DetroitRedWings.com’s Arthur J. Regner spoke with goaltender Keith Petruzzelli’s coach at Quinnipiac University to discuss and review Petruzzelli’s up-and-down freshman campaign:
Quotable: “Keith came in with a high expectation and a lot of hype, so to speak, being a third-round pick by Detroit with a lot of excitement, but I think lost in that was the fact he was 18 years old and a true freshman, which is rare for college hockey at times, especially for goaltenders. So, there was a big adjustment period in terms of how hard the shots are, the pace of the game, just how grueling it is physically at the college level on a daily basis. It took a lot of adjusting and hard work on his part.
No question he struggled early on with that, so there had to be a reassessment of where he was with our goalie coach Jared Waimon and our staff. From that point on he made steady progress and his was putting time in until the end of the year where our other goaltender went down with an injury and he took over for the playoffs and did a real good job in our sweep of Yale and we hung in there in the second round with Cornell and a lot of that was because of him.
There was just a big maturity jump for him to realize what it takes to be successful at this level and as he gets into camp with Detroit, he’ll see it’s different at the pro level. The next step for him is to physically and mentally be a year older and more mature and handle adversity a little bit better and all the work he’s going to put in will pay off in his skill level. For him it’s about being a true college goaltender this year and winning the No. 1 job on our squad. Keith has a lot of potential and that’s why he was brought in – to eventually have that job.” – Bill Riga, Quinnipiac University associate head coach.