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by Anthony Perez / Arizona Coyotes
PEORIA - Mike Lee is one of four goaltenders participating in this year’s Prospect Development Camp.

In his freshman year at St. Cloud State University, Lee compiled a 12-9-3 record with a 2.80 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage with two shutouts. The native of Roseau, Minn., also participated in the 2010 World Junior Championship, finishing the tournament with a 4-0 record, a 2.50 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage in eight games, helping Team USA win the gold medal.

Lee, whom the Coyotes chose with the 91st overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, spoke exclusively with after Saturday morning’s on-ice session at Polar Ice.

Question: What was that World Junior Championship experience like?

Lee: "It was pretty unbelievable. It is something you definitely dream about as a kid, playing for your country in a situation like that. Coming home with a gold medal is something that me and my teammates can be pretty proud of."

Question: What was the reaction to youy and Team USA winning the gold medal in your hockey-crazy hometown of Roseau?

Mike Lee. Photo by Norm Hall.
Lee: "I think they were pretty proud. Not a lot of people get to do a lot of good things like that, and especially from a small town like that, where everybody is pretty close. It’s pretty exciting to see people from your town do well. You can relate it to Dustin Byfuglien, who’s from the same town as I am, winning that Stanley Cup (with Chicago last season). It’s something the community just rallies around."

Question: You were 4-1 and had a .934 save percentage in your first five starts back at St. Cloud State after the World Junior Championship. Did the WJC experience and its high-pressure atmosphere help you in your development as a goaltender?

Lee: "It helped for sure. It was a great experience for me, but I think part of that was coming back to a pretty hot team. We played well in the second half of the year in St. Cloud and my team was playing real well when I came back."

Question: In general, how did your freshman year at St. Cloud State go?

Mike Lee. Photo by Norm Hall.
Lee: "It was a lot of fun, definitely a big maturing year for me, to go into a college situation like that, live that lifestyle, being a student as well as playing hockey. I’m glad to get that one year under my belt and I’m looking forward to a new year."

Question: How’s this camp going for you so far?

Lee: "It’s been a lot of fun. Coming in this year I knew a little bit more what to expect, and it’s been fun to get back down here and see everybody and get back into this groove."

Question: This is your second year at this Prospect Development Camp, how valuable have these experiences been for you?

Lee: "It’s been real valuable. It gets that hunger level going, that’s for sure. You see this stuff (the NHL facilities), you see the kind of lifestyle you live down here and what kind of lifestyle you live as an NHL hockey player and it really makes you get that drive going to want to be here."
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