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2018 UND College Hockey Preview: Peter Thome's turn in net

UND goalie Peter Thome braces for impact as Omaha's Steven Spinner fires a shot in the first period of a game last season at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Aaron Dell didn't play much as a freshman.

Dell took over the starting role as a sophomore and is now in the NHL with the San Jose Sharks.

Zane McIntyre didn't take hold of the starter job until he was a sophomore.

McIntyre went on to win the Mike Richter Award as the top goalie in college hockey and play in the NHL for the Boston Bruins.

Cam Johnson didn't see the ice much as a freshman.

Johnson took the starter job as a sophomore, won an NCAA national title and is now with the New Jersey Devils organization.

This year, it's Peter Thome's turn.

The goaltender from Minneapolis spent most of last year as Johnson's backup, but is now expected to take a big sophomore step forward as did his three predecessors.

Thome started 11 games last season and posted a .910 save percentage and a 2.31 goals-against average—a solid rookie season. But his workload is likely to increase considerably this year.

"Right now, he exudes a lot of confidence," UND coach Brad Berry said. "He worked really hard in the summertime. He knows with Cam leaving there's an opportunity for him to take the net. Going forward, he's going to get an opportunity early on to show what he has.

"It's going to be a situation where, his body of work last year, he can go back to that for experience in game situations. He can take the ball and run with it. I go back to Cam a few years ago. Cam came in (as a sophomore) and did a very good job and earned the net. Hopefully, Peter can do the same. He's done a great job of working hard in the summer to set himself up for that."

Thome a combination of size (6-foot-4, 205 pounds) and tremendous athleticism to the position.

He also has experience of winning in difficult spots: He won his first-career start at Kohl Center in Madison, Wis., and he also earned a win at Magness Arena in Denver.

Thome is expected to get pushed by backup goalie Adam Scheel, a rookie from Lakewood, Ohio, and third goalie Ryan Anderson, a senior from Roseau, Minn.

Scheel spent two seasons with the U.S. National Team Development Program before going to Penticton in the BCHL last year.

"He's calm and cool in the net," Berry said of Scheel. "He's very patient. He has great form and technique for a goaltender. He played for the National Program, but I think what really helped him is that he played a year of junior hockey in Penticton. He was the guy. He got a lot of reps in the regular season and playoffs. I think that helped him round out his game from the standpoint of experience.

"He's got a very good body of work where he came from and he's going to be relied upon for us at some point and time here."

Brad Elliott Schlossman

Schlossman is in his 13th year covering college hockey for the Herald. In 2016 and 2018, he was named the top beat writer in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He also was the NCHC's inaugural Media Excellence Award winner in 2018. Schlossman 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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