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Sunday, February 25, 2024
Gudmandson securing starter status

Gudmandson: Junior goalie Scott Gudmandson has now established himself as the No. 1 goaltender for Wisconsin.

Gudmandson securing starter status

In the midst of Ryan Miller's string of dominating performances between the pipes for Team USA in the Olympics, Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves said that a hot goaltender ""can steal you a series, can steal you a cup, can steal you a national championship."" After sweeping Alaska-Anchorage and punching a ticket to the WCHA Final Five next weekend in St. Paul, it appears that UW junior goaltender Scott Gudmandson is heating up at the right time.

Gudmandson turned in two rock-solid performances this weekend and established himself as the clear No. 1 option moving forward. After taking a shutout into the final minute of Friday night's 4-1 victory over the Seawolves, the junior shook off one big mistake on Saturday and made 35 saves, drawing praise from his head coach.

""One of the things you ask a goaltender to do is to stop the shots he should and maybe two out of four of the ones he shouldn't,"" Eaves said. ""[Gudmandson] did that tonight, did it to a tee.""

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On Friday night, Gudmandson made 27 saves and had a shutout working until Alaska-Anchorage junior forward Craig Parkinson converted with 48 seconds remaining. While he was very good at directing rebounds with his blockers, Gudmandson dropped multiple pucks from his glove and gave credit to his teammates for helping him out.

""I didn't think my glove was very good,"" he said. ""I kept dropping some pucks there but the guys did a good job in blocking out so I could swat those away before anybody could get back there.""

Saturday night featured several big stops from the junior, including a highlight-reel glove save that he made while laying on his backside. Senior forward and captain Blake Geoffrion called it a ""momentum changer,"" as it kept the Seawolves from tying the game at two in the second period. His one mistake came later in the same period, when he tried to play a puck behind the net but got beat to the puck by an Alaska-Anchorage player, allowing sophomore Curtis Leinweber to bury the puck in a wide open net.

While the game was far from decided at that point, Gudmandson did not seem rattled by the goal and locked down the Seawolves offense for the rest of the game. That moment aside, Eaves said he was impressed with the mobility of his goaltender and his crisp decision-making with the puck.

""He was out above his blue, he was challenging, he was quick, and he fought to see pucks through screens,"" said Eaves. ""You don't win unless you have good goaltending and he was solid, especially in big moments.""

 

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