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FNS Photo by John Stennes University of North Dakota goalie Zane Gothberg, right, makes a pad save on a shot by Bemidji State’s Aaron McLeod as McLeod is taken down by North Dakota’s Rocco Grimaldi on March 2 in Grand Forks.

Gothberg, Saunders assess UND’s shots

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Gothberg, Saunders assess UND’s shots
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GRAND FORKS — When it comes to scouting shots, nobody knows better than goaltenders.

They watch their teammates shoot for up to two hours a day, all season along. By this point, they know them pretty well.


The Grand Forks Herald asked University of North Dakota’s goaltenders, Zane Gothberg and Clarke Saunders, to assess their teammates’ shots. Below are their answers.

Q. Who has the hardest slap shot on the team? Gothberg: You don’t usually see too many slappers, but Panz (Andrew Panzarella) can let off on a good one-T slapper. It’s pretty heavy. I’d say Duey (Paul LaDue) has one of the harder slappers, too.

Saunders: I’d say maybe Paul LaDue has the hardest slap shot standing still. It’s kind of a heavy shot. (Jordan) Schmaltz has a pretty good one-timer when he gets a hold of it. That’s who I’d go with.

Q. Who has the hardest wrist shot on the team? Gothberg: I’d say (Michael) Parks has one of the heavier shots. It’s a traditional release, but it’s just heavy. If he puts it in the right spot, it’s going in nine times out of 10. (Drake) Caggiula has a pretty hard wrister. You’ve got to throw Chyz (Bryn Chyzyk) in the mix, too.

Saunders: I’d say Caggiula probably has the hardest snap shot/wrist shot. Rocco has a pretty good one, too, when he’s skating down on you going 100,000 mph. It’s coming pretty fast.

Q. Does anyone have a shot that’s tough to pick up because it’s unique or strange? Gothberg: Deception-wise, it’s Rocco (Grimaldi). He uses that short little stick of his, so it comes off the stick of his and it looks hard, even though it might be harmless. It’s just hard to read because his stick is so low and he releases the puck so low, it’s kind of deceiving. Patts (Stephane Pattyn) has a really unique shot. He lays everything into it. He takes that three second wind up so it’s kind of funny. It’s kind of different to stare at every once in a while.

Saunders: Parks always has a good release. I always find it hard stopping him. He doesn’t necessarily shoot all that much, but when he does, it’s pretty tough to pick up. I’m not sure what he does with his release, but he hides it really well.

Q. Is there a guy you struggle stopping the most on the team? Gothberg: I battle with a lot of guys, but I think for the most part, I’d like to say I get the benefit of the doubt. There are some guys who snipe, but it just depends on the day.

Saunders: For some reason, (Colten) St. Clair always seems to beat me. He shoots it pretty hard and pretty accurately when he gets a good chance. (Brendan) O’Donnell has a good shot, too, when he’s got some time. He can really pick a corner.

Q. In a shootout situation, who do you have the toughest time stopping? Gothberg: I think Schmaltzy, because he comes down, takes his time, dangles and dusts off the puck a little bit. He has some good hands so it’s pretty deceptive when he goes right and brings it back left or vice versa. He probably has one of the better shootout moves.

Saunders: I’d say Mark (MacMillan) is really good on shootouts. He doesn’t necessarily shoot all that much, but he has a couple of good moves. The past couple years, you’ve seen some pretty highlight goals when he’s cutting in from the side.

Q. Most people would have guessed Grimaldi. Is he tough in a shootout? Gothberg: He’s pretty good, too. He uses his speed a lot. You’ll see him come in. Sometimes, he goes to three or four moves and he puts the goalie out of position, but then comes back to where the goalie actually is. It’s pretty tricky, but he’s pretty good at shootouts, too.

Saunders: Oh yeah, for sure. There are probably a handful of guys. Rocco is definitely up there. If I have to pick one in particular, though, I’d say Mark.

Q. Do any opponents you’ve faced this season have memorably difficult shots? Gothberg: There’s a kid for Miami. 14. (Cody) Murphy. When we were at Oxford, that Saturday night, the second game of the year, he beat me high glove with a pretty hard shot. There are guys who can snipe at this level. (St. Lawrence’s Greg) Carey could fire the puck. He beat me low glove in that Saturday night game. He has a heavy shot. He puts everything behind it. Even if a guy has a stick on it, he’ll just shoot right through it. He probably has one of the heavier shots in the (country).

Saunders: Yeah, Carey from St. Lawrence for sure. He has a bomb. He made us look pretty silly as a group, myself included, on Friday there. (Andy) Welinski from Duluth, too. I was watching him. He has a really heavy shot.

Brad Elliott Schlossman
Schlossman is in his 11th year covering college hockey for the Herald. In 2014, he was named one of the top three beat writers in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He has voted in the national college hockey poll since 2007 and has served as a member of the Hobey Baker and Patty Kazmaier Award committees.
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