WILMINGTON, MA – North Dakota netminder Zane Gothberg was one of the six skaters between the pipes at the sixth annual Bruins Development Camp. Gothberg’s big smile and playful attitude helped him stand out among the deep roster.
The 6'1", 177-pound goaltender found success with the Fargo Force this season, leading the United States Hockey League in save percentage (.942) and goals-against average (1.78) through two rounds of the playoffs. His teammates and recent draft picks Seth Griffith and Colton Hargrove are also attending camp.
“It’s kind of weird to have them coming down the wing here and shooting on me, because that’s happened numerous times in the previous couple years,” Gothberg said of sharing the ice. “It’s good to have a friendly face here… and it lets you be a little more loose, more so than coming in and not knowing anybody.”
Unlike Griffith and Hargrove, the goalie has participated in camp before and said he had a better idea of what to expect this time around.
“I knew what I was getting into as far as the off-ice stuff,” he said. “There’s the training and conditioning … then obviously there’s the shuttle run that we have to do off ice.
“Working out every day with the team and then skating at night really helped out, and coming in I got enough ice and I’m seeing shots which is nice.”
One of those off-ice activities, known as "The Program," brought the prospects to the beach where they endured a series of team-building workouts. Gothberg tried to lighten the mood as a former Navy Seal put them through their strenuous paces.
“How you feeling Spoons?” Gothberg called out to Ryan Spooner, mid-drill.
“Just fine,” Spooner answered, and responded with a smile, “How YOU feeling Zaner?”
“Faaaaaaaaantastic!” Gothberg joked.
All kidding aside, Gothberg said the exercise was well worth it.
“The coaches and coaching staff have set up some pretty good drills and practices, and then obviously The Program too,” he said. “I’d been introduced to that two years ago and then this year we had it as well, and it’s brought the guys together a lot more and everyone can put a name to a face.”
The 19-year-old plans to attend the University of North Dakota in his home state in the Fall, and hopes playing at the collegiate level will help him grow on and off of the ice.
“Really maturing as a person and as a goaltender,” he said of his goals. “Going into college I have to kind of organize my life now in a sense, whereas the past couple year’s I’ve just been playing hockey.
“I need to get bigger and stronger, and I feel working out every single day and skating every single day will definitely help out.”