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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 never made the impact he was expected to make in college. He\'s more than made up for that by grabbing the starting job with the Lowell Devils.
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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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59