Strong defense assisted Hildebrand in shutout against Miami (Ohio)
Oxford, Ohio — This season — especially during the rough patches — freshman goaltender Jake Hildebrand kept MSU hockey in many games.
The players weren’t afraid to admit it after some of the tougher losses, but in Friday night’s 3-0 win against Miami (Ohio), the defensemen supported their goaltender and took some of the pressure off him.
“I think I only had to make four, five, six (big saves) at most,” Hildebrand said. “The defense played awesome. They kept the shots in the perimeter, made my life easier. When I was kicking out a bad rebound, they were clearing the front of the net.”
The defense played tight, collapsed in front of the net and picked up any rebounds or loose pucks in the crease.
Hildebrand made 34 saves in Friday’s game, and after the game Anastos said he was unsure who he’d put in net Saturday. At that point, Anastos said he had yet to speak to Hildebrand about any possible fatigue or other issues.
When asked if a possible game three is thought about when making goaltender decisions for game two, Anastos said “everything goes into consideration.
“That’s why I don’t like to make a snap judgement,” he said. “The easiest thing to say is, ‘Oh, he played really well, we’ll play him again.’ Yeah, maybe. But I’d like to carve the emotion out of the game, sit back and reassess things and then make decisions from there.”
Watch the video below to hear comments from head coach Tom Anastos and click here to see a breakdown of MSU’s win.