Goalie Jail­let reach­ing for loftier heights

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Mike Cham­bers Mike Cham­bers: mcham­bers@den­ver­post.com or @mikecham­bers

Like most folks, Tan­ner Jail­let rounds up when talk­ing about his height. With shoes, the Univer­sity of Den­ver goalie is close to 5foot-11.

The statis­tic is sig­nif­i­cant be­cause be­ing 6-2 seems to be a pre­req­ui­site to suc­cess for goalies th­ese days, and Jail­let is play­ing ahead of 6-5 Evan Cow­ley.

Jail­let, a sopho­more, played both games last week­end in a non­con­fer­ence se­ries against Notre Dame and is the sched­uled starter Fri­day and Satur­day in a Na­tional Col­le­giate Hockey Con­fer­ence se­ries at Ne­braska Omaha. Jail­let has a .916 save per­cent­age in 642 min­utes. Cow­ley, a ju­nior, is at .888 in 442 min­utes.

DU coach Jim Mont­gomery also went with Jail­let over Cow­ley late last sea­son.

“He’s tak­ing up a lot of net right now be­cause he’s play­ing big,” Mon­tog­mery said of Jail­let, a 22year-old Cana­dian. “Would I like my goalie to be 6-foot-5? Yes. But a lot of teams have won na­tional cham­pi­onships with smaller goalies. Michi­gan State won with a 5-6 goalie (Jeff Lerg) just back in 2009, and the game hasn’t changed that much. The guy has to have the con­fi­dence and the pulse of the team, and Tan­ner is that for us right now.”

The av­er­age height of an NHL goal­tender is 6-2. Jhonas En­roth of the Los An­ge­les Kings is the small­est goalie, at 5-10, and Jaroslav Halak of the New York Is­lan­ders is among a few oth­ers un­der 6-feet.

“You look at all the guys get­ting drafted — they’re all big­ger goalies,” Jail­let said. “What I lack in size I can make up in other ar­eas. A lot of it is about speed and get­ting to the right place. Big goalies tend to rely on their size and the puck hit­ting them, and they might not be hit­ting their marks on the ice all the time. I really fo­cus on that, my po­si­tion­ing.”

Den­ver is com­ing off 1-1 and 2-2 ties against the Fight­ing Ir­ish and is on a six-game win­less drought (0-4-2). But the Pi­o­neers out­shot Notre Dame a com­bined 95-52.

“We were frus­trated af­ter four losses, but the way we played last week­end, we feel good about our­selves be­cause we out­played a good team — a team that will prob­a­bly make the NCAA Tour­na­ment — quite sig­nif­i­cantly,” Mont­gomery said. “Now it’s just about our de­tails get­ting bet­ter in scor­ing goals.”

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