COLLEGE HOCKEY PREVIEW | Who’s gonna fill their nets? Goalies to watch

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eWe’ve put together games and dates to circle on your calendar along with players and teams to watch this season. Check it out every day this week. Today, Dave Dondoneau looks at goalies to watch:

Last year could have easily been tabbed Year of the Goalie with stalwarts Alex Lyon of Yale, Nick Ellis of Providence, Thatcher Demko of Boston College, Kevin Boyle of UMass Lowell, Michael Garteig of Quinnipiac, Kasimir Kaskisuo of Minnesota Duluth, Chris Neil of Bowling Green and Charlie Lindgren of St. Cloud State all having dominating seasons.

They’re all gone, though, and a new crop of talent will surely rise. Watch for these eight this season:

CAM JOHNSON | JUNIOR | NORTH DAKOTA

Keep an eye on defending champion and preseason No. 1 North Dakota, where Johnson (above) returns as the nation’s top goalie. He was 24-4-2 with a 1.65 goals-against average last season.

» Watch him on ASN: Jan. 7 at Nebraska Omaha and Jan. 28 at Colorado College


JAKE OETTINGER | FRESHMAN | BOSTON UNIVERSITY

He resembles Demko. He’s 6-foot-4, which NHL teams love, and he backstopped the U.S. National 18-under team last season.

» Watch him on ASN: Jan. 16 at Boston College, Feb. 17 vs. New Hampshire and Feb. 24 vs. Notre Dame


KYLE HAYTON | JUNIOR | ST. LAWRENCE

Arguably the best goalie in the country has the Saints looking to finally break through the ECAC semifinal game, which they’ve lost the past two seasons.

» Watch him on ASN: Nov. 25 at Quinnipiac


MICHAEL BITZER | JUNIOR | BEMIDJI STATE

He followed his WCHA rookie of the year campaign (.929 save percentage and 1.80 goals-against) with six shutouts, a .916 save percentage and 2.16 goals-against average last season. He’ll have more help up front this season, meaning BSU is going to be a tough out.

» Watch him on ASN: Jan. 6 at Bowling Green


CAL PETERSEN | JUNIOR | NOTRE DAME

He’s the team captain and the backbone of a salty Fighting Irish team. Finished with a 2.20 goals-against last season and a 19-11-7 record.

» Watch him on ASN: Dec. 2 at UMass and Feb. 24 at Boston University


TANNER JAILLET AND EVAN COWLEY | DENVER

The Pioneers may have the best interchangeable goalies in college hockey. Cowley, a senior and fourth-round pick of the Florida Panthers in 2013, and Jaillet (below), an undrafted junior, are the backbone of a loaded team coming off a Frozen Four appearance.

» Watch them on ASN: Dec. 9 vs. Minnesota Duluth, Jan. 13 at Western Michigan and Feb. 18 at Miami (Ohio)

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RYAN RUCK | SOPHOMORE | NORTHEASTERN

He led the Huskies on their improbable run to the NCAA quarterfinals last season, setting single-season school records for goals-against average (2.36) and finding with a 20-11-4 record and a .909 save percentage.

» Watch them on ASN: Jan. 27 at UMass Lowell


ASN’S COLLEGE HOCKEY PREVIEW

Monday: The team to beat? It might be Boston University
Tuesday: Who’s gonna fill their skates? Scorers to watch
Thursday: What to watch? Can’t-miss games
Friday: Who’s No. 1? ASN’s Elite Eight

Photo credits: North Dakota’s Cam Johnson courtesy North Dakota Athletics; Tanner Jaillet courtesy DU Athletics;

Dave Dondoneau

Dave Dondoneau is a freelance writer based in Honolulu. Follow him on Twitter @DakotaHI. Email him with story suggestions and comments at writingbydd@gmail.com