So. | G | Kincardine, Ontario
Jeff Zatkoff (Miami) and Jeff Lerg (Michigan State)
were the only freshmen to post better save percentages
than Small last season (.921).
Key Statistics: Small
made the most significant impact as a freshman goalie
at Mercyhurst since Andy Franck got 28 starts in 2002-03.
Small opened 22 games, including the last 12 of the
season. His .921 save percentage ranked third in the
league and 12th nationally (third among freshmen). His
2.75 goals-against ranked fifth in Atlantic Hockey,
and 10th nationally among first-year netminders. Only
two freshmen produced a better winning percentage than
Small’s .690 (14-6-1 record): Jeff Zatkoff of
Miami and Ben Bishop of Maine. Small made 53 stops in
the double-overtime loss to Bentley in the league semifinals.
What He Does: Small understands
his position very well. He is sound technically and
plays his angles well. Mercyhurst coach Rick Gotkin
compares him favorably to 2002 grad Peter Aubry, who
won 55 games for the Lakers.
The Bigger Picture: Maturity
and weight training have added some pounds to Small’s
not-so-small 6-foot-3 frame, which should make him more
durable during the course of a long season. Gotkin not
only expects Small to pick up where he left off last
season but be better.
Mercyhurst coach Rick Gotkin on
what Small has to do: “For us to go where
we want to go ... we have to have great goaltending,
plain and simple ... not decent goaltending but great