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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

NMU's Zaniboni named CCHA Player of the Month

The Central Collegiate Hockey Association announced today that sophomore goalie Bill Zaniboni of Northern Michigan University has been named the RBC Financial Group CCHA Player of the Month for October.

The 23-year-old from Plymouth, Mass., who is a perfect 5-0-0 to start the season, backstopped the Wildcats to a Top 15 ranking in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and US College Hockey Online/CSTV polls. He posted a .969 save percentage and 0.80 goals-against average in October, which represent the second-best statistics in the nation in those categories.

Zaniboni opened the season with a shutout, the first of his career, in a 3-0 victory over St. Cloud in the Berry Events Center on October 14. He stretched his career-best shutout streak 115:17, before surrendering a third-period goal to Michigan Tech in a 5-1 Wildcats' win on Oct. 21. The following night he made 31 saves on the road in a 2-1 victory to complete a weekend sweep of the Huskies. During October's final weekend, he defeated Lake Superior State twice in a home-and-home series, making a combined 51 saves, including 27 stops in a Perani Cup first-star performance on Oct. 28.

The sophomore goalie, who has been beaten just once in each of the past four games, ranks first in the CCHA in all three major goaltending categories: wins, goals-against average and save percentage. He appeared in five games during October and in 299:27 of playing time he made 124 saves while giving up just four goals.

Zaniboni is the third NMU player honored in the three-year history of the RBC Financial Group CCHA Player of the Month award, joining goalie Craig Kowalski (Dec. '03) and (then) junior forward Dirk Southern (Feb. '05).

Special mention for RBC Financial Group CCHA Player of the Month honors goes to Miami senior defenseman Andy Greene, Michigan junior forward T.J. Hensick, Michigan State sophomore forward Bryan Lerg, Bowling Green sophomore forward Jonathan Matsumoto, Alaska Fairbanks sophomore goalie Wylie Rogers, Ferris State junior forward Matt Verdone and Western Michigan senior forward Brent Walton.

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