Matt Murray’s breakout performance during the 2016 playoffs helped the Penguins hoist the Stanley Cup, and earned the goaltender an impressive raise.
In October 2016, Murray agreed to a three-year extension that will pay Murray $3.75 million per season, beginning next season.
Murray, who is finding success in another deep playoff run, also enjoys time off the ice with longtime girlfriend Christina Sirignano. Here’s more on Sirignano and her relationship with Murray.
1. Sirignano Is From Murray’s Hometown
Sirignano is originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario where she also currently resides, according to her Facebook page. Murray is from the same hometown, which is how the two first met. Sirigano and Murray have been dating for several years, and Sirignano’s Instagram account features photos of the couple from high school prom.
Sirignano studied at Lakehead University where she first enrolled in 2013.
2. Sirignano Supports Her Local Humane Society
It’s evident that Sirignano is an animal lover, and has been active in supporting the Thunder Bay and District Humane Society.
In February, Sirignano auctioned a hockey stick that Murray played with while on Team North America during the World Cup of Hockey to support their local humane society. Murray’s game-used hockey stick sold for $1,085. All of the proceeds from the sale went to support the Thunder Bay and District Humane Society. The eBay auction page states that the funds were used to “provide shelter, food, veterinary care and enrichment to animals admitted to the shelter.”
3. Sirignano & Murray Have a Newfoundland Dog
Sirignano frequently posts photos of the couple’s dog, Beckham.
Murray bought the Newfoundland puppy during the 2016-17 NHL season. Beckham even has his own Instagram account. The dog divides his time between Pittsburgh, PA and Thunder Bay, ONT.
Male Newfoundlands tend to grow to an average of 26 to 28 inches in standing height (two and a half feet tall). On average, this type of breed weighs around 130-150 lbs. Murray, who is 178 lbs., will certainly have his hands full.
According to PetMD, the heavily boned Newfoundland “is strong enough to drag a drowning man from a turbulent sea.”
Beckham will turn one year old on October 7, 2017.
4. The Couple Has Been Dating Since Murray’s Junior Days
Sirignano and Murray’s relationship began before the goaltender’s NHL career. Sirignano has supported Murray from his days playing major junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
On September 4, 2013, Murray was signed to a three-year entry-level contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins. During his first full season in 2014–15, Murray set an AHL record for the longest shutout streak by not allowing any goals for 304 minutes and 11 seconds.
In the 2015–16 season, Murray was recalled from the AHL to the Pittsburgh Penguins for the first time, and made his NHL debut on December 19, 2015.
5. Sirignano Saw Murray Win the 2016 Stanley Cup
Murray made his NHL playoff debut last season at the young age of 21 years old. In his first postseason appearance, Murray allowed just one goal to help the Penguins defeat the New York Rangers 3-1. Two days later, Murray recorded his first NHL playoff shutout in a 5–0 win over the Rangers.
After replacing Jeff Zatkoff in game 3 of the first round, Murray remained the starting goaltender throughout the playoffs. He was replaced by Marc-André Fleury just once after returning as the starter. Murray became only the sixth starting rookie goaltender in the Stanley Cup Final since 1976.
He finished the 2016 postseason with a 2.08 goals against average. The 22-year-old currently has a 1.08 goals against average and a .958 save percentage in this year’s playoffs.
Sirignano was in the stands for the highlight of Murray’s career: winning the 2016 Stanley Cup. She is, once again, supporting her boyfriend in this year’s playoffs as the Penguins vie to become the first team to win back-to-back Stanley Cups since Detroit pulled it off in 1997 and 1998.