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Frazee steps right into starting role in AHL

Monday, 01.26.2009 / 8:19 PM ET / Features
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Frazee steps right into starting role in AHL
Jeff Frazee (Photo by Jason Kennedy)
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Hockey boundaries are drawn hard in Minnesota.

If you are from the northern part of the state, say, Grand Rapids, like Lowell Devils coach Kurt Kleinendorst, you might look at someone like Jeff Frazee, from the Burnsville/Edina areas near the Twin Cities, and think he was a little soft.

"We always felt like the city boys are cake-eaters," Kleinendorst said. "He knows he is. It's just the way it is."

Frazee's reply? Well, he doesn't have much to say about that. When you are a rookie goalie trying to make a name for yourself, it's best not to chirp back at your coach. He's just going out and showing his backbone with his play, which is probably what Kleinendorst had in mind all along.

"I have never really experienced life in northern Minnesota," Frazee said diplomatically. "Back when he was growing up, that (the characterization of city players) was a stigma."

The two cultures have intersected in Lowell this season, to the benefit of both coach and player. Kleinendorst has given Frazee the opportunity to escape the onerous expectations of their home state. Frazee has responded with one of the toughest fill-in jobs facing any player in the AHL this season.

Frazee has gone 16-8-2 for the Devils, is second among rookie goalies with a 2.38 goals-against and is second among all goalies with a .931 save percentage. That effort earned him a spot on the PlanetUSA squad for the AHL All-Star Classic.

"In my opinion, he's been the real deal for us," Kleinendorst said. "This is the streakiest team I've ever experienced. He's been my most consistent performer."

And he's doing it sooner than expected. Frazee spent the past three seasons at his hometown school, the University of Minnesota, dreaming of joining the long line of great Golden Gophers. His play was good, but never rose to the level where he dominated. Frazee skated in 12 games as a freshman, 20 as a sophomore and 14 as a junior. He had the chance to compete for more time as a senior, but didn't feel like he'd reach his full potential hanging around his backyard.
Author: Lindsay Kramer | NHL.com Correspondent

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
L. Stempniak 53 15 24 7 39
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
K. Palmieri 53 20 15 3 35
A. Henrique 51 17 16 14 33
T. Zajac 45 7 18 6 25
D. Schlemko 45 6 9 -9 15
A. Larsson 53 2 11 12 13
D. Severson 50 1 12 0 13
A. Greene 53 4 6 2 10
J. Josefson 42 3 7 -13 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 23 15 6 .929 2.03
K. Kinkaid 3 5 1 .909 2.52
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