Tuesday @ The Rink

CHAT LIVE With Michigan Goaltender Billy Sauer

Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!

On Tuesday, January 15 at 2:00 p.m. ET, Michigan goaltender Billy Sauer pays a visit to "Tuesday @ The Rink", presented by CSTV.com and USCHO.com. The No. 1 Wolverines face No. 8 Notre Dame in a pair of games this weekend, including Friday's LIVE telecast on CSTV at 8 p.m. ET.

Billy Sauer

After a tumultuous first two seasons at Michigan, Billy Sauer has come into his own as a junior for the Wolverines, and is a big part of the Wolverines' 20-2-0 record and No. 1 national ranking.

The native of Walworth, N.Y., enters this weekend's series with a record of 18-2-0, a 1.72 goals-against average, and a .934 save percentage. His winning percentage of .900 is the best in the nation, and his save percentage and goals-against average are fourth and fifth, respectively.

Sauer is enrolled in the Division of Kinesiology, majoring in physical education/teacher education. He was drafted in the seventh round (No. 201 overall) by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: Chad won't be stopping by until 1:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, November 20, and his time will be limited, so feel free to submit your questions now and we'll save them for his arrival!
CSTV.com Moderator: Welcome to the second of our "Tuesday @ the Rink" chats, presented by CSTV.com and USCHO. We're joined now by Michigan goaltender Billy Sauer.
Billy Sauer: Hey everybody, glad to be here before practice today.

Grant, Elk River, MN: Congratulations on having a great season so far, both from team and individual standpoints. What do you think is the biggest difference between the past two seasons and this one? What I mean is, why do you think you're having such a better season this year compared to the prior two?
Billy Sauer: Well, I think there are many reasons for the better season. The team is taking a lot more pride on defense this year than they have in the past. I have gotten quite fewer scoring chances against than I have had in the past. I have also been more confident and am really getting a lot of experience now.

Don ( Plymouth): Billy you have been having a great season thus far. How much do you contribute your success from the mentoring of Josh Blackburn, and also how has bryan hogans presence of a capable backup effected your day to day routine in practice
Billy Sauer: In the start of the season, Hogan was out because of mono, so I knew I was going to be the only goalie early in the season until he got back and I knew I had to prove myself early again. Blackburn has been a big help for me mostly because he was a starter here also and has played under Coach Red as well, so we can talk a lot more than just goaltending but even school and life experiences.

Tony (Dearborn): BIlly, I was at the game at Western and was the one waving to you in the first row behind the net in the third period..thanks for waving back that was great. But to the question--What are some common drills you and Josh Blackburn work on in practice and what new tactics has he taught you this season to be better between the pipes?
Billy Sauer: Haha, no problem. Well, we change up drills quite a bit depending on what we think I need to work on. Mostly early on in the season we worked on challenging more. That is something I need to concentrate more on in practice with team drills rather than when we work one-on-one. When we work one-on-one we will do more positioning drills and technical things such as footwork.

Dom (Pennsauken): When I watched you last year you seemed to have a really wide buterfly (with the legs flared really far out). This year, it seems more narrow. Did you make a change to your form on purpose, or am I just seeing things?
Billy Sauer: I have shortened up my stance a bit so I can be quicker because when you get too low and your stance is wide you can't move as quickly so I think that has had some effect on my butterfly. The narrower butterfly gives me more balance, but in general I do have a wide stance, mostly because I am a tall goalie.

Charlie (Detroit): Billy, now that you're a "veteran" on the team, how have you taken to the leadership role? And being a 19-year-old junior, is that a factor in your leadership at all...seeing as most freshman are as old or older than you. Thanks Billy...contined success to you and the boys. GO BLUE!!!
Billy Sauer: I think everyone said before the start of the season that this is one of the closest teams we have been on yet, and it has proven to be true. The team gets along great on and off the ice which I'm sure helps in our season. Unlike in the past couple of years we had some individuals that cared more about themselves than the team and this year it is all about the team. I have no doubt it is the reason for a great season.
CSTV.com Moderator: Unfortunately, that's all the time e have with Billy this afternoon...Coach Berenson will need him on the ice for practice soon!
Billy Sauer: Thank you all for the questions, I have to run to practice now. Take care and GO BLUE!
CSTV.com Moderator: That will do it for this week's "Tuesday @ the Rink" chats on CSTV.com. Remember that you can see Billy and the No. 1 Wolverines take on No. 8 Notre Dame LIVE on CSTV at 8 p.m. ET on Friday evening. Remember to keep checking back for info on next week's chat guests. Thanks, and have a great week!