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Newfoundlander is among WCHA leaders in key goaltending metrics
Bitterly disappointed he was overlooked in the NHL draft, goaltender Zack Rose of Paradise finds himself in an enviable position as an undrafted free agent — and hopefully generating some interest from the NHL.
Rose is a sophomore goaltender with Bowling Green University which has one of the top NCAA Division I men’s hockey programs so far this season. The university’s team, the Falcons, are 3-1 in the tough Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) conference, and 14-4 overall.
The Ohio university is the eighth-ranked NCAA men’s team in the most recent USA Today poll, and Rose has been doing his share of the heavy lifting for the Falcons.
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He and senior Eric Dopp have been splitting the workload between the pipes. Last season Rose appeared in only four games, but already has seven appearances — 6-1 overall, with one shutout — this year.
He’s third in the WCHA in goals-against average (1.44) and third in save percentage (.935).
One of Rose’s wins came just over a week ago when Bowling Green stopped Northern Michigan 6-2. Rose made 27 saves as Bowling Green registered its 1,000th all-time win, becoming just the 26th program in NCAA DI hockey to reach the milestone
“That was pretty special,” said Rose, who played prep school hockey in the Chicago area before heading off to Victoria and the Junior A British Columbia Hockey League (where he was a teammate with Alex Newhook of St. John’s) and Bowling Green.Rose turned in an MVP performance at the World Junior A Hockey Challenge during his final year in Victoria.
Falcons senior forward Brandon Kruse is a draft pick of the NHL’s Las Vegas squad (fifth round, 2018) and as a result, Rose said, the Golden Knights usually have someone from within the organization at Bowling Green’s games.
Because the Falcons are one of the top teams in the NCAA so far this season, NHL scouts are often in the press box.
That can only be a good thing for someone like Rose, an undrafted free agent and open to any potential year-end offers.
“I don’t know of any (NHL) teams specifically looking at me,” he said. “I know there are teams at every game because we’re so good, and we have a lot of guys who are graduating.
“I haven’t talked to any teams or heard anything, but you always hope that’s an option at some point.”
Falcon Fans, do you accept this Rose?— Bowling Green Hockey (@BGFalconHockey) December 23, 2020
7⃣ - Goals Against Average, 1.27
1⃣2⃣ - Winning Percentage, .750 (3-1-0)
1⃣4⃣ - Save Percentage, .931
🏒 WCHA Goaltender of the Week#AyZiggy || #TheBachelorette pic.twitter.com/GH93tLMsLd
Rose is fully recovered from shoulder surgery he underwent in 2018. He missed a couple of games recently with an inner ear infection, but is otherwise healthy and anxious to help Bowling Green to a conference championship and Frozen Four national title.
“Yeah, that’s definitely where our minds are,” he said. “We know that we have a team that can compete with anyone in the country. That’s what we’re looking at.”