that is.
Muhr has returned to the Potomac Patriots of the United States Premier Hockey League, where he began his junior hockey career in the 2017-2018 season.
The goalie played for the New England Wolves in the Eastern Hockey League last season and began this season with the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers in the EHL before coming back to the Patriots.
The Monument, Colo., native got off to a good start in October in his second stint with the Patriots, posting a 2.73 goals-against average and .914 save percentage in his first three games and earning Goalie of the Week honors in the USPHL’s Southeast Division.
“I enjoyed my time with the Wolves and Jr. Flyers,” Muhr said. “But I wasn’t going to get much playing time with the Jr. Flyers, so I came back to the Patriots.”
There were other important reasons for Muhr’s return to the Patriots for his final season of junior hockey eligibility. “I’m staying with the same billet family I did two years ago. They’re great. I visited them this past summer,” he said. “Also, the Patriots really treat their players well.”
Patriots coach Zachary Vit said he’s seen the expected physical and maturation progression from Muhr. Vit also was Muhr’s coach with the Patriots two seasons ago.
“Kris is a very consistent, very reliable goalie,” Vit said. “He stays with a play, whether it’s a rebound or if the opposing team has put together some good passes.”
Muhr said he considers himself a strong goalie technically. “I’ve been privileged to work with some great goaltending coaches,” the 6-foot-1, 175-pounder said. “I like to think I’m a good skater and I’m able to dictate what happens in a game. I’m always talking to my defensemen, making sure they’re in the right place.” Rebounds are a major focus for Muhr.
“I take pride in one-shot-and-done possessions,” he said. “I don’t want to give the other team second and third chances at scoring.”
Muhr doesn’t like to give up goals, of course, but his philosophy about that is, “You can’t dwell on the past. “Plus, you have to remember you’re playing the best game in the world, and there really isn’t anything to complain about.” Muhr played in 19 games for the Patriots two years ago and had a 4.63 goals-against average and .904 save percentage.
He played in 22 games for the Wolves last season and had a 4.89 goals-against average and .877 save percentage. Muhr is hoping to move on to college hockey after this season.
“Kris has the ability to do that,” Vit said