Athletics & Recreation

Nothing gets by Peter Mannino, especially hockey pucks

The guy’s a wall. And to see what he does to other teams you only have to look as far as the last letter of his last name — o as in zero. That’s the score squad after squad has to settle for when they face DU’s standout senior goalie on the ice. 

Twice in November he took home the Red Baron WCHA Defensive Player of the Week honors. 

And it looks likely Mannino will break DU’s all-time record for shut outs — 13 set by Gerry Powers in the 1960s. Mannino recently tied Powers’ shut out record, and still has 14 regular season games ahead of him to break it.

“I really don’t think about it and have no idea of the chances of breaking [or tying] such a prestigious record,” Mannino says. “Shutouts are very hard to come by and it takes a total team effort to accomplish them.” 

He’s quick to explain that team effort. “Every shutout is a team effort, but the goalie usually gets the credit for it,” he says. “Without the 18 other guys in front of you, it’s not possible to get a shutout.”

He says he admires Powers’ record and all the past DU goalies, but says that for him, it’s most important that the team continues its winning ways. 

All modesty aside, hockey head coach George Gwozdecky says Mannino is “one of the greatest competitors” he’s ever coached. 

“He’s extremely focused on beating the opposing team and especially the opposing goaltender,” Gwozdecky says. “Similar to all great athletes, Peter has a great work ethic and is a real student of the game.” 

The coach’s comments ring a bell for Mannino: “I continue to hear I’m competitive. I just try to enjoy the game as much as possible and work as hard as I can to improve. Working hard and a strong work ethic is very important both on and off the ice.” 

That work ethic started early. 

His first memory of hockey was as a toddler taking skating lessons with his sister. “I use to fall a lot but it eventually got a lot easier.”

His attraction to goaltending bloomed quickly after he mastered skating. 

“I liked the equipment. I saw others getting goalie skates and goalie pads and I wanted to wear that interesting equipment. It kind of continued from there and I just went with it. 

“I’m sure my dad wasn’t too excited with all the costs of the equipment, but he was very supportive.” 

His parents, he says, “gave me all of the chances and opportunities.” 

He also credits “so many coaches, families and teammates who all impacted me in their own way to help me get to DU. I’m forever grateful for everyone who has helped me and given me the support and care to help me get to play at the collegiate level.” 

And heads up to pro hockey scouts: After DU, Mannino hopes to join the National Hockey League. 

“I’ve always dreamed of playing hockey in the NHL and I would really like to play professional hockey. I’ll keep trying to accomplish this goal until my career is over.” 

Read about the story behind Mannino’s helmet.

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