ANTIGO - Antigo boys hockey expected to be a good team again this year, but the Red Robins knew they needed to find a new goalie. Just three games into the season, it seems like they found one.
"I was a little nervous coming into the game," said Antigo sophomore Brody Bunnell.
Those nerves didn't show last week when Bunnell made 37 saves against SPASH. Even though the Red Robins lost that game, Bunnell showed his coaches what he could do.
"We knew coming in that we had a good goalie, but as much as he stepped up in those two games against SPASH and New Richmond, he really exceeded our expectations," said Antigo Head Coach Matt Borneman.
The sophomore goaltender made 39 more saves in a loss to New Richmond, and added 12 in a shutout win over Medford, and some of them were not exactly textbook.
"When it comes down to it, and I have to make an aggressive play, I'm willing to make that play any time," said Bunnell.
The willingness to make those plays is something that Borneman is embracing.
"To have a sophomore with that confidence is huge, he's fun to watch and he's really good at that stuff," said Borneman.
Bunnell says his passion for the sport comes from another guy who played goalie, his dad.
"He always, before every game would ask me what my job was, and I'd always tell him my job was to stop the puck," said Bunnell.
So far Bunnell has done that job and drawn impressive comparisons from his team
"We always talk about Brody being like Dominik Hasek or Marty Brodeur, making the unorthodox type of saves that he could make. Scramble around the net, kick up a leg when he needs to or flash his glove when he's lying on the ice," said Borneman.
That drive to stop the puck has the young net-minder thinking of big dreams one save at a time.
"I had an uncle that went to the state tournament and won it, and my brother played and went to the state tournament," said Bunnell. "So I feel like it's my turn to help this team out, and help this team get to the state tournament again this year would be my ultimate goal."
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