Goalie commits to Wisconsin

Shane Connelly will join Badgers in fall of 2005

Goaltender Shane Connelly has verbally committed to play his college hockey at Wisconsin the Chicago Steel—Connelly's team in the United States Hockey League—announced Wednesday. Connelly will join the Badgers in the fall of 2005.

Connelly, 17, was 20-13-1 with a 2.51 goals against average last season. He boasted a .917 save percentage and three shutouts for the Steel, winners of the USHL's East Division last season.

At Wisconsin Connelly (5-foot-9, 170 pounds) will compete with now-sophomore Brian Elliott for playing time next year. The Badgers' top goaltender, preseason Western Collegiate Hockey Association Player of the Year Bernd Bruckler, is a senior.

"Wisconsin is going to be a great fit for Shane," Steel head coach and general manager Wil Nichol said in a prepared statement. "I give credit to Shane and his family. They took their [sic] time when most kids nowadays are committing too [sic] quickly. It's a great opportunity for Shane and for the University of Wisconsin. Shane's a big-time player and the Badgers are a big-time program."

Prior to his time with the Steel, Connelly, a native of Cheldenham, Pa., played for the Culver Military Academy in Indiana. This past August he competed for Team USA's Under-18 Select Team at the U-18 Junior World Cup. He played in two games at the tournament, with 15 saves in a 3-1 win over Finland and 25 saves in a 5-1 loss to the Czech Republic. The U.S. team took fourth in the eight-team event.

In three games with the Steel this season, Connelly is 0-3-0 with a 3.04 goals against average and an .899 save percentage.

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