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February 12, 2010Omaha Lancers' second-year goalie Jeff Teglia leads the United States Hockey League with 23 wins, ranks second with a .918 save percentage and fourth with a 2.34 goals against average this year. He's a rising prospect in the Class of 2010 and yet remains uncommitted
A Bloomingdale, Ill., native, Teglia has blossomed a little bit later than most elite-level netminders, which is why he hasn't seen his door beaten down by the best college programs in the country. But the 6-0, 180-pounder has shown this season he's worthy of a Division I scholarship.
"He's one of the best goalies in our league and eventually the best players here evolve into the best players in college, so all he needs is someone to take notice," Lancers' head coach Bliss Littler said. "Jeff's a little unorthodox in his approach. He's old school in that he'll do anything to keep the puck out of the net. He's very athletic and he also handles the puck very well."
Teglia backstopped Omaha to an 8-2 victory over Des Moines Thursday, making 24 saves. In 34 games this season, he has shown dramatic improvement after posting a 3.00 goals against average and an .892 save percentage in 2008-09.
"I had a great rookie year; I beat out a ton of goalies for the starting job and held it for a good amount of the season," he said. "I played in 41 games and had a decent save percentage but this year I've really picked it up. I think I've been giving my team a chance to win every night.
"I definitely have a different style. I compare my play to Timmy Thomas [with the Boston Bruins] or a little Martin Brodeur [with the New Jersey Devils] because I use my stick a lot. I'm hoping that someone sees that I can be a consistently strong goalie night after night and offers me a college scholarship because I really want to go to school next year."
Teglia could hold off another year, hopeful more teams enter the fray now that they've seen his performance with Omaha and have the space to sign a goalie, but he's eager to begin his college education.
"I have a 3.95 grade point average on a 4.00 scale, I'm already taking some community college classes and I turn 19 this summer so I'm ready," he said. "I feel like I've developed enough at the USHL level and I'm ready for college hockey and college in general."
Teglia had been speaking to Colgate and Yale with the latter offering a financial package that is enticing but would still require his family's help or student loans. Colgate went another way. But in an ideal world, Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson would recognize the emerging prospect and offer him an opportunity in South Bend.
"My dream school is Notre Dame," he said. "I'm a Chicago kid and I grew up going to Notre Dame football games because my grandpa had season tickets. Their program has really skyrocketed the past few years and they have one of the best schools in the country. I'm sure I could ask them if I could walk-on, but I want a scholarship so my parents don't have to pay a ton of money."
Teglia spoke to Michigan over a year ago and is hopeful that the Wolverines will once again show some interest after their five-star goalie commitment, Jack Campbell, reneged on his intentions to play for them, signing an OHL contract.
"Once they landed Campbell, they lost interest, but again that's an awesome school and a great, great hockey program," Teglia said. "I'd love to go somewhere in the Midwest because that's where I'm from, but out east would work also.
"I just really want to go to a good school and a good hockey program and I'm hoping that someone out there hasn't filled their goalie spot yet and will give me a chance."
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