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Minnesotans Among Finalists for Best Goaltender in NCAA Hockey

Updated: 03/03/2014 1:08 PM
Created: 02/28/2014 4:06 PM KSTP.com
By: Let's Play Hockey

Let's Play Hockey and the Herb Brooks Foundation announced today the 18 candidates for the inaugural Mike Richter Award, which annually honors the most outstanding goaltender in NCAA men's hockey. The inaugural award will be presented at the 2014 NCAA Men's Frozen Four in Philadelphia.

Among the candidates are Adam Wilcox, goaltender for the University of Minnesota men's hockey team and native of South St. Paul, and Aaron Crandall, goaltender for the University of Minnesota-Duluth men's hockey team and native of Lakeville, MN.

The candidates combine for a 2.19 goals-against average, a .926 save percentage and a grade-point average of 3.12. The nominees for the 2014 Mike Richter Award are:

Candidate

School

Year

W-L-T

GAA

SV%

SO

Sam Brittain

Denver

Senior

13-11-6

2.10

0.931

4

Aaron Crandall

Minnesota Duluth

Senior

11-9-3

2.77

0.903

0

Thatcher Demko

Boston College

Freshman

13-1-3

1.74

0.937

2

Ryan Faragher

St. Cloud State

Junior

16-6-4

2.62

0.910

1

Jon Gillies

Providence

Sophomore

14-7-5

2.23

0.926

3

Connor Hellebuyck

Umass Lowell

Sophomore

12-6-2

1.90

0.929

3

Jake Hildebrand

Michigan State

Sophomore

8-13-7

2.22

0.931

2

Andy Iles

Cornell

Senior

13-7-5

2.26

0.920

0

C.J. Motte

Ferris State

Junior

22-5-3

2.22

0.928

3

Zach Nagelvoort

Michigan

Freshman

10-7-2

2.26

0.927

1

Martin Oullette

Maine

Senior

14-11-4

2.17

0.929

3

Joel Rumpel

Wisconsin

Junior

16-4-1

1.83

0.936

2

Jimmy Sarjeant

Mercyhurst

Junior

16-4-5

2.33

0.934

1

Colin Stevens

Union

Junior

19-4-2

2.10

0.922

4

Steve Summerhays

Notre Dame

Senior

17-11-2

1.90

0.929

7

Jason Torf

Air Force

Senior

11-6-4

2.60

0.911

1

Adam Wilcox

Minnesota

Sophomore

20-4-5

1.97

0.931

3

Clay Witt

Northeastern

Junior

16-8-3

2.17

0.940

4

Candidates for the Mike Richter Award were determined by nominations from all 59 NCAA Division I men's hockey head coaches. The finalists and winner will be selected by a committee of coaches, scouts and members of the media.

Criteria for the Mike Richter Award:
- Candidates must display outstanding skills on the ice
- Candidates should be in good academic standing at an NCAA college or university
- Consideration should be given to academic achievement and sportsmanship
- Candidates must comply with all NCAA rules; be full-time students at an NCAA college or university; and complete 50 percent or more of the season
- Consideration should be given to the candidate's activities in the community

Largely considered one of the top goaltenders of the last 30 years, Mike Richter played youth hockey in Pennsylvania and New York before heading to the University of Wisconsin to stop pucks for the Badgers. In two seasons in Madison, Richter was named the 1986 WCHA Freshman of the Year and earned All-WCHA second team honors in 1987.

After two seasons in the IHL, Richter made his NHL debut in the 1989 Stanley Cup Playoffs with the New York Rangers. Playing full-time for the Rangers beginning with the 1990-91 season, he was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goalie in just his second full season in the NHL.

After splitting goaltending duties with veteran John Vanbiesbrouck for several seasons, Richter was made the Rangers' primary starter for the 1993-94 season. He went on to post a career-best 42 wins and 2.57 goals-against average that year as the Rangers won the 'Presidents Trophy  as the league's top regular-season team. In the playoffs, Richter backstopped New York to the Stanley Cup Finals where Rangers defeated the Vancouver Canucks in seven games to win their first Stanley Cup since 1940. During the 1994 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he became the eighth goaltender to post four shutouts in one playoff season.

Consistently ranked one of the world's best goaltenders, Richter played in 666 games during his 14-year NHL career, all with the Rangers. His 301 wins are more than any other Rangers goaltender and he was named an NHL All-Star three times in his career. Richter's jersey (#35) became the third number retired by the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Feb.  4, 2004.

Richter was also a standout on the international stage, tending the net for Team USA for parts of three decades. He is one of just 10 Americans ever to compete in at least three Olympic Games (1988, 1998, 2002), including in 2002 when he helped the team capture the silver medal. In addition, he led Team USA to the World Cup of Hockey championship in 1996 and was named the tournament's MVP. He also played in two IIHF World Junior Championships (1985-86), three IIHF Men's World Championships (1986-87, 1993) and the 1991 Canada Cup.

Richter was inducted into the University of Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005 and the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008.

Adam Wilcox, goaltender for the University of Minnesota men's hockey team, is a finalist for the Mike Richter Award.
Photo: KSTP/file

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