So. | G | Fernie, British Columbia
Teslak's .902 save percentage ranked eighth among
WCHA goaltenders last year, tops among freshmen.
Key Statistics: Teslak
was the goalie of record in all seven of the Huskies’
wins last season, including their 4-2 shocker at Wisconsin
on Dec. 9. Exactly 20 days later, he set a Great Lakes
Invitational record, stopping 57 shots in Tech’s
3-2 overtime loss to Michigan State in Detroit.
What He Does: Tech’s
top goaltender is listed at 6-foot-2, and that’s
before he dons skates and pads, meaning that in full
uniform, he fills a lot of the net. Teslak admits that
as much as he tries to play the “big goalie”
game made popular by the likes of Garth Snow, his No.
1 goal is to not get beat moving laterally and anticipate
where the opponents will shoot from.
The Bigger Picture: Young
and shorthanded on defense and in goal at the start
of last season, the Huskies struggled early. “Until
I got up to the pace of college hockey, the puck would
end up in the back of the net a lot,” Teslak says.
But coach and player agree that some experience on the
blue line and more confidence in goal made the Huskies
a different team by December. “We finally saw
what it takes to win in this league and found a way
to win some games later in the season,” Teslak
says. That confidence and experience led to Teslak winning
the WCHA’s Rookie of the Week award twice and
being named the league’s top defensive player
once. Huskies head coach Jamie Russell, who was an assistant
at Cornell before taking over his alma mater’s
program, says that in Teslak’s freshman season
he saw a few moves that reminded him of another pretty
good goalie from Fernie – former Hobey finalist
Michigan Tech head coach Jamie
Russell on Teslak: "Goaltending in the
past had been a struggle for us, and it was an area
where we certainly had to improve. We were about as
young as you can be on the back end last year, but Michael
kind of took the bull by the horns for us.”