Last week, the University of North Dakota hockey team found out that they’d be down a man in the goaltending core. Sophomore goalie Peter Thome suffered an undisclosed upper-body injury in practice, putting the Fighting Hawks in a precarious situation.
With Thome’s injury, freshman goalie Adam Scheel is expected to take the lion’s share of the minutes in net. At least for now. During three and a half seasons at UND, senior goalie Ryan Anderson has yet to play a minute in net.
Moving forward, the UND coaching staff will have to manage Scheel’s minutes so he doesn’ suffer an injury or become fatigued before the season’s end.
“Last Thursday, when Peter (Thome) went down with his injury, obviously, we had to go through that practice and then through the weekend with the game (with two healthy goalies),” UND head coach Brad Berry said. “Coming into this week here now, yeah, we will manage the reps that he gets in net.
“But adding another goaltender here to get back to three again it’s kind of the same format again, as usual, sharing the net with three goaltenders. That’s a big deal for us because of the workload and practice is tremendous with two goaltenders, and it gets overwhelming sometimes, with three it’s probably the perfect amount of time for a goaltender.”
Enter Harrison Feeney
On Monday evening, I got wind that UND was adding another goalie from the NAHL. On Tuesday, it was announced that UND had added goalie Harrison Feeney. Effective immediately. By Wednesday, Feeney had arrived on campus.
Originally, Feeney was scheduled to come in next fall, but with Thome’s injury, that speeds up his arrival. Feeney was projected to be the third goalie and replace Senior goalie Ryan Anderson.
In 48 games with the Lone Star Brahmas Feeney played 48 games had a 23-13-7 record with a .929 save percentage and a 1.73 GAA.
Here’s what starting goalie Adam Scheel had to say about gaining a new teammate.
“Just getting to know Harrison, he seems like a really good guy,” Scheel said. “He seems pretty comfortable already. I think you know a lot of the older guys are doing a really good job of bringing him in and showing him the ropes and I think we’re just going to make him part of our group.”
Looking at Feeney’s numbers, they’re pretty good. I imagine that the coaching staff would like to see Feeney get some game minutes if the opportunity arises. At the Wednesday press conference, I asked coach Berry if he expects Feeney to challenge the other goalies for playing time.
“Absolutely,” Berry said. “When we recruit not only three goaltenders with the eight defense and the 15 forwards they’re all recruited here; (with the mentality) you work hard enough you’re going to get an opportunity. It doesn’t matter at what level of scholarship you’re on. That was a message to him, too.
“You’re going to come in here and you’re going to get an opportunity if you work your tail off and you do all the right things to set that up. So you know, he knows that and that’s part of our culture here.”
Don’t Worry About Scheel
For those that are wondering, we don’t have to worry about Scheel playing too many games. Last season with the Penticton Vees, Scheel played in 45 regular season games (29-12-3, with a 2.08 GAA and a .927 save percentage). During the playoffs, Sheel also played in 11 more playoff games (7-4-0, 2.56 GAA a .895 save percentage).