TOLEDO, Ohio — Walleye goaltender Billy Christopoulos was recently named ECHL goaltender of the month. He’s on an unbelievable roll right now.
But when COVID-19 hit and hockey was shut down, he got tired of sitting at home and went on the adventure of a lifetime.
It was March of 2020. As the world shut down, Billy Christopoulos found himself going stir crazy sitting around the house.
So, he decided to hit the open road. He rented a van. Cleared everything out and hit the road. No real plan in place. He just drove.
"I'd try to drive 200, 300 miles a day and then I'd wake up, drive somewhere, and then I'd go hit a national park," said Christopoulos. "I did Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, a bunch in Colorado, and then I went out to Grand Canyon. Pretty much I was just spending my mornings driving from one place to another after that I'd get there, do a hike, do a workout, and then check out the town, what was open of it at least, and then hit a rest stop for the night."
Goaltenders have the reputation of being a little bit different. Christopoulos understands why people could get that idea.
"I guess goalies definitely have the stereotype of being the oddballs on the team which I'm alright with," said Christopoulos. "I've had people tell me I'm normal for a goalie and I've had people tell me otherwise. By the end of the couple weeks there I was like, 'Alright, I'm ready to get home and have some interaction with people other than myself for a little bit,' but it was fun."
Christopoulos has grown into an unbelievable goaltender following his career at the Air Force Academy. Right now, he’s on a stretch where he hasn’t lost in regulation in 12 straight contests.
But going back to March of 2020, he felt what so many of us felt. He needed an outlet and a way to get outdoors.
So for three weeks, he drove over 5,300 miles. Hit some of the most beautiful places the country has to offer and got to be surrounded by so many of our nation's incredible landmarks.
"I brought a bunch of books with me. I got a bunch of reading done because there's not a whole lot you can do when you're out there because it's during COVID," said Christopoulos. "Nobody else is pretty much outside, most of the parks are to myself. It's kind of a strange experience. Some of the nights got pretty cold in the van, I'm not going to lie. I was bundled up and I was still freezing, but other than that it was pretty cool."