UMD Bulldog Goaltender Matt McNeely Unmasked for Halloween
Boo!!!! Happy Halloween!!! The scary guy behind the UMD goaltending mask is Matt McNeely.
The UMD Men’s Hockey team started freshman goaltender Matt McNeely in back to back games for the first time in his young career over the weekend, against the Wisconsin Badgers at Amsoil Arena.
The Burnsville native made 24 saves on Friday and 19 saves again on Saturday in the 2–2 overtime tie. He is now 1–1–1 on the year with 1.64 GAA average and a 93% saves percentage.
He played with the U.S. development program for two years and in the USHL with Cedar Rapids for a season before joining the Bulldog program.
His current Head Coach, Scott Sandelin was pleased with McNeely’s home debut performance over the weekend, saying, “He’s played three games for us and I think he has played extremely well. He got the big win at Notre Dame and played very well last Friday. Certainly in the first period when we were giving the puck up in the last 15 minutes of the period, it could have been a lot worse. But he made some big saves for us and kept the game close which allowed us to stay in the game and perhaps win the game. Based on that performance on Friday, we went with him on Saturday and he certainly didn’t disappoint. Hopefully he continues to build his confidence in those games.”
The school officially lists McNeely at 6-3, 200lbs.
Last year with Cedar Rapids in the USHL he had a 3.25 GAA average and a saves percentage of 89 percent.
While with the U.S. National Under 18 team, based out of Ann Arbor, Michigan McNeely made 41 saves in a 4-1 loss to the eventual national champion Bulldogs, so he knew what was in store in this rink, he is just about the only Bulldog that has played in both the home and away UMD locker rooms!
He was a goaltender for St. Thomas Academy in the 2009-10 season and had a 2.32 GAA back then with a saves percentage of 91 percent for the Cadets. His father played college hockey at St. Olaf College.
The other two UMD goalie masks at the school belong to Aaron Crandall who also played high school hockey at St. Thomas Academy and Alex Fons who is from Minnetonka, Minnesota.
Fons has yet to play, and Crandall has made three starts so far for UMD. Crandall is 1-2 overall on the year, with a 3.05 GAA average and a saves percentage of 89 percent.
The Bulldogs are off this week from games, but still working out. They will return to WCHA action and take on Nebraska-Omaha on Nov. 10th and 11th.