Mike Zacharias of Minnesota State-Mankato, the school’s all-time record holder in goals-against average (2.71) and save percentage (.910), is coming to the Reign.
Zacharias [stats here] spent most of the last three seasons as the Mavericks’ No. 1 netminder, including all of the last two, when he was named team MVP.
The native of Plymouth, Minn. ranks highly in several other school-record categories: career wins (45, fourth), saves (2,765, third), games played (102, tied for second) and career shutouts (6, tied for second) — high achievements in a program entering its 40th season.
Both in college and his last season in juniors, Zacharias was a teammate of new Reign defenseman Brian Kilburg, who called the 24-year-old a “steady goaltender” and a “very sociable, approachable, laid-back guy.”
“He shows up every night; it was very rare to see him have an off-night,” Kilburg said. “In juniors he was the team MVP. The past two years in college, he was team MVP as well. He definitely proved himself to be valuable.
“He was our best player. He kept us in every game that we should have lost, but won anyway because of him.”
Prior to college, Zacharias played for Tri-City of the USHL in 2004-05 and ranked second in the league in both saves and wins. He’s also an alumnus of the USA under-17 squad.
If it’s any of his reflection of his character, here is an interesting piece from earlier this year about Zacharias’ relationship with his backup, Dan Tormey. Turns out Zacharias wrested away the No. 1 job from Tormey three years ago and by the time they were seniors … they were roommates.
“He made tremendous strides,” Kilburg recalled. “He came in freshman year basically as the backup-slash-third goaltender. Our sophomore year our starter (Tormey) got hurt. (Zacharias) played solid the rest of the year, where it was tough to take him out of the lineup. … He took the opportunity and jumped on it.”