Jamie Faus, Goalie, Denver
Faus replaced Ryan LaPlante in Denver’s dramatic come-from-behind victory over the North Carolina Tar Heels in the quarterfinal round. He provided a spark off the bench after Denver trailed by six early in the game.
Faus finished the game with 11 saves on his way to an astounding 68 percent save rate. In the fourth quarter, he was able to stymie a lethal UNC attack unit and prevented them from extending their lead late in the game.
If Denver is to take down Syracuse, it will need excellent play in goal. Although LaPlante was the go-to guy for most of the season, Faus’ recent success will earn him the start in Philadelphia.
Denver has a great chance of beating the No. 1 seed, Syracuse, but a good game from Faus could make the feat much easier for the Pioneers as they look to hoist their first national championship trophy this weekend.
Dominic Lamolinara, Goalie, Syracuse
Syracuse needed all four quarters to take down a gritty Yale team in the quarterfinal round. The game was a defensive battle that the Orange eventually won by a score of 7-6.
Lamolinara kept Yale at bay as Syracuse’s offense struggled for most of the game. He made six stops in the second and third quarters when SU failed to score and also intercepted the Bulldogs’ final desperation pass into the middle with four seconds left to close out the game.
“Dom, week in and week out, is playing on his head,” senior defenseman Brian Megill said. “He really bailed us out at the end with that doorstep save and then picking off that last pass with four seconds left. My hat goes off to him.”
Lamolinara made eight saves in the victory over the Bulldogs, but will surely see more shots against a fast-paced Denver offense. Denver scored 19 goals in the first round against Albany, followed by 12 against UNC.
Denver will look to push the pace in this game, especially after watching the ‘Cuse defense struggle against Yale’s Brandon Mangan. Lamolinara will provide the last line of defense and must make saves to keep his team in the game.
If Lamolinara can achieve a 60 percent save rate, Syracuse will have a chance. If he does not, it may be a long day for head coach John Desko and the Syracuse Orange.