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Goalie Matej Tomek to return to junior hockey

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Matej Tomek's career at UND got off to the wrong start.

He had groin surgery before the start of his freshman year and was out for several months. By the time he came back, Cam Johnson had established himself as an All-American goalie on a national championship team.

Two years later, still behind Johnson on the depth chart and staring at a third consecutive year as a backup goaltender, Tomek has decided to leave UND and return to junior hockey.

Tomek is expected to play next season for the Waterloo Black Hawks in the United States Hockey League. Waterloo selected Tomek in the second round of the USHL's Phase II Draft on Tuesday morning.

Tomek, who will turn 20 later this month, has one year of junior hockey eligibility remaining.

The Slovakian, who came to UND with acclaim as a third-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers, is expected to be the No. 1 goalie for the Black Hawks next season.

After a year with Waterloo, Tomek could either sign with Philadelphia or choose another college. He would have two years of collegiate eligibility remaining.

The 6-foot-2, 179-pound goaltender only had two appearances and 32 minutes, 11 seconds of official game action during his career at UND.

The Fighting Hawks, in a sense, will be making a goaltender trade with the Black Hawks.

UND will bring in Waterloo goalie Peter Thome to join next year's team. He will join Johnson and Roseau's Ryan Anderson, a junior, as the three-man goalie group.

Thome is the cousin of former UND baseball player Andrew Thome, who is now in the minor leagues.

UND's other goalie commit, Adam Scheel, is expected to play next season for the Penticton Vees, the reigning British Columbia Hockey League champs.

The Fighting Hawks will open next season with an exhibition against the University of Manitoba on Sept. 30, then travel to Anchorage to open the regular season with a two-game series against Alaska Anchorage.

Brad Elliott Schlossman

Schlossman is in his 13th year covering college hockey for the Herald. In 2016, he was named the top beat writer 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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