Stejskal gives UMD hockey emotional boost in return from cancer battle

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After battling cancer throughout this season, University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) sophomore goaltender Zach Stejskal was back between the pipes over the weekend.

On Saturday, during their series finale against the University of Denver, Stejskal stepped in for Ryan Fanti who was bitten by a stomach bug. It marked his first game back since stepping away to battle testicular cancer in October, 2021. It gave the Bulldogs the emotional boost needed to beat a higher ranked Denver squad.

"To just be back on the ice with all the guys again was a special moment for sure," Stejskal recalled.

"I was a little emotional because a wins a win, but to see what he has gone through to get him back in there and to get a win is great. For our whole team it was a little emotional because these aren’t injuries, when you’re talking about cancer it’s scary," UMD head coach Scott Sandelin said.

Next up the No.7 Bulldogs will host No.9 North Dakota for the first time since November 20th. Puck drop at AMSOIL Arena on Friday is set for 8:06 p.m.