Michigan Tech goaltender Blake Pietila of Howell has been named a top three finalist for the Mike Richter Award, given annually to the top goaltender in men’s NCAA Division I hockey since 2014.
The Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA)on Thursday announced Pietila, Northeastern’s Devon Levi, and Quinnipiac’s Yaniv Perets as the finalists. Levi and Perets are repeat finalists, and Levi was the Richter Award winner last year.
Levi and Perets both hail from Dollard des Ormeaux, Quebec, while Pietila is from Howell, Michigan. All three are ranked in the top five in NCAA save percentage and all three will return to action in Saturday night post-season play. The winner of this year’s Mike Richter Award will be announced on April 7 during the NCAA Frozen Four in Tampa.
Pietila has started 34 games for the Huskies this season and is 23-9-3 overall with a 1.96 goals-against average, and a .931 save percentage. He leads the nation with 10 shutouts, is second with 23 wins, third in save percentage, and fourth in goals-against average. He holds the Michigan Tech single-season shutout record with 10 and the career shutout record with 20. Pietila is tied for the Tech’s all-time goaltender win record with 58.
Pietila was named the CCHA Goaltender of the Month for February, January, and October, the CCHA Goaltender of the Week seven times, and the Most Valuable Player of the Desert Hockey Classic.
Mike Richter enjoyed a phenomenal playing career, highlighted by 14 seasons with the New York Rangers, leading them to the Stanley Cup in 1994, their first in 54 years. A member of the Hall of Fame, Richter was outstanding on a number of USA Hockey Teams, most notably the 1988 Olympic Team, the 1991 Canada Cup Team, and as the MVP of the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.