SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Lake Superior State senior goaltender Mareks Mitens has been named a finalist for the Mike Richter Award, an honor given annually to the top goalie in NCAA Division I men’s hockey. The nine finalists were announced today by the Hockey Commissioners Association.
Since the creation of the award in 2014, Mitens is the first Laker goaltender to be named a finalist for the trophy.
As a senior, Mitens has started 17 games this season for the Lakers, posting an 8-4-3 record with a 1.89 goals against average and a .934 save percentage. In all but three of his 17 appearances, Mitens has allowed two or fewer goals. Among WCHA goaltenders, Mitens ranks third in goals against average, fifth in minutes played (922:57), fourth in saves (412), and third in save percentage this season. Mitens’ goals against average ranks eighth-best nationally and his save percentage stands as 10th best in the nation. The Ventspils, Latvia native earned his 30th career win on Feb. 19 in a 2-1 win over the Alabama Huntsville Chargers which ties him for 10th all-time in program history with Gordon Defiel.
Mitens has received multiple WCHA honors this season including Goaltender of the Month (November) and Goaltender of the Week on three occasions.
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) leads all conferences with three goaltenders among the nine finalists for the 2021 Mike Richter Award (Blake Pietila, Michigan Tech; Dryden McKay, Minnesota State). All three WCHA finalists have started 16 or more games for their teams this season and have posted a goals against average mark below 2.00.
The remaining six finalists are Boston College’s Spencer Knight, Minnesota’s Jack LaFontaine, Michigan’s Strauss Mann, Quinnipiac’s Keith Petruzzelli, North Dakota’s Adam Scheel and Providence’s Jaxson Stauber.
The winner of this year’s Mike Richter Award will be announced in April during the NCAA Frozen Four.
Past Richter Award Recipients: 2014 – Connor Hellebuyck, UMass Lowell; 2015 – Zane McIntyre, North Dakota; 2016 – Thatcher Demko, Boston College; 2017 – Tanner Jaillet, Denver; 2018 – Cale Morris, Notre Dame; 2019 – Cayden Primeau, Northeastern; 2020 – Jeremy Swayman, Maine.
For more information on the Mike Richter Award, visit https://www.mikerichteraward.com/
For more information on Laker hockey, visit lssulakers.com