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Prospect Profile: Covering Crimson's Crease

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
Imagine only seeing 43 minutes of ice time for an entire season. Now imagine you’re a goaltender - that doesn’t even equal one whole game, and it’s a game that you didn’t even start.


Such is the case for Merrick Madsen, the Flyers’ sixth round pick at 162nd overall in the 2013 NHL Draft, who committed to playing for Harvard University after appearing for the Minot Minotaurs of the North American Hockey League and two years at the Proctor Academy where he was awarded the Spencer V. Wright Award for Athletic Achievement and Sportsmanship as a senior.

Entering his Sophomore year for the Crimson, the 6-5, 190-pound netminder knew in collegiate hockey with significantly less games than the junior ranks, that when the opportunity came knocking he had to answer.

And he did just that.

Madsen earned his first ever NCAA start on opening night for Harvard and recorded a 25-save shutout to lead the Crimson to a 7-0 win over Dartmouth. He followed that up with a win the very next night that led to a perfect 5-0-0 record.

“It says a lot about his character the fact that he has had to earn his minutes,” said Brady Robinson, the Flyers goaltender development coach. “Some guys thrive on the competition for the crease and he has demonstrated that up to this point. I also think this weekend was a good test with back to back starts after giving up four the first night. He responded with another shutout to stay undefeated on the season.”

After allowing four goals on 29 shots in a 4-4 tie to Union College this past weekend, he rebounded to stop all 32 shots he faced in a 0-0 tie to Rensselaer on Saturday.

Madsen’s numbers slipped, if you can call it that, to a 0.98 goals-against average and .966 save percentage, both of which lead all goaltenders in the NCAA. Not to bad for his first seven starts of his collegiate career, especially considering four of those have been shutouts.

“I think confidence plays a huge factor in his early success,” added Robinson. “He's feeling really good with where his game is at, especially his mindset. It takes a lot of focus to be able to earn a shutout at the college level, the fact he now has four in seven games shows that he's in a good spot mentally.”

He has now started seven of the team’s 10 games to begin the season, and his statistics haven’t gone unnoticed to the fans, and neither has his play with Flyers player development coaches.

“There's obviously still things I've got to work on,” added Madsen to the Harvard Crimson. “I haven't been playing perfect games by any means, and there's things throughout the weeks and the rest of the year that I'm going to be continuing to work on. But obviously getting starts is what I'm looking for.”

Madsen was named the MVP of The Shillelagh Tournament, hosted annually during the NCAA Division I men's ice hockey season at the University of Notre Dame, where he stopped 60 of 61 shots he faced to lead Harvard to the title.

“I thought Merrick was excellent,” said Harvard head coach Ted Donato to the Harvard Crimson. “I thought he was in control all weekend. He was calm in the net, and made plays look simple. I think you can see his confidence growing.”

Heading into the holiday break, Madsen and Harvard will resume play on New Year’s Day when they travel to Minnesota for another tournament, the Mariucci Classic.

“The big thing for him to continue to develop is to keep things simple and focus on building his foundation,” added Robinson. “Attention to detail and working in a consistent manor day in and day out the right way will play a huge factor in the long term.”

For more on Flyers prospects playing in the NCAA, junior and European hockey leagues see below…

CANADIAN HOCKEY LEAGUE

PLAYER POS. HT. WT. AGE HOMETOWN DRAFT 2015-16 TEAM GP G A P
Nicolas Aube-Kubel RW 5'11" 200 19 Slave Lake. Alberta 2014 Val d'Or (QMJHL) 25 17 19 36
Samuel Dove-McFalls
*Injured
LW 6'2" 197 18 Montreal, Quebec 2015 Saint John (QMJHL) 5 1 2 3
Radel Fazleev C 6'0" 194 19 Kazan, Russia 2014 Calgary Hitmen (WHL) 31 13 25 38
Travis Konecny RW 5'10" 177 18 London, Ontario 2015 Ottawa 67's (OHL) 28 6 37 43
Philippe Myers D 6'5" 196 18 Dieppe, New Brunswick Undrafted Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL) 29 8 11 19
Ivan Provorov D 6'0" 201 18 Yaroslavl, Russia 2015 Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) 28 6 19 25
Travis Sanheim D 6'3" 198 19 Elkhorn, Manitoba 2014 Calgary Hitmen (WHL) 22 7 21 28

NATIONAL COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

PLAYER POS. HT. WT. AGE HOMETOWN DRAFT 2015-16 TEAM GP G A P
Terrance Amorosa
*Injured
D 6'1" 185 20 Kirkland, Quebec 2013 Clarkson University 4 1 3 4
David Drake D 6'3" 185 20 Naperville, Illinois 2013 University of Connecticut 15 0 3 3
Mark Friedman D 5'11" 185 19 Toronto, Ontario 2014 Bowling Green State University 17 2 8 10
Cooper Marody RW 6'0" 177 18 Brighton, Michigan 2015 Michigan University 13 7 6 13
Reece Willcox D 6'4" 204 21 Surrey, British Columbia 2012 Cornell University 11 1 5 6

EUROPE

PLAYER POS. HT. WT. AGE HOMETOWN DRAFT 2015-16 TEAM GP G A P
David Kase C 5'11" 164 18 Kadan, Czech Republic 2015 Liga (WSM) 10 6 4 10
Oskar Lindblom F 6'1" 192 19 Gavle, Sweden 2014 Brynas (SweHL) 25 5 11 16
Mikhail Vorobyov C 6'2" 194 18 Ufa, Russia 2015 Toplar (MHL) 9 1 1 2

GOALTENDERS

GOALTENDER HT. WT. AGE HOMETOWN 2015-16 TEAM
GP W L OT SO GAA SV%
Ivan Fedotov 6'6" 192 18 St. Petersburg, Russia Reaktor (MHL) 16 11 3 2 0 1.91 .920
Merrick Madsen 6'4" 177 20 Preston, Indiana Harvard University 7 5 0 2 4 0.98 .966
Felix Sandstrom 6'2" 196 18 Gavle, Sweden Brynas (SweHL) 10 5 4 1 0 2.87 .900
Matej Tomek
*Injured
6'3" 180 18 Bratislava, Slovakia North Dakota University - - - - - - -
*All stats are through games on Dec. 6th
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