PLAYER OF THE WEEK | North Dakota’s Cam Johnson nets honors with back-to-back shutouts

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With a two-word tweet, North Dakota goalie Cam Johnson added an exclamation point to the Fighting Hawks’ back-to-back shutout sweeps at 12th-ranked St. Cloud State this past weekend.

I’m baaaaaack

— Cam Johnson (@itsyaboiiceej) November 20, 2016

Apparently so.

The junior goaltender earned ASN Player of the Week honors by turning back all 26 shots he faced in Friday’s 4-0 win and 36 more in Saturday’s 3-0 win to lead UND to its first sweep at St. Cloud State since 1998.

The back-to-back victories ended a six-game winless streak (0-4-2) for the defending national champions, who entered the weekend ranked eighth in the national college polls. It was UND’s longest winless streak since 2003.

Friday’s blanking was St. Cloud’s first shutout loss in 91 games. The Huskies hadn’t been shut out in back-to-back games since 1993 when Duluth beat them 4-0 and Minnesota blanked them 1-0 in the series opener a week later.

Johnson, who set the school’s single-season save percentage record as a sophomore last season at .935, saw this season’s average climb to .915 after entering the season with a .895 save percentage. UND is now 7-4-2 with Johnson in net for every game. He’s now started 44 straight games, second in school history only to Jean-Philippe Lamoureux’s 55-game starting streak from 2006-2008.

His 2.07 goals-against now ranks 15th in the country, and his .915 save percentage is 26th in the natio. He entered the weekend with a 2.45 goals-against average.

Johnson finished last season with a school-record 1.66 goals-against average and a 24-4-2 record and entered the season as a favorite to win the Mike Richter Award that is given to the nation’s top goalie. After starting last season slow as well, Johnson returned from a leg injury and put together the second longest shutout streak in college hockey history (298 minutes, 38 seconds) as he finished with five shutouts.

He’s now added three more entering this weekend’s home series against non-conference Big Ten foe Michigan State. He is one of five goalies with three shutouts this season and his eight for his career are fifth most in school history, one behind current San Jose State goalie Aaron Dell and seven behind Johnson’s goalie coach Karl Goehring, who had 15.


Photo courtesy North Dakota Athletics

Dave Dondoneau

Dave Dondoneau is a freelance writer based in Honolulu. Follow him on Twitter @DakotaHI.