WCHA’s top netminders are in the running for national goaltender of the year honors
BLOOMINGTON — Bemidji State’s Zach Driscoll and Minnesota State’s Dryden McKay are two of the 10 semifinalists for the 2020 Mike Richter Award.
McKay, who was tabbed a Hobey Baker Top-10 Finalist last week was the WCHA’s Goaltender of the Year in 2019-20 after winning the WCHA goaltending championship with a league-record 1.17 goals against average in WCHA play. McKay also earned first team All-WCHA honors this season. Driscoll was the All-WCHA second team netminder this season after posting a 1.63 goals against average, the fourth-lowest single-season mark in WCHA history.
McKay and Driscoll are joined on the Richter semifinalists list by Cornell’s Matt Galajda, Boston College’s Spencer Knight, Michigan State’s John Lethemon, Michigan’s Strauss Mann, Clarkson’s Frank Marotte, Minnesota Duluth’s Hunter Shepard, Maine’s Jeremy Swayman and UMass Lowell’s Tyler Wall.
Five finalists for this year’s award will be announced March 30. The 2020 Mike Richter Award winner will be announced April 10.
McKay earned First Team All-WCHA honors and was named the 2019-20 WCHA Goaltender of the Year on March 17 after authoring one of the top seasons by a netminder in league history. The Downers Grove, Ill., native was the WCHA Goaltending champion for the second year in a row with a WCHA-record 1.17 goals against average in league play, breaking the previous record of 1.35 he set to win the award as freshman in 2018-19.
His 1.31 GAA for all games is the second lowest in the 68-year history of the WCHA (1.27 — Bob Peters, North Dakota, 1957-58). He ended the season as the national leader in GAA (1.31), save percentage (.942) and shutouts (10) and ranked second in winning percentage at .861. In terms of overall statistics, McKay established new WCHA single-season highs for shutouts (10) and ranks in the top-10 in single season wins (T-sixth- 30), winning percentage (second — .861), GAA (second — 1.31) and save percentage (second — .942). In WCHA play, his GAA, save percentage (.946) and shutouts (eight) are new league single-season records and he ranks in the top-10 in wins (T-fourth — 22) and winning percentage (fourth — .865).
Driscoll earned Second Team All-WCHA honors this season after finishing second in goals against average in league play with a mark of 1.48. His average is the fourth-lowest single-season league-play mark in the 68-year history of the WCHA. His overall GAA of 1.63 in 33 games this season is also the fourth lowest in WCHA history, trailing only North Dakota’s Bob Peters (1.27 — 1957-58), fellow 2019-20 Richter semifinalist Dryden McKay of Minnesota State (1.31 — 2019-20) and Wisconsin’s Brian Elliott (1.55 — 2005-06) in league annals. His full-season GAA ranked third nationally behind McKay and Cornell’s Matthew Galajda. He also finished fifth nationally in save percentage (.937), tied for sixth in wins (22), eighth in winning percentage (.697) and tied for eighth in shutouts (four).
The Apple Valley native finished the season 21-8-4 to backstop the Beavers to a second-place finish in the WCHA, a No. 11 national ranking and a spot in the WCHA semifinals.