CHANHASSEN, Minn. – Bemidji State University junior Zach Driscoll is one of 10 collegiate goaltenders that has been placed on the 2019-20 Mike Richter Award semifinal list by Let’s Play Hockey.
The award, which is in its seventh year, annually honors the most outstanding goaltender in NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey.
Criteria for the Mike Richter Award include: Candidates must display outstanding skills on the ice, good academic standing at an NCAA college or university, academic achievement and sportsmanship, compliance with all NCAA rules; be full-time students at an NCAA college or university; and completing in 50-percent or more of the season. Consideration will be given to the candidate’s activities in the community.
Making an appearance in 33 of 37 games as a junior, Driscoll posted a record of 21-8-4 with a 1.63 goals against average and a .937 save percentage in net for the Beavers. He finished among the top 10 goaltenders nationally in several statistical categories including third in goals against average, fifth in save percentage, sixth in wins and is tied for eighth with four shutouts. The senior has piled up 862 saves, which included a career-best 48 stops in a 4-2 win at then-No. 2 Minnesota State University, Jan. 28. He piled up five games of 30-or-more saves. He has backstopped a penalty kill unit that ranks second in the nation at .912 and was second among its WCHA counterparts at (.897) in league play, while the team is on pace to set BSU Division I-era records for fewest power-play goals allowed (10) and for penalty-kill success.
“Zach’s success as a goaltender is a direct reflection of his work ethic and determination to continually elevate his game day in and day out,” said BSU Men’s Hockey Head Coach Tom Serratore. “His will to win and competitive fire is contagious. He has the ability to steal a game and make a big save when you need it most. His athleticism, ability to read the play and manage the game has given our team a true sense of confidence with him in the net.”
Serratore continued, “Not only is he a tremendous goaltender, but a fantastic human being. His team-first attitude, passion for our university and effort in the classroom has garnered the respect of our entire team and coaching staff.”
Driscoll finished the regular season leading the WCHA in games started (27) and in minutes played (1626:31), while he was second among league goaltenders with 668 saves, a 1.48 goals against average, .944 save percentage and 19 wins, and was tied for second with three shutouts in league play.
Other semifinalist for the 2019-20 Mike Richter Award include: Matt Galajda, Cornell; Spencer Knight, Boston College; John Lethemon, Michigan State; Strauss Mann, Michigan; Frank Marotte, Clarkson; Dryden McKay, Minnesota State; Hunter Shepard, Minnesota Duluth; Jeremy Swayman, Maine; and Tyler Wall, UMass-Lowell.
Finalists for the Mike Richter Award, and eventually, its winner, will be determined a committee of coaches, scouts and members of the media. The five finalist for the 2019-20 award will be named Marc 30 with this year’s Mike Richter Award presented April 10.
The Beavers, 22-10-5 overall, finished the 2019-20 regular season second in the WCHA standings going 20-5-3-2 versus WCHA competition. BSU clinched the No. 2 seed in the league’s postseason tournament and defeated Lake Superior State University in a best-of-three quarterfinal playoff series before the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).