Simon Latkoczy looking to become the first USHL goalie to win back-to-back Clark Cup titles
Slovakian goaltender and Nebraska-Omaha commit Simon Latkoczy won the Clark Cup last year with the Chicago Steel and is now hoping to win another this year, but this time with the Madison Capitols.
MADISON, Wis. — There has never been a USHL Tier 1 goaltender who has been in back-to-back Clark Cup finals with two different teams — until now.
Trencin, Slovakia, native and Nebraska-Omaha commit Simon Latkoczy won the Clark Cup last year with the Chicago Steel and is looking to win it again, but this time with the Madison Capitols.
Latkoczy, 19, is in his third season in the USHL and previously played for the Capitols back in 2019-20 before playing for Chicago last season.
After leaving Madison in 2020, Simon said he didn't have any plans to go back to the organization, but said that he received a call from head coach Tom Upton (who joined the Madison organization the year after Simon left) that convinced him to return to the Chicago club.
Although Latkoczy is very familiar with playing in the Clark Cup finals, he says that the playoff run that Madison has had this year is completely different to the Chicago team that won it all last year.
"We had a dream team," said Latkoczy about the Chicago Steel. He added that there were so many high-level players on the roster that there was a lot of pressure on the team to perform and to do well, but that there is no pressure at all on any of the players on the team for Madison this year.
The Capitols came in to the playoffs as a team which has never won the Clark Cup and who were the No. 5-seed overall in the Eastern Conference.
Currently in the best-of-five Clark Cup final series, Madison and Sioux City are tied 1-1. If Madison were to win, they would be the first fifth-seeded team to ever win the title in Tier 1 history.
Latkoczy's teammates speak very highly of him, "That guy's an animal, having him back there in the net is probably the biggest blessing that I could have, he's ridiculous." said University of Minnesota commit Luke Mittelstadt after Madison's 3-2 win over Sioux City in Game 1.
Capitols head coach Tom Upton also adds that Latkoczy brings a calmness to the team that can help during high-stress situations, such as during the playoffs.
Big playoff games like the Clark Cup finals may be stressful to some, but Latkoczy said that he feels experienced enough to not be nervous for these games, especially after going through the situation last year with Chicago and also playing in other high-level games such as the World Juniors tournament.
Games 3 and 4 of the Clark Cup finals will be played in Madison on Friday and Saturday, May 20 and 21, at Bob Suter's Capitol Ice Arena. Game 5 (if necessary) will be back in Sioux City on Tuesday, May 24.
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