So. | G | Plymouth, Mass.
In eight starts last season, Zaniboni poted a 2-3-2 record
and a .916 save percentage.
Statistics: Zaniboni played in just eight games last
season, but coach Walt Kyle didn't put him up against patsies.
Of those eight starts, all but one was on the road and all
but two came in the first game of a two-game series.
What He Does: Wildcat fans hope he does what
the departed Tuomas Tarkki did last season—come out
of relative obscurity to post an All America-caliber season.
For a guy who only made a handful of appearances last year,
Zaniboni played rather well as evidenced by his .916 save
percentage and 2-3-2 record (admirable considering he made
only one home start). At 6-foot-1 and a shade under 200 pounds,
he's a big goalie with has good quickness, but Kyle says Zaniboni's
best attribute may be his competitiveness—he's a fierce
battler in practice as well as in games.
The Bigger Picture: Just like last year,
Kyle will rotate goalies with Zaniboni and freshman Derek
Janzen splitting time early. And like last year, NMU's fourth-year
head coach expects one or the other to emerge as the team's
no. 1 starter. Zaniboni has a slight edge because of his playing
experience and after waiting two years to become the team's
go-to goalie (he sat out the 2003-04 season behind Tarkki
and Craig Kowalski) he'll likely not squander this chance,
especially given his competitive streak. Whomever starts in
goal for the Wildcats will benefit from playing behind a deep,
experienced group of skaters—besides Tarkki, NMU lost
just two regulars from last year's 22-11-7 squad.
Michigan coach Walt Kyle on Zaniboni: "Bill
is a little bit of a hidden entity, but he had really good
numbers in the games that he played [last season]. He's worked
on his conditioning, because he's got to be just as good on
Saturday as he was on Friday, and he's got to be as good at
the end of a game as he was in the beginning."