The St. Cloud Norsemen are one of the few teams in the NAHL this season that have two returning goaltenders, and that experience is a big leg up on competition. One half of that goalie tandem is Lakeville, MN native Ethan Dahlmeir.
“Anytime you have experience in a league, you can build off that momentum from the previous year,” Dahlmeir points out. “We’ve got a lot of new guys this year and so as a team we’re still learning but I think we can play a lot better.”
Well… maybe he’s slightly more than half of St. Cloud’s goalie duo, at least when it comes to size. Dahlmeir stands at 6’4 and 215 pounds. St. Cloud Norsemen Assistant Coach Brock Kautz, who played five seasons in the NAHL as a goaltender, knows how important size is to the position. “He’s very good fundamentally. He puts himself in good spots to make saves, he’s obviously got good size so when he puts himself in good positions in the net, he can be very difficult to score on,” compliments Kautz. “He’s been consistent in games, and he puts himself in the correct spots and it makes his life easier.”
Dahlmeir is a butterfly style goalie and his size and good positioning may sometimes make his job seem easy, but he’s grinding away in his second season in the NAHL. In 30 games over the two campaigns Ethan has a save percentage of .901% and a goals against average of 2.59 with four shutouts.
Dahlmeir is also aware that his size is a big plus, particularly at the next level. “Colleges love big goalies,” admits Ethan with a grin. “One of my biggest strengths is taking away that first shot because of my size.”
Kautz has seen Dahmeir’s game take a turn for the positive as of late. “He’s playing with a little more confidence and he’s managing the game a little better than he did at the beginning of the season,” Kautz notes. “He’s taking whistles when he needs to, controlling pucks off his pads and off his chest. It helps us navigate the D-zone but also helps us get guys off the ice if they’re tired. Or slow down the opposition when they’re generating a lot of chances in the O-zone when he can hold onto a puck and get a whistle for us.”
With Will Ingemann back in between the pipes for Wayzata during the high school season, Dahlmeir and Tomáš Boľo are tending the crease for the Norsemen, who are next in action this weekend with a home-and-home against the Minnesota Wilderness. The Friday game is on the road in Cloquet and can be watched online at hockeytv.com . Saturday’s rematch is back in St. Cloud and you can get your tickets online at tickets.stcloudnorsemen.com.