Richter Award winner McIntyre ‘absolutely’ wants shot at B’s backup gig

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With last year’s backup, Niklas Svedberg, now plying his trade in Russia, the Boston Bruins have a vacancy behind No. 1 Tuukka Rask — a position that University of North Dakota product Zane McIntyre would like to fill.

“Absolutely,” McIntyre said, per NESN. “As a hockey player, you’re super competitive in any position. We’re going to try our best to be the best, whether it’s on ice working, off the ice doing stuff as well.

“I’m going to put by best foot forward in every situation I can to maybe get that spot that’s ahead of me.”

This year’s Richter Award winner as the NCAA’s top goalie, McIntyre finished the season with a 29-10-3 record, a 2.05 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage, beating out the likes of Michigan Tech’s Jamie Phillips, Yale’s Alex Lyon, Michigan State’s Jake Hildebrand and St. Lawrence’s Kyle Hayton for the trophy.

In June, McIntyre signed with Boston — not long after Svedberg went to the KHL — and now appears primed to battle AHL Providence netminders Jeremy Smith and Malcolm Subban for the No. 2 gig behind Rask.

While it would be a fairly big leap for McIntyre to go straight to the NHL, it’s not an implausible scenario. He’s actually a year older than Subban and, like Smith, has yet to make his big-league debut. At the very least, McIntyre should challenge for the gig, though it remains to be seen if he can replicate the success he had at the collegiate level.

“Obviously, there’s no pro experience and stuff, but at the same time, you’re play is going to dictate what happens,” McIntyre said. “I’ll probably learn that maybe sooner than later with pro hockey.

“You play well, you’re going to keep playing. If not, you’re going to find the rubber for a bit.”