"This Guy's A Human Wall In There"

(The title comes from NHL 99 if you were wondering :))

Kenny Reiter was an absolute star for the University of Minnesota Duluth bulldogs.  He won the dogs their first national championship along with many other special achievements for the program.  Kenny left the dogs and is currently with the Fort Wayne komets, competing for a starting job this upcoming season as the komets regular tender is out with hip surgeries.   Now that Kenny is gone, this leaves a some competition for Aaron Crandall, who split time with Kenny in the ’10-’11 season and even saw time last year, with 2 incoming freshman Matt McNeely and Alex Fons.

Aaron Crandall is a solid goaltender.  As a freshman, splitting time with Kenny, he went 10-3-1, had a 2.76 goals against average and a .894 save percentage.  As a sophomore he went 2-1-0, averaged 3.01 goals against with a .855 save percentage.   He’s had some bumps along the way but is definitely a solid tendy with some good experience under his belt.  The way things stand now, the starting job is his to lose.

Aaron Crandall

Aaron’s competition comes from 6’2” 205lb Matt McNeely and 6’1” 185lb Alex Fons. 

McNeely is coming from Cedar Rapids of the USHL where he went 7-7-5, let in, on average, 3.25 goals per game, and had a save percentage of .892 in his last season.  McNeely didn’t get very much time last year because he played behind Jake Heldebrand, a Michigan State recruit, for most the time.  McNeely’s was also on USA’s gold medal team at the 2010 World U-17 championships.  There, he recorded 2.93 goals against average and a .901 save percentage in 3 games.

Matt McNeely

Fons, a former goaltender for the Fairbanks Ice Dogs of the North American Hockey League, finds himself in the battle for playing time this year as well.  Fons went 21-5-2 with a .907 save percentage and averaged only 2.33 goals against.  Alex has had quite the path to becoming a bulldog.  He started at Hopkins High School in Minnesota and upon graduation, left to the Alexandria Blizzard of the NAHL. Then, he was called to the University of Minnesota because of an injury but left after deciding he would most likely not end up with the starting job.  Fons finally ended up in Fairbanks and posted great numbers, listed above, and now is practicing with the dogs, competing with McNeely and Crandall for the starting job.

Alex Fons

Watching the goaltending situation unfold will be fun to watch over the next few weeks.  The dogs will have solid goaltending depth for years to come.