August 17, 2005

Wayne State
Sr. | G | Hull, Mass.

Kelly's save percentage (.922) ranked second among CHA goalies in 2004-05.
Photo by Mark Hicks/WestSide Photography


Key Statistics: Kelly went 10-10-1 with a 2.54 goals-against average, a .922 save percentage and one shutout last season. The numbers were marked improvements over his sophomore line of 7-13-2, 3.54 and .903. And, contrary to unpopular belief, Kelly’s NHL rights are not owned by New Jersey, despite the fact that he made 666 saves last year.

What He Does: Kelly had to share time with Findlay transfer Will Hooper last season, but he was the Warriors’ undisputed No. 1 tender by year’s end. Kelly attributes his improvement between the pipes to an increase in stamina and agility training – which came at the expense of weightlifting. He felt lighter on his feet last season, and that’s important for a goalie listed (perhaps generously) at 5-foot-10. Kelly also noted steps forward in the departments of taking proper angles, rebound control and puckhandling.

The Bigger Picture: Hooper will still be in WSU’s goaltending mix, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Kelly get 75 percent of the starts if he plays as well as he did last season. He will be a senior co-captain on a Warriors squad that has plenty of sophomores and juniors but not many four-year players. And this will be the seniors’ last chance to mimic their freshman seasons by getting to the NCAA tournament. With the obstruction crackdown taking a bit of the bite out of WSU’s clogging mind-set, the Warriors’ goalies have to pick up the slack.

According to Kelly: “Maybe them bringing in Will did light a fire under my butt. We’re great buddies, but I’m a competitive guy, and when I’m out there, I want to win. So I came in in better shape. (My sophomore season) was definitely a learning experience, but it made me mentally tougher. Last year was a big improvement.”

— James Jahnke

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