UMD hockey notebook: Deery bounces back in goal for Bulldogs
As a mechanical engineering major at Minnesota Duluth, sophomore goaltender Nick Deery does plenty of thinking in the classroom. On the ice, however, he finds it best to keep his two-time NCHC All-Academic mind clear. After a rough first outing o...
As a mechanical engineering major at Minnesota Duluth, sophomore goaltender Nick Deery does plenty of thinking in the classroom.
On the ice, however, he finds it best to keep his two-time NCHC All-Academic mind clear.
After a rough first outing of the season two weeks ago against Michigan Tech in the Ice Breaker Tournament championship, Deery bounced back in convincing fashion Saturday by making 27 saves in a 0-0 overtime shutout of Bemidji State at Amsoil Arena.
Deery stopped just 13 of 17 shots in the loss to the Huskies on opening weekend. If his reaction time looked off in the 4-3 defeat, Deery said it was because he was thinking too much and trying too hard that night.
"I just clouded my mind. I wasn't able to relax and play my game," Deery said. "From the Tech game to this past game against Bemidji, my focus was to clear my mind, play my game and trust my body."
Deery is currently sharing the Bulldogs starting goaltender duties with true sophomore Hunter Shepard of Cohasset. Shepard has started both regular season Friday games. He's 1-1 with a 3.49 goals against average and .811 save percentage. Deery, who is 0-1-1, has gotten both Saturday starts and thanks to the shutout has improved his 4.03 GAA and .756 save percentage to 1.93 and .909.
As a redshirt freshman a year ago, Deery appeared in three games, starting two, all between Oct. 7-14, after not getting in a regular season game as a true freshman in 2015-16. The 2014-15 Manitoba Junior Hockey League's Top Goaltender went 1-0-2 in his three appearances, posting a 1.54 GAA and .934 save percentage.
Deery said he reflected on those games last week prior to facing the Beavers. Those performances gave him the knowledge and confidence he could play at the NCAA Division I level.
"It was one game, just get rid of it and focus on what I can do," Deery said of the Tech loss. "I have to stay relaxed and trust that I can play the game and be confident in myself."
Bulldogs penalty kill takes a step
UMD coach Scott Sandelin called Saturday's 0-0 tie a strong night for Deery and a good building block moving forward.
The same could be said about the Bulldogs' penalty kill.
After going 12-for-18 (66.7 percent) on the kill in their first three games, the Bulldogs shut out the Beavers penalty kill on Saturday, holding them 0-for-3.
It helped the Bulldogs took a season-low four penalties for eight minutes, but Sandelin also credited Deery for stepping up and giving the PK support.
"Your goaltender is sometimes your best penalty killer," Sandelin said Saturday. "Nick was strong, it helped our penalty kill and gives our guys some confidence. He made some saves."
Fourth line proving UMD's most consistent
One of the forward lines Sandelin liked coming out of the Ice Breaker was the fourth line trio of freshman Kobe Roth, sophomore Jade Miller and junior Billy Exell. He tweaked that line against the Beavers, replacing Roth with senior Blake Young and was once again pleased with the efforts of that line despite the weekend only producing a loss and tie.
The Bulldogs' fourth line - which saw Young get his third collegiate goal Friday - was the only forward group to play together all weekend. Sandelin took freshman winger Riley Tufte off the top line Saturday and put junior assistant captain Parker Mackay there. Sandelin also formed an all-freshman line of Roth, Justin Richards and Nick Swaney.
Sandelin said it's all a work in progress.
"I thought the freshmen line did some good things," Sandelin said. "There were some good parts to everybody. Parker had a strong game and worked hard and played like he needs to play for us. A lot of guys had good moments. We're just still working to find what's the best."
Serratore preaches patience
The Bulldogs 1-2-1 start to 2017-18 is the program's worst record over the first four games since going 1-3 in 2011-12 against Notre Dame and Minnesota at home. UMD still went on to reach the NCAA Northeast Regional final that season and finish with a 25-10-6 record.
Count Bemidji coach Tom Serratore, a native of Coleraine, as one who believes UMD will bounce back and be a force later this season.
"Duluth has a good hockey team. Wait about another 4-6 weeks when those four freshmen defensemen or five freshmen defensemen are a little more experienced," Serratore said. "They're going to be really battle tested. They're playing a lot of hockey. That's a team that's pretty darn good for how young they are."