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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Goalie competition lacking consistency, says head coach

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Amy Webb
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Already nine games into the season, Arizona hockey head coach Sean Hogan is still unsure about one thing: Who will be the team’s permanent goalkeeper?

Junior David Herman has started seven of the nine games for the No. 23 Wildcats, yet sophomore Steven Sisler has won both of his games and freshman Bob Schultz will get a starting nod this weekend in a game against Weber State.

“We need consistent play for sixty minutes,” Hogan said.
“They all have made big saves here and there, but we want a consistent sixty minutes.”

Herman faced a brutal stretch of games at the start of the season, but he agrees that he has been a little inconsistent.

“I’ve definitely given up a few goals that I shouldn’t have given up,” Herman said.

Herman has a 2-4-1 record so far this season, yet six of those seven games were against ranked opponents away from home. His one game in Tucson was a 16-0 shut out victory over Texas.

“He’s doing a good job,” Hogan said. “But we are going to keep pushing him though. That’s one of the culture changes here: we are never going to be satisfied with good. We want to be great at everything that we do.”

Even though other goalies are now getting some time in net, Herman said that he is not letting it affect him emotionally. He will play whenever the coach needs him to.

“If that’s 35 games out of the year it’s 35 (games) and if it’s 5, it’s five,” he said.

Herman started most of the games for the Wildcats his freshman year. Last season Herman split time with Sisler as battled concussion problems.

This season, Sisler has made the most of his opportunities in net. He helped the team get its first win against a top team, beating No. 8 Iowa State 3-2 in shootouts after stopping all three Cyclones attempts. He also stonewalled Texas in the 10-0 win Saturday night.

“I think I have what it takes to be a starter on the team,” Sisler said. “I think I’m definitely ready.”

However, Sisler won’t be the only player with something to prove this weekend.

Shultz will be getting his first collegiate start either Friday or Saturday night and, according to Hogan, has shown a lot of improvement in practice.

Of course, practice can’t simulate the pressure of playing in front of hundreds of raved fans.

“It is hard focusing sometimes, especially when you are in front of people and it’s your first game,” Shultz said.

“The biggest thing is just being well prepared, having a good week of practice going into it, and knowing you are going to play well.”

While Shultz said the task of playing in front of the large crowd will be a test, he is confident in his abilities on the ice.

“Once I get in there, I’m going to have to prove myself and that I can hold my own in net,” Shultz said.

Hogan said he is confident in each goalkeeper and that they all bring something different to the table.

However, since all three aren’t seniors, this isn’t a short-term competition. Hogan is looking for a goalkeeper who will play now and in seasons to come, and he isn’t afraid to carry a fourth goalie next year if he doesn’t get the production he wants.

“You need a goalie that can steal a game,” Hogan said.

“It’s not so much what your stats are, your goals against average and save percentage, it’s when are those goals going in.”

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