By: Andrew Erickson / @CarvellMedia / Photo: SCSU Athletics / firstname.lastname@example.org
I apologize for the late release on the last part of this series of stories as I am a student and school got very busy these past few weeks.
Nonetheless, here is the goalies preview for this year, with a bit of insight into their play at BSU.
The goalie situation is pretty cut and dry from the outside, but Larson eluded to something different than that when he spoke this week.
He pushed toward these two freshman goaltenders being able to “push David Hrenak to be better.”
I can’t see Hrenak even kind of losing his job but if one of the newcomers can, they certainly would deserve it.
Hrenak will be the starter this year. That’s the end of it. If something happens that he loses his job I will be shocked, you will be shocked, your mom will be shocked.
Hrenak split time to a point with Jeff Smith last year but was the real starter in the eyes of the coaching staff, or that is how it looked from the media’s perspective. Smith had better stats and looked like the better goalie in most of the games I watched last season.
The biggest problem I have with Hrenak is that he had a .906 save percentage, which is a step down from his .919, granted this is a stat that may be skewed when you play on a team that only let up 24.4 shots a game last season.
His save percentages from the last two season were 2.18 (18-19) and 2.11 (17-18). In college hockey, scoring is the norm with 47 teams scoring 2.5 goals a game or more last season. For a career, only letting in two goals a game is a good number to keep and shoot for continually.
This is a big year for the junior because he has been the goalie who split time and had to look over his shoulder the past two seasons but now it is just him with two freshmen behind him.
We will have to wait and see if it leads too success for the season.
NOTE: In game one at Bemidji he let in 3 goals on 16 shots over the first two periods, that’s good for an abysmal .727 save percentage. Two of these goals were hardly his fault as his defense hung him out to dry but he did get beat cleanly on a one on one attempt. After that in the third and OT he gave up only one goal on 17 shots for a .941 %.
This was a game split partly because of the furious comeback in the third and partly because Hrenak was shaking off rust of not having played an actual game since March.
The backups are freshmen Joey Lamoreaux and Jaxon Castor, who come to St. Cloud from very different paths.
Lamoreaux should firmly hold the primary back up spot this season as he come to us from the Madison Capitals of the USHL. He comes in listed at 6’1 185 on the line sheet.
The Shorewood, Wisconsin native owned a .897 save percentage last year along with 3.60 goals against average in 48 games on a bad Capitals team.
They leaned hard on their goalie as he started the 5th most games played in the whole league and the most shots against by 122, while second place played seven more games. He faced 32 shots on average.
That shows good stats for what he was working with and he will rarely face 30 shots, let alone 32, while playing this season behind a good Huskies “D” core.
His true stats should look more like his three seasons before the Capitals where he held a sub 1.75 GAA in tier one hockey.
The third string goalie is Castor right now and he gets “called up” so to speak. He spent last season as a goalie with the St. Cloud State Club Team in the ACHA.
Castor is from Phoenix, Arizona and had a commitment to Arizona State at one point but lost that in connection to his low GPA in school. He went to the USHL and played with the Dubuque Fighting Saints. He claimed the starting role in 16-17 and had a 2.35 GAA and .902 Save % in 50 games that year.
A year later he still didn’t have a college to play at and came back to a non-starting role and eventually fell down to the NAHL where he led the Shreveport Mudbugs to a Robertson Cup and was named the MVP.
He came to SCSU in search of improving his GPA and hoping to earn a spot on the varsity roster in, really, his last shot in hockey.
In the meantime, he found his way to the club team where he dominated when on the ice. He held a 2.09 GAA and .946 Save % in 11 games.
This year he shouldn’t play unless things have gone terribly wrong or he plays out of his mind in practice. His story is a unique one to say the least but as a 22-year-old freshman he brings in experience at multiple levels and an understanding that you can’t take anything for granted.