Teglia could see action against Terriers over weekend

By Pete Vasquez

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Maxwell Sparr/Daily Collegian

With goal keeper Paul Dainton’s status still uncertain for Friday’s home opener against rival Boston University, the Massachusetts men’s hockey team is confident sticking a 19-year-old freshman in front of the net.

But Jeff Teglia, of Bloomingdale, Ill., is no stranger to such a daunting task. It was only last Saturday that he faced the No. 8 Terriers in Boston, in front of almost 6,000 people in his first career collegiate start.

The end result: 33 saves, just two goals allowed, first star honors and a well-earned tie.

“We got a major-league performance from him on Saturday night,” UMass coach Don Cahoon said. “I’m really happy with the way he handled himself and the fact that he competed. I think he was the difference in us getting a point.”

However, Teglia’s performance did not come as a shock to his coach. In fact, Cahoon anticipated that his first-year goalkeeper would be successful.

“We knew when we recruited him that he was going to be very much prepared in marquee type matchups, coming off of a high profile program in the USHL like Omaha,” Cahoon said. “So going into BU and for [him] to play as well as he did, although it was a surprise to outsiders, didn’t surprise me so much because he’s been in the big theatre before. He’s played in front of 6,000 people on a pretty regular basis. Every game that they play in that league is pretty well orchestrated and well spirited.”

With less than 20 seconds remaining in overtime, Teglia didn’t budge when BU forward Matt Nieto raced toward him on a breakaway. The play mirrored Teglia’s gritty performance the entire match.

After allowing two goals early in the first period, Teglia stopped the following 27 Terriers shots as his teammates ignited their first comeback of the season.

His efforts also earned him the honor of Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week, as announced by Hockey East on Monday. Teglia is just one of three freshmen goalies in the conference and he leads his class with a 3.25 goals against average and a .895 save percentage.

“The proof is in the performance itself,” Cahoon said. “We’ve gotten some great effort out of the freshmen as a whole. Teglia is the classic example.”

Although UMass made it a point to get a goaltender in its recruiting process last season, acquiring Teglia was not easy.

“At the beginning of the year, our priority was we had to replace Dan Meyers with a player that was prepared to play in this level,” Cahoon said. “It was the most critical position for us to secure. We didn’t get it done, because there were three or four people involved in the process. We had to do visitations, determine who was available and what the interest on the other end was going to be. So [Teglia] wasn’t taken care of until later in the year, because of the juggle that goes on with recruiting.”

Last season, Teglia played in 45 games, playing 2,700 minutes in goal and posting a 30-10-5 record, boasting a 2.27 GAA and a .921 save percentage. Teglia also received the USHL Scholar-Athlete Award the same year.

Teglia will get the challenge of facing BU twice in two weekends when both teams square off on Friday night at the Mullins Center.

In the larger scope of things, it’s likely that he will see a decent amount of playing time this year, even when Dainton comes back. If Teglia continues to impress the way he has so far, the Minutemen may have found their goalie for the next few years to come.

Pete Vasquez can be reached at [email protected]