Hi, My Name Is … Richard Bachman

Hi, My Name is ... appears weekly on NHL FanHouse. We will spotlight future NHL prospects currently making a name for themselves in college hockey. Where applicable, the players' draft rights will be listed. Check back each Tuesday at 8AM ET. Hit me up in the comments section if you have a nomination, or if you want to accuse me of having an Eastern bias.

Big news in college hockey over the weekend.

142 minutes and 34 seconds into his sophomore season, Colorado College goalie Richard Bachman allowed a goal Saturday. Jordan Baker of Michigan Tech was the man who got one past Bachman.

No word on if Baker used some sort of magic spell, or if Bachman was run over in the crease first.

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Sounds sarcastic, yes, but the truth is that Bachman continues to stake a claim as one of the nation's best college goaltenders.

Last year, Bachman (NHL rights: Dallas) was honored as the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Player of the Year, an award rarely given to goaltenders, and even less commonly won by freshmen. In fact, Bachman was the first player since 1989 (Curtis Joseph - Wisconsin) to win both WCHA Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year. It was hard to ignore 25 wins, a 1.81 goals against average. and a .931 saves percentage. The fact that it came on the league's best team was only icing on the cake for Bachman.

Obviously, he's picking up where he left off this year.

Bachman's first two starts of the season were shutouts. One of those came against Alabama-Huntsville, and while it wasn't against a top WCHA opponent, Bachman needed every one of the 16 saves he made that night. Colorado College only won 1-0.

He pitched a 19-save shutout against Michigan Tech Friday before Baker beat him for a goal Saturday.

Fluke? Nope.

Bachman had a shutout streak of 162:05 last year, including back-to-back road shutouts against Minnesota-Duluth, as he led Colorado College to the regular-season WCHA title. The Tigers lost to Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament.

With the goaltender-thin Dallas Stars holding Bachman's draft rights, I asked Mark from Andrew's Stars Page about Bachman and his future in the pros.

I've seen Bachman at two Stars' development camps and caught a few of his college games with Colorado College on TV, and I am a big fan. He seems to have all the tools and demeanor to be a top notch goalie. Talked to him a little bit when he was here in the Dallas area for the last came this past summer and he's a good kid. I like him a lot.

I have pretty high hopes as far as his future with the organization. I think he's probably looked at right now as the heir apparent to Marty Turco, but that's a ways off I would think. Turco's only 33 and should be around for a few more years. As for Bachman, he could end up battling it out for the right to succeed Turco down the road with Tyler Beskorowany, the team's 2nd round pick in last summer's draft. Those two are the Stars' top two goaltending prospects.

As someone who follows the WCHA, I can tell you Bachman is one of the best young goaltenders I've seen come through the league. You throw in guys like Alex Stalock (NHL rights: San Jose) from Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota sophomore Alex Kangas (Atlanta), Jase Weslosky (N.Y. Islanders) of St. Cloud State, and Denver youngster Mark Cheverie (Florida), and you have a league full of solid professional prospects in net.

Good luck, WCHA forwards.

Other players to watch

Bachman's teammate, senior Chad Rau (Toronto), had another four-point weekend in the sweep of Michigan Tech. He now has eight points (three goals, five assists) in four games.

Freshman defenseman Patrick Wiercioch (Ottawa) of Denver had two goals - including the game-winner - and an assist Friday night, as Denver rallied from 4-1 down to beat Wisconsin 6-5. Wiercioch then chipped in an assist in Saturday's 7-4 win over the Badgers.

Minnesota's Kangas stopped 49 of 52 shots in the Gophers' home-and-home sweep of St. Cloud State.

Sophomore forward Jacques Lamoreux (undrafted) of Air Force had a pretty good weekend. He scored three goals and added three assists in a two-game sweep of Bemidji (Minn.) State. Lamoreux now has ten points (five goals and five assists) in four games for the Falcons.

Northeastern senior Joe Vitale (Pittsburgh) scored two goals - including a short-handed game-winner in the third period - as the Huskies upset defending national champion Boston College 4-3. The game was played at Matthews Arena in Boston, Northeastern's home rink, in front of a rare sellout crowd.

Forward Erik Condra (Ottawa) of Notre Dame had five points (two goals and three assists) as the Fighting Irish swept Sacred Heart.

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