The Ol’ College Try

Justin Goldman

2009-03-23

stalock

 

The NCAA championship brackets were determined over the weekend and with the tourney beginning this Friday in Bridgeport and Minneapolis, allow me to shed some light on the goalies being displayed in this year’s Frozen Four. There are a number of big-time goalies preparing for the battle that leads to Washington, D.C. and some of them have legitimate NHL prospect value.

 

Air Force Junior Andrew Volkening was the force behind the Falcons winning a third-straight Atlantic Hockey title. DU’s Marc Cheverie was sensational leading the Pioneers to the #1 seed in the Minneapolis bracket. Boston University’s freshman phenom Kieran Millan has been the most poised goalie down the stretch and UMD’s Alex Stalock has out-done them all by allowing just one goal in three games over championship weekend.

Sure enough, the Frozen Four is the most significant two weeks of the NCAA season because it turns boys into men and acts as a perfect platform for NHL scouts to see what’s out there. Teams and players are judged heavily by how they compete in the NCAA tournament, so the present and the future are both on the line for these kids.

Countless goalies have played the best hockey of their lives in the NCAA tourney and every year seems to result in more of them claiming some type of job at the AHL or NHL level. This past weekend was the divisional championships and they happened to be another delightful goalie scouting experience, so check out some of the accolades and insight for the top-flight prospects in this year’s tournament!

Alex Stalock – JR – Minnesota Duluth – San Jose Sharks – #112 in 2005
It is tough to argue with a statistic like allowing just one goal in the three most important games of the season, but that’s exactly what Stalock did over the weekend. He was absolutely on fire, shutting out the Denver Pioneers 4-0 and North Dakota 3-0 en route to the WCHA championship and Final Five tournament MVP trophies.

Another note about Stalock – he averaged 28.35 shots against over the course of the regular season but still managed a .927 save percentage. He has only allowed three goals in five games, starting off with a pair of wins against Colorado College a week before the Final Five started. Three games in three nights and only one goal against? That just screams potential at the NHL level.

Marc Cheverie – SO – Denver – Florida Panthers – #193 in 2006
Cheverie led DU to a 3-0 shutout against the Wisconsin Badgers on Friday night at the Xcel Energy Center with a picture-perfect 42-save effort. It was by far his best game of the