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Feb 15, 2022

Saint John Vianney’s Dan Shallcross Talks Time on the Ice

By Tim Morris

Saint John Vianney goalie Dan Shallcross has two goals for the 2021-22 ice hockey season: “wins and bring my save percentage down.” Thus far, the senior is doing both. The Lancers are 7-2-1 overall, in first place in the Shore Conference B North Division (3-0-1) and are ranked 11th in the state. As for Shallcross’ save percentage, it was .917 last year and is down to a stingy .945 this winter after he saved 189 of the 201 shots he faced early in the season. He has registered four shutouts.

“I worked on my skating. I worked on my edges,” Shallcross said. “I did strength training as well.”

Shallcross, who uses the butterfly technique, is a mobile goalie. He’ll leave the net to cut down on a hooter’s angles and to play the puck off the boards. Because of his stick handling, he makes quick, sharp passes that can trigger a Lancer breakout. He’s like an extra skater on the ice. Shallcross is a quick study of the opposition on the ice and uses that to determine how he’ll play shooters.

“I look for patterns, where teams like to shoot from and their shot selection,” he explained. “Some look for screens and shots from the point. Others bring the puck behind the net to limit my vision. The teams that are most difficult are the ones with good playmakers who move the puck can find the open shooter.” 

Shallcross, who helped the Lancers go 8-1-2 in last year’s pandemic-shortened season in his first year as the starting goalie, also pointed out that he is playing with more confidence after his success in ’21. Shallcross is quick to credit the Lancer’s defense for a big part of his success.

“The team always helps,” he said. “Our defense is good. They make good reads. They block shots and put their body on the line for the team.”

In returners Dakota Vastola, Alec Osher and Pat Haines, the Lancers have experience, and that experience has helped them developed a rapport with their keeper.

“We communicate well,” said Shallcross. “We have chemistry.”

Perhaps Shallcross’ greatest asset is something every goalie needs: a bad memory, the ability to put a goal against behind them.

“You have to keep your mind clear and focus on what is happening, not what happened,” he said. “I think that the score is 0-0.”

SJV’s team goals are postseason titles.

“Our No. 1 goal is a state championship,” Shallcross remarked. “There’s the Shore Conference we won two years ago and the Eagan Cup too.”

Post high school, Shallcross, who plays travel hockey with the new Jersey Hitmen, plans on playing Junior Hockey with the goal of playing hockey in college.