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BLOG: Goaltender U.

BLOG: Goaltender U.

Paul Braun (Wisconsin men's hockey play-by-play)

Purdue claims the title of Quarterback University, Illinois says they are Linebacker University, and I say Wisconsin is Goaltender University.

In order to try and give a little perspective on how good Badger goaltending has been over the years, I decided to do a breakdown of the goaltenders for the 1970s, '80s, '90s and 2000 decades. Those four decades also cover Wisconsin’s six championships.  

All the goalies listed below played more then 50 games except Curtis Joseph. His inclusion on this list will become very apparent later in the blog.

In addition to convincing you that the Badgers deserve the title, I also decided to offer you a challenge.  Using the information below, why don’t you pick your top two goaltenders from each decade and then select the one goalie you would put in the nets for the championship game. Good luck. (Especially for picking only two in the 1980s).

I fully understand that it may not be fair to compare different decades because hockey has changed a lot over the years. There are more teams now; the talent level of the Badger teams and the competition are different. The style of play, the size of some rinks, players leaving early, and the equipment have all changed over the years.

1970s                1980s                  1990s                     2000s
Julian Baretta     Dean Anderson    Jim Carey                Bernd Bruckler
Mike Dibble        Marc Behrend      Kirk Daubenspeck    Brain Elliott
Jim Makey         Duane Derkson    Graham Melanson    Scott Kabotoff
Dick Perkins      Terry Kleisinger                
Roy Schultz       Mike Richter                                                      
                         Curtis Joseph

Listed below are the top 10 Badger goaltenders in the following categories.
Most Victories      Top save %         Goals Against Ave     Total Games
Melanson  81        Elliott 93.1          Elliott  1.78               Melanson  140
Derkson    80        Joseph  91.9       Bruckler  2.48           Derkson  129
Anderson  68        Bruckler  91.6      Joseph  2.49            Daubenspeck  121
Daubenspeck  55  Behrend  91.2      Behrend  2.64          Bruckler  114
Baretta  51           Melanson  91.0    Melanson  2.80        Anderson  110
Bruckler  51         Thomas   90.9      Thomas  2.84          Dibble   95
Elliott   50            Kabotoff  90.2       Vroman  3.05          Baretta  86
Dibble  50            Carey  90.1          Carey  3.05             Elliott 86
Behrend  49         Perkins  90.0        Valley  3.49            Kleisinger 86
Kleisinger  47       Valley  89.9          Kabotoff  3.26         Behrend  60

Now let’s get down to the brass tax of proving that Wisconsin is Goaltender University.
Let’s start with the fact that the Badgers have had 4 First Team All Americans. They include Julian Baretta in 1977, Roy Schultz in 1980, Bernd Bruckler in 2004 and Brian Elliott in 2006.

The Badgers also had 4 Second Team All Americans including Dean Anderson in 1988, Curtis Joseph in 1989, Duane Derkson in 1992, and Kirk Daubenspeck in 1997.

Missing from that impressive list is Mike Richter and Marc Behrend.

After leaving Wisconsin Richter went on to play 15 years in the NHL with the New York Rangers.  During that time he played in more then 630 games, set 13 regular and post season Ranger records, had his jersey retired, and won a Stanley Cup Championship in 1984.

Marc Behrend allowed just two goals in two NCAA Championship games to help the Badgers win titles in 81-83.  Behrend set the Wisconsin single season win percentage record of 92.1% with a 17-1-1- record.  For his career Marc was 41 games over 500 which also lead’s Wisconsin goalies. Duane Derskon was next at 40 games over 500.

When you check to see how the Badgers ranked in the WCHA lets start with Curtis Joseph.  To this day Curtis is the only player in the league history to be named WCHA – MVP, Player of the Year, and the WCHA Rookie of the Year in the same season.

Joseph left the Badger program after one year to move on to the NHL. He is still playing about 20 years later.  He has been in goal for more then a 1,000 games while playing for St. Louis, Edmonton, Detroit, Phoenix, Calgary, and is still active with Toronto in his second go around with the Maple Leafs.

Wisconsin goaltenders also hold other WCHA records including Brian Elliott 1.94 goals against average in league play, lowest goals against average in all games at 1.78, best winning % for all games at 93.1, tied for first in career shutouts, and still holds the most consecutive scoreless minutes all games 269.51 minutes.

Dean Anderson still holds the league records for most games played in the WCHA in one season with 35, and he is also listed as the leader in total minutes played in league play and overall minutes played in a season.

Still not convinced that Wisconsin is “Goaltender University”  

OK here is one more reason.  Since 1969 when Wisconsin joined the WCHA no school in the country has won more championships then the Badgers.

You don’t win championships without great goaltending.  Case closed.

Appears in Paul Braun's Reckonings

Tagged with Paul Braun, Men's Hockey Blog, goaltenders

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