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Ryan Fanti in COVID-19 protocol, Ben Patt to start for UMD

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 10:57 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (CBS 3) - For the first time in his five years with the UMD men’s hockey team, Ben Patt will start in net.

Starting goaltender Ryan Fanti is currently in COVID-19 protocols, and will be unavailable for their upcoming series against Northern Michigan. Their other goaltender Zach Stejskal was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Patt is UMD’s longtime third option in goal, but will now finally be getting his opportunity to play in his first NCAA game.

“I’ve tried every week to prepare like I could play, and in reality, you never know what could happen. So I’m treating this week exactly like I would have,” said Patt.

“It’s only fair for the other guys, at least in my understanding, my belief was that I should look to the guy next to me and believe that he would be ready, and that’s how I prepared every week.”

Head coach Scott Sandelin echoed his confidence in Patt, noting that he would have liked to get Patt into last Friday’s blowout win over Alaska-Fairbanks, but it didn’t end up coming to fruition.

“He’s got a great work ethic, you know, he’s been under Brant’s tutelage for a long time, he’s watched some great goaltending, he’s learned from those guys, he’s got his own competitiveness to him that I think you’ll see. I’m excited for him,” said Sandelin.

Patt did see some time on the ice during UMD’s preseason scrimmage against the Wisconsin Badgers. Off the ice, Patt organized their recent “Movember” fundraiser, which raised over $11,000 for men’s health research and awareness, in honor of his friend and teammate Zach Stejskal.

UMD’s series against Northern Michigan opens on Friday night at 5:37p.m. in Marquette, Michigan.

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