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Sports column: goaltender ‘Charlie Lindgren is on fire’

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When you’re hot, you’re hot, and Charlie “Chuck” Lindgren is on fire. The NCHC player of the month went 5-2 (4 shutouts) in October as the starting goaltender for the Huskies.

Chuck started off the year as good as anybody can possibly hope for with three straight shutouts, including two in a sweep of in-state rival Mankato State. Lindgren finished the month just as strong as he started only allowing one goal on 48 total shots against conference rival Miami. Add all of that up and that means Charlie is the owner of a .947 save percentage and goals against average (GAA) of 1.43 and yes, that is good; really, really good.

Having a goalie as hot as Charlie Lindgren is a huge boost to the Huskies. As a team, it allows you to just play your game without worrying about one mistake costing you at the other end. Everybody plays with confidence and it makes the whole team more dangerous. Additionally, it can cause great frustration for the opposition forcing them into bad shots or making them hesitant to shoot the puck at all.

Chuck is really good at getting himself in the right position to make the save and that right there is half the battle. Putting you in a good position to make the save makes everything after that just that much easier to do.

Not only does he put himself in great positioning, but he also shows great athleticism at the goalie position that allows him to make the diving desperation saves that separate the good goalies from the greats. Lindgren helps use his quality athleticism, hand eye coordination, and soft hands to corral rebounds and limit second chance opportunities. Rebound control is huge and Charlie has shown the ability to limit those second and third scoring chances.

The path to such a great start was not an easy one either. Playing top notch quality opponents in Minnesota State University Mankato and The University of Miami (Ohio) going 4-0 in those contests allowing only one goal on 102 shots. Good for a .990 save percentage and GAA of 0.250. You cannot win if you cannot score, and Charlie is making sure the opponents cannot score.

The NCHC is the toughest conference in men’s hockey and Charlie Lindgren has the Huskies off to a perfect 2-0 conference record. With upcoming games against Western Michigan University (2-0 NCHC) and the University of North Dakota (2-0 NCHC) Lindgren and the Huskies have a real chance to prove that they belong in the ranks of men’s hockey elite teams and that Lindgren in fact, is the real deal.

Lindgren has a chance to rest with the Huskies on a bye week and he’s going to need to be at the top of his game when he faces off with the Broncos in Kalamazoo, Michigan. And if he continues to play like he has for the rest of the year, beware NCHC, Lindgren and his pack of Huskies are coming for you.

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