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Minnesota/NTDP U18 Final Thoughts: Demko Shines in Net

The NTDP U18 team pulled out a 2-2 tie against one of the best college teams in the country in Minnesota, thanks in large part to an outstanding 39-save performance from their goalie Thatcher Demko.

After the game, NTDP head coach Don Granato was quick to praise his goalie, saying the key to the game was the first 8-10 minutes of the game when Minnesota controlled the play and Demko made what Granato described as some "miraculous" saves.

The attribute Granato praised most in his goalie was his competitiveness, and Demko certainly had that on full display this evening. The biggest moment in the game came with 38 seconds left in the period with Minnesota on the power play. Demko reached out to try and cover a loose puck when Minnesota's Nate Condon fell on his shoulder while also scrambling for the loose puck, popping the shoulder out of place.

The NTDP trainer would eventually pop Demko's shoulder into place during the intermission, but not before Minnesota generated two quality scoring chances that Demko stopped, keeping the Gophers at two, and eventually helping secure the tie. Demko said the shoulder was still sore and would require treatment this evening. Teammate Hunter Miska was expected to start tomorrow's game against St. Thomas heading into the weekend.

Demko is the second youngest player on the NTDP as a December '95 birthdate, meaning he isn't eligible for the NHL Draft until 2014, and that he is only a high school junior this year. He said he plans to return to the Omaha Lancers of the USHL for his senior year of high school, where he played last season as a 16-year-old.

As far as colleges, Demko is still leaving his options open, and if he continues playing like he has recently for the NTDP, those options will only increase. The schools he listed as talking with include: Cornell, Western Michigan, Northeastern, UMass, and Denver.