UMD goalie Stejskal talks first career shutout, Shepard making NHL debut

UMD goalie Stejskal talks first career shutout, Shepard making NHL debut

UMD goalie Zach Stejskal talks about his first career shutout.

Last Friday University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) men’s hockey senior goalie Zach Stejskal earned his first collegiate shutout earning a 4-0 win over Bemidji State University. He then backstopped the Bulldogs to a 5-4 overtime victory Saturday and the series sweep.

Now the netminder will need to get used to new territory as UMD visits Cornell University in Ithaca, New York for the first time this weekend.

“As a goalie, I just try to figure out all my angles. Some rinks are more difficult to pick up pucks, whether that’s the lighting or the stands behind. So we always try to practice at least a day in advance, and that really helps out the goalies for sure,” Stejskal said.

Stejskal and UMD battle Cornell Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m. CT.

But first Wednesday night Stejskal will get to watch a fellow Cohasset, Minn. native and Grand Rapids alum, former Bulldog great, Hunter Shepard make his NHL debut. This week the goaltender was called up to the Washington Capitals.

“Deep down he’s probably nervous and excited, but he probably won’t show it because he’s pretty Shep. It’s awesome for him, I think all the guys are excited,” UMD head coach Scott Sandelin said.

After leading UMD to back-to-back NCAA Division I national championships (2018, 2019), Shepard has since spent four years in the pros between the ECHL and AHL. Last season he backstopped the AHL’s Hershey Bears to a Calder Cup championship.

The Capitals drop the puck in New Jeresy Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m..