Irish hockey adds grad transfer goalie Galajda; St. Cyr to transfer

John Fineran
Tribune Correspondent

SOUTH BEND — Notre Dame has added one hockey goaltender after losing another to the transfer portal.

Irish coach Jeff Jackson announced late Monday afternoon the addition of graduate transfer goaltender Matthew Galajda from Cornell for the 2021-22 season. He will replace Dylan St. Cyr, who according to reports on the website College Hockey News will transfer to Quinnipiac after receiving his Notre Dame degree this May.

“We’re excited to add Matthew to our program,” Jackson said in a release. “He has a very impressive résumé both academically and athletically from his career at Cornell, and not only is a great goaltender but he is a tremendous young man. He’s a great fit for Notre Dame and for our team culture.”

The news came on the same day that Notre Dame announced that Nate Clurman, the team’s captain and a junior defenseman from Boulder, Colorado, had signed a two-year entry-level contract with the National Hockey League’s Colorado Avalanche and would report to the team’s American Hockey League team the Colorado Eagles. That came eight days after junior right wing Matt Steeves, the team’s leader in goals and points, signed a three-year entry-level contract with the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs.

The 6-foot, 192-pound Galajda and his Cornell teammates, who were ranked in the top 10 of the preseason poll, did not play hockey in 2020-21 season because the Ivy League opted to shut down is sports programs because of COVID-19. Galajda continued his studies in Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration from which he will receive his degree.

For his career at Cornell, Galajda has a 1.64 goals-against average, a .930 saves percentage and a 60-15-9 record with 19 shutouts.

Galajda earned All-America honors in 2017-2018 as a freshman when he led the nation with a 1.51 goals-against average and nine shutouts, had a .939 save percentage and posted a 21-5-2 record. He was a finalist that season for the Mike Richter Award which was won by Notre Dame’s Cale Morris. He also was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the nation’s top player.

As a sophomore in 2018-19, Galajda had a 1.85 average, five shutouts, a .921 saves percentage and 16-8-3 record.

As a junior in 2019-20, he was again a Mike Richter Award finalist after compiling a 1.56 average with five shutouts, a .931 save percentage and 23-2-4 record. When COVID-19 ended the season in March, Cornell was ranked No. 1 in the poll.

The 5-foot-9, 170-pound St. Cyr has two years of eligibility remaining, one the result of a redshirt season in 2019-20. With another goaltender Nick Sanford also graduating, sophomore Ryan Bischel remains on the roster and will compete with Galajda. During the 2020-21 season, the 6-foot-1, 189-pound Bischel posted a 2.87 goals-against average and .890 saves percentage in 10 games with a 3-4-1 record.

Bischel suffered an injury during practice in January that allowed St. Cyr to take over and start 15 of the last 16 games of the season. St. Cyr, a Northville, Michigan, resident who played for the U.S. National Team Development Program prior to his arrival at Notre Dame as a freshman for the 2017-18 season, posted a 2.44 average, a .921 saves percentage, an 11-9-1 record and three shutouts during 23 games, including a pair of 2-0 road victories at Michigan State Feb. 26-27.

St. Cyr, who was a backup to Morris his freshman and sophomore seasons, sat out his junior campaign as Bischel arrived to serve as the backup. Jackson alternated Bischel and St. Cyr for the most part into January, including a series at Minnesota Jan. 15-16 at then No. 1 Minnesota when the Irish swept the Golden Gophers. Bischel’s injury occurred the following week in practice.

For his career, St. Cyr played in 34 games and had a 16-12-2 record with a 2.44 average, a .923 saves percentage and five shutouts.

St. Cyr was in goal when Notre Dame lost to Penn State 6-3 in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals at the Compton Family Ice Arena March 14. Despite a 14-13-2 record, the Irish would end up earning their fifth straight NCAA tournament berth. But they would not play again when positive COVID-19 tests upon their arrival for the Northeast Regional game in Albany, New York, forced team to withdraw before playing top-seed Boston College March 27.

Former Cornell goalie Matthew Galajda is shown during a game on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019 in East Lansing, Mich. Galajda has transferred to Notre Dame for his final season of eligibility.