Import goaltender Zack Cloutier of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s OCN Blizzard has officially committed to play NCAA Division III hockey for the University of Wisconsin-Stout Blue Devils beginning in the 2021-22 season.
The 20-year-old Val-d’Or, QB. product has suited up in goal for the Blizzard for each of the past two seasons, beginning in 2019-20 following two years in the Quebec Collegiate Hockey League. Cloutier will finish off his MJHL career with OCN once the 2020-21 MJHL season resumes in the new year following the COVID-19 shutdown.
With the Blizzard, the 5-foot-10, 170-pound backstop went 7-20-3 in 32 starts for the 10th place cellar-dwellers last sesaon. His .895 save percentage and 4.10 goals against average was actually quite decent considering the lack of talent in front of him on the league’s second-last placed team. Through six games of 2020-21, OCN is 1-4-1 with a goal differential of -9.
The Blue Devils play out of Menomonie in the five-team WIAC all-Wisconsin conference within the NCAA’s third division. Last season the team went 8-18-1 in a shortened 27-game regular season which saw playoffs also cancelled. With just 68 goals for and 102 against, the Blue Devils put up a -68 goal differential, which Cloutier will hope to help adjust in 2021-22. There are currently four Canadians on the team, including fellow goaltender Brennan Kitchen of Ontario.