Thursday, March 16, 2017

Former Viper Goaltender Shortridge Has Been A Quick Learner:

Here is an srticle on former Vernon Vipers goaltender Andrew Shortridge.

Shortridge is in his first season with Quinnipiac University after playing one season in Vernon (2015-16). In 44 games with the Vipers last season Shortridge went 19-25 with two shutouts posting a 3.15 GAA

Andrew Shortridge's Player Profile:

This is in the New Haven Register Newspaper:

Quinnipiac freshman goaltender Andrew Shortridge has been a quick learner

By Chip Malafronte, New Haven Register

Posted: 03/09/17

HAMDEN >> When he’s not between the pipes, Quinnipiac freshman goaltender Andrew Shortridge is easy-going and unassuming.

Sitting in the team lounge following an early-week practice session, he speaks in measured tones about growing up in Alaska, his mechanical engineering classes and a team just hitting its stride in the playoffs.

That demeanor changes once he hits the ice, where his energy and will to win is apparent. He won the everyday goaltending job in January, and his numbers are among the best in the country. Since returning from Christmas break, his 1.77 goals-against average is fourth-best in the country; his .931 save percentage in that time frame ranks eighth.

Quinnipiac, which plays in the best-of-3 ECAC Hockey quarterfinals at St. Lawrence starting tonight, has won nine of the last 12 games started by Shortridge, including last weekend’s stress-free sweep of Brown.

The otherwise mild-mannered freshman has also found a knack for getting into the head of opposing shooters, either by flashing a wide smile after snuffing out a golden scoring chance or, on occasion, getting in their face to give them a piece of his mind.

“It’s unusual how that comes out sometimes,” Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said. “He’s highly competitive and has an edge to him. It’s interesting to watch because I don’t see that from him as a person. But you put the mask on, whether you’re a forward, defenseman or goalie, and things change when you get out there on the ice. He definitely has a very high compete level.”

Most goaltenders play with a quiet intensity. Shortridge only lets his emotions bubble to the surface if the situation calls for it.

“You have to be (passionate) at this level,” Shortridge said. “None of us like losing, we all love to win, that’s how we got here.”

The path to Quinnipiac began in Anchorage, Alaska, where he was born and raised. Though he was the first in his family to play competitive hockey — his parents, brother and sister were interested in scholarly pursuits, he says — he quickly fell in love with the game and its culture in coastal Alaska, a winter wonderland for outdoor hockey.

“There’s a lot of pond hockey and outdoor skates in the wintertime with friends,” Shortridge said. “We’d spend most of the day on the pond. A lot of good memories skating outdoors and having a good time. That’s what it’s all about.”

Shortridge was a three-year starter at Eagle River High, leaving after his junior year in pursuit of top-level Junior competition. There were stops in St. Louis and Phoenix before he landed in Aberdeen (South Dakota) of the North American Hockey League, where Quinnipiac assistant coach Bill Riga saw potential in the lanky, 6-foot-3 goalie and offered a scholarship.

Following another Junior season in Vernon of the British Columbia Hockey League, Shortridge arrived in Hamden last summer as an older freshman — he turns 22 next month — with a chance to play right away. Michael Garteig, a three-year starter who led Quinnipiac to the national championship game in April, graduated, leaving an open audition for the position.

Chris Truehl, an Air Force transfer in his first season of eligibility, won the starting job to begin the season. Shortridge was still in the mix early on, starting a handful of games and adjusting to the learning curve. He struggled at times, allowing five goals to Vermont in the Friendship Four final in Belfast. But a strong effort in relief at Harvard opened the door to more playing time. Shortridge has started all but two games since.

“He’s taken a big jump since Christmas,” Pecknold said. “Right now, there’s a lot I like about what he’s doing. He’s a quick learner and is able to figure things out. He’s learned how to a better goalie on the penalty kill, to play low-to-high better, how to play pucks from the corner. He’s adopting and learning quickly. Sometimes young players can fight the coaching a bit, they’re not all in, which doesn’t make sense but it happens a lot, whether they’re stubborn or immature. Kids don’t have that blind faith. Andrew has it for sure.”

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