PITTSBURGH -- Hailing from an Eastern Pennsylvania town of a little more than 2,700 people, goalie prospect Minney might be on his way out of the small town and onto the big stage.
After moving from Georgia, Minney was raised in Wind Gap, Pa., a town located halfway up the border between Pennsylvania and Delaware. He played for the U.S. National Under-17 Team during the 2012-13 season, starting 35 games while carrying a 4.04 goals-against average and .890 save percentage.
The Michigan State University commit impressed during the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, playing in three games for the United States while earning a 2.14 GAA and .857 save percentage.
His performance earned him an invitation to play in the 2013 USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, held on Sept. 26 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. Minney said he was nervous entering the game, but hoped to take advantage of playing in front of the pro scouts.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Minney said. "There are lots of people, lots of scouts here. It's great to be back in Pennsylvania. It makes it a little easier for my parents to come out and see me."
Minney started in goal for Team Joe Mullen, and despite the 5-2 loss he performed well. He stopped 16 of the 17 shots he faced before he was replaced by Alex Nedeljkovic after 28:53 of ice time.
The only goal Minney allowed was scored 37 seconds into the second period by Dylan Larkin, who finished with one goal and one assist. After Team Mullen's Josh Jacobs turned the puck over in his own end, Keegan Iverson slid a pass to Larkin, leaving him with an open net and Minney with no chance of making a save.
"The goalies got a lot of action right away and I thought they were pretty solid," coach Joe Mullen said. "Other than the first goal. That was just a quick play to the net and they caught him [Minney], but they were solid all the way through and the play started to pick up and chances started to happen."
Mark Johnson, coach of the victorious Team Johnson, marveled at the size of all of the prospects after his team's morning skate.
"I'm used to looking at my players on the same level I'm looking at you right now and all of a sudden you're looking up at them," Johnson said.
At 6-foot-4, 201 pounds, Minney utilized his size effectively. He was patient in the crease and closed off the upper half of the net, forcing opposing forwards to shoot at his pads.
"I'm really trying to show my poise and my size," Minney said. "I like to play a really, really calm game and use my size to my advantage. Once I start shifting around and flopping around, my size [and] skill is kind of eliminated. I really just like to play my game."
After his solid performance in September, Minney said he hoped he performed well enough to impress the scouts. He looks forward to seeing how it will impact his future NHL Draft stock.
"That's one of the things I'm really looking forward to, just to see how it turns out," Minney said. "Not necessarily that I'm really worried about it, but it's definitely one thing that if [being drafted] were to happen, it would be a dream come true. To be here with the guys who were playing here, a lot of these guys will be drafted.
"It's an honor."
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