PITTSBURGH — Minnesota Duluth will be without sophomore goaltender Ryan Fanti for Thursday’s 8 p.m. NCAA Frozen Four semifinal against Massachusetts at PPG Paints Arena due to COVID-19 protocols. Fanti did not travel with the team to Pittsburgh and remains in Duluth.
According to a UMD official, everyone else will be available for the Bulldogs against UMass, including goaltenders Zach Stejskal, a freshman, and Ben Patt, a redshirt junior.
All four Frozen Four participating teams, including UMD, have been tested for COVID-19 three times since arriving in Pittsburgh, including twice before Wednesday’s practice sessions at PPG Paints arena and again on Thursday prior to the national semifinals.
The Minutemen left four players behind in Amherst, Massachusetts, prior to departing for the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh, including starting goaltender Filip Lindberg and third-string goaltender Henry Graham. Senior wing Carson Gicewicz, the team’s leading goal scorer, and sophomore Jerry Harding also did not make the trip.
UMass added senior student equipment manager Zac Steigmeyer to the roster this week so the team had two goaltenders for Thursday’s game.
Fanti and Stejskal have split time in goal this season, with Fanti starting 19 of the Bulldogs 27 games and posting a .907 save percentage and 2.36 goals against average. Stejskal has made eight starts, posting a .934 save percentage and 1.75 GAA.
Stejskal got the start in the 3-2 five-overtime victory over North Dakota in the NCAA regional final in Fargo, North Dakota, but had to leave the game in the fourth overtime due to cramping, finishing with 57 saves on 59 shots. Fanti came on in relief to stop all six shots he faced in 17:36 to get the win.