Five finalists announced for 2014 Mike Richter Award

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

Sam Brittain • University of Denver • Senior
Sam Brittain is a member of the NCHC All-Conference First Team and was named the NCHC Goaltender of the Year Award. A native of Calgary, Brittain owns a 19-13-6 record and played in all but three games this season for the Pioneers. He ranks third in the nation in save percentage (.932), sixth in shutouts (5) and 12th in goals-against average (2.11), leading the NCHC in each category. A team captain and one of only two seniors for the 20-15-6 Pioneers, Brittain has made 1,110 saves this season, the most in the nation. He has 16 games with 30 or more saves and five 40-save games this season, including a 43-save effort in a 3-0 win over North Dakota on Jan. 25. A fourth-round pick (92nd overall) of the Florida Panthers in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Brittain tore the ACL and meniscus in his left knee during his freshman season and returned from surgery late in his sophomore campaign. Brittain is a psychology major at Denver and owns a GPA of 3.44.


Connor Hellebuyck • University of Massachusetts Lowell • Sophomore
Connor Hellebuyck leads the nation in goals-against average (1.73) and save percentage (.943) for the fifth-ranked River Hawks. A native of Commerce, Mich., Hellebuyck owns a 17-8-2 overall record and ranks second in the nation with six shutouts this season. He began the season splitting time with senior netminder Doug Carr, but assumed the starting job in mid-January. A First Team Hockey East All-Star and a two-time Hockey East Tournament MVP, Hellebuyck has posted a .920 or better save percentage in all but one game this season and is 6-4-2 in one-goal games this season for the River Hawks. A fifth-round pick (130th overall) of the Winnipeg Jets in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Hellebuyck is a three-time Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week this season and was named the Hockey East Goaltender of the Month for November. Hellebuyck is a marketing major at UMass Lowell with a GPA of 3.606.


Joel Rumpel • University of Wisconsin • Junior
Playing for Mike Richter’s alma mater, Joel Rumpel ranks second in the Big Ten and seventh in the nation in both goals-against average (2.03) and save percentage (.930) for the fourth-ranked Badgers. A native of Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Rumpel owns a 21-5-1 overall record and ranks second nationally with a .796 winning percentage. He missed five games near the start of the season with an injury, returning as the full-time starter in late November and eventually earning second team All-Big Ten honors. Rumpel has allowed two goals or less in 10 of the last 11 games and in 19 of 25 starts. He posted third-longest goalie winning streak in program history with nine-game winning streak from Dec. 6 through Jan. 24 . With two shutouts this season, Rumpel is tied for second in Wisconsin history with nine career shutouts. He made a career-high 41 saves in the 3-2 overtime win at Penn State on March 8 and posted a 31-save shutout over Michigan State on Feb. 22. Rumpel is a personal finance major with a GPA of 2.84.


Adam Wilcox • University of Minnesota • Sophomore
The Big Ten Player and Goaltender of the Year, Adam Wilcox leads the Big Ten and ranks second nationally in save percentage (.933), third in goals-against average (1.91) and fourth in wins (23). A native of South St. Paul, Minn., Wilcox is on pace to set a Minnesota single-season record for save percentage this season and allowed just 30 goals in 18 conference games. He owns a 23-5-6 overall record and ranks fourth in the nation with a .765 winning percentage for the top-ranked Golden Gophers. A five-time Big Ten Star of the Week, Wilcox is 8-2-6 in one-goal games this season, owns three shutouts and has played in all but three games in 2013-14. A sixth-round pick (178th overall) of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Wilcox has 11 games with 30 or more saves, including a career-high 41-save effort in a 2-2 tie at Ohio State on March 8. Wilcox is undecided on a major and owns a GPA of 3.457.


Clay Witt • Northeastern University • Junior
Clay Witt ranks second in Hockey East and fourth in the nation with a save percentage of .932 for the 17th-ranked Huskies. A native of Brandon, Fla., he owns a 17-12-3 overall record, a 2.37 goals-against average and ranks sixth in the nation with four shutouts. One of only nine upperclassmen for 19-14-4 Northeastern, Witt made 1,043 saves this season, the fourth-most in the nation. He has 20 games with 30 or more saves, including four 40-save games and a career-high 52-save performance in a 3-3 tie vs. Providence on Dec. 6. A five-time Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week and Hockey East Goaltender of the Month for January, Witt has posted a .920 or better save percentage in 19 games this season and is 7-3-3 in one-goal games this season for the Huskies. Witt is a business major at Northeastern with a GPA of 2.77.

The finalists combine for a 2.03 goals-against average, a .934 save percentage and a grade-point average of 3.23.

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 are 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

-    Consideration should be given to the candidate’s activities in the community