Welcome to the final installment of the Huskies Season preview, in today’s edition we will cover the Huskies Netminders.
In his second year as head coach, Joe Shawhan continued to struggle choosing who is going to be in the net for any given series. The lion’s share of the starts went to now Senior Matt Jurusik who performed admirably posting a 9-11-2 record over 23 starts. Junior Robbie Beydoun went through a period of games where he was very hot, but only managed a 4-6-1 record over 10 starts. Finally, in his Senior year, Devin Kero tallied a 1-3-1 record over five starts.
Though those records tend to indicate that the netminders didn’t have a terribly good season, the opposite is true. Jurusik (2.50 GAA, .909 SV%), Beydoun (1.98 GAA, .931 SV%), and Kero (2.34 GAA, .912 SV%) all had tremendous seasons as far as individual performances are concerned. The problem for all three as well as the Huskies, in general, was that the offense just wasn’t able to produce. As a result, it will be interesting to see how coach Shawhan decides who starts in net and who doesn’t.
Before moving any further we need to cover incoming netminder Blake Pietila. He is the brother to incoming forward Logan Pietila, and cousin to many former Huskies including forward Blake Pietila (yes you read that right). He played for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL) posting a 2.30 GAA and .912 SV% with 30 wins in 47 games. He was second in the USHL in victories, third in goals-against average, and fourth in save percentage. In addition to these accolades, he also won a Gold Medal at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge. Needless to say, he should turn into a huge pick up for the Huskies if he can make a smooth transition to collegiate level play.
At the end of the day coach Shawhan will most likely take the same approach as last year. Each netminder will have to earn the start and then keep it if they want minutes. I can’t say I’m against this as it ensures that no player is slacking. This does leave the issue that we saw in that a netminder might not see consistent minutes. All that being said, in the end, I think we will Jurusik begin as the defacto stater and if things start to slip, coach Shawhan will give the others a chance to prove themselves in the net.
Featured Image courtesy of Michigan Tech Athletics