Feb. 28, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS - Michigan State sophomore goaltender Jake Hildebrand is one of 18 candidates for the inaugural Mike Richter Award, it was announced by Let's Play Hockey and the Herb Brooks Foundation on Friday. The award honors the most outstanding goaltender in NCAA men's hockey and will be presented at the 2014 NCAA Men's Frozen Four in Philadelphia.
Hildebrand currently ranks third in the Big Ten in save percentage at .931. He has faced more shots (914) than any other goaltender in the league and his 851 total saves lead the conference and rank seventh in the nation.
In conference games, Hildebrand has a .937 save percentage, which is tied for second among all goaltenders.
The native of Butler, Pa., has been named one of the Big Ten's Stars of the Week on four occasions this season. He was tabbed the league's first star after posting a .972 save percentage in the GLI, which included a 29-save shutout victory over then No. 3 Michigan. He was also named the first start after making a career-high 48 saves in 3-0 win over Penn State on Jan. 17.
Hildebrand has made at least 30 saves in 11 of his 28 starts this season.
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:
Must display outstanding skills on the ice
Should be in good academic standing at an NCAA college or university
Should be given to academic achievement and sportsmanship
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
About Mike Richter
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. He posted a career-best 42 wins and 2.57 goals-against average in leading the New York Rangers to the Stanley Cup in 1994. Richter played in 666 games during his 14-year NHL career, all with the Rangers.
On the international stage, Richter tended the net for Team USA for parts of three decades as 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 earned tournament MVP.
About Let's Play Hockey
In its 42nd season and based in Minneapolis, Let's Play Hockey is the longest-running hockey newspaper in the U.S., serving the largest hockey market in the nation.
About the Herb Brooks Foundation
The Herb Brooks Foundation is dedicated to growing the game of hockey and giving the game back to the kids. Founded in 2003 by Dan Brooks and Kelly Brooks Paradise, Herb's family and friends created the foundation to preserve his legacy by continuing his life's work by growing the game by "making hockey fun for kids and letting them learn to love the game the way we did."