Sunday, September 28, 2008

Men's Player Previews: #35 Shane Connelly

Vitals:

Position: Goalie
Year in School: Senior
Catches Left
Height: 5-9
Weight: 184
Hometown: Cheltenham, PA
Previous Team: Chicago (USHL) in 04/05

NHL Considerations: Never know what will happen following the season for a Howie prodigee.

07/08 Stats: 37 games, 15-16-5, 2.44 GAA
06/07 Stats: 7 games, 4-1-2, 1.11 GAA

08/09 Role: Starting Goalie

07/08 Recap: Following in the footsteps of the legend Brian Elliott, Shane took over the full time duties in net last season. I'm of the opinion that Shane had a pretty good season. His stats were middle of the pack for the WCHA, but he did his job keeping the Badgers in almost every game. What more can you ask for from your netminder? I was surprised that Shane didn't have more than one shutout, considering he had several the season before in limited action. What he lacks in size, he makes up for in athletism. The highlight of the season for Shane came earlier in the season against North Dakota where they threw the kitchen sink at him, but nothing snuck by.

08/09 Thoughts: The net duties are sitll in the hands of Shane heading into the season, and while he will be pushed by Scott Gudmandson, I think that will be good to take his game to a higher level. The big question mark looms w/ the resignation of Coach Bill Howard from the staff last month, and what effect that will have on the goalies. Shane had a full three seasons of the tuteledge, his habits should be set in stone. If Shane can do a little better than last season, Wisconsin should have no worries about making the NCAA tourney. Of course the offense needs to wake up and do their part too. I don't see All-American honors in Shane's future, but he should have a chance at All-WCHA.

Prediction: 28 games, 17-7-4, 2.25 GAA

Photo from uwbadgers.com