NMU goaltender Atte Tolvanen named to Mark Richter Award watch list

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MARQUETTE - Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey junior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) was named one of 20 collegiate goaltenders that have been placed on the 2017-18 Mike Richter Award watch list by Let's Play Hockey and the Herb Brooks Foundation.

The award, which is in its fifth year, annually honors the most outstanding goaltender in NCAA Division I men's ice hockey. The winner will be announced at the 2018 NCAA Men's Frozen Four in St. Paul.

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.

Members of Let's Play Hockey, utilizing both past performance and future potential, choose goalies on the Mike Richter Award watch list. Freshmen are not included. Finalists for the Mike Richter Award, and eventually, its winner, will be determined a committee of coaches, scouts and members of the media. 

Past winners of the award include: Tanner Jaillet of Denver (2017), Thatcher Demko of Boston College (2016), North Dakota's Zane McIntyre (2015) and Connor Hellebuyck of UMass-Lowell (2014).

Tolvanen, a Western Collegiate Hockey Association Second-Team member a year ago, was selected as preseason All-WCHA Second-Team heading into the year. A season ago, Tolvanen was named NCAA First Star of the Week and WCHA Defensive Player of the Week in consecutive weeks en route to WCHA Player of the Months honors in February.

Tolvanen finished his 2016-17 campaign having played in 38 contests, making 35 starts. His 38 games marked the third most for a goalie in Wildcats' history. With 1,048 saves, Tolvanen finished the season with a 2.65 goals against average, including five-consecutive shutouts in February as the highlight of his sophomore season.

From January 21 through February 11, Tolvanen record an NCAA record-tying five straight shutouts. Over the span, Tolvanen held opponents scoreless for over 339-consecutive minutes of action, while also making 220 saves.

Over the course of his career, Tolvanen has entered into 63 contests, garnering 57 starts. Tolvanen has totaled 1,796 saves with a career GAA of 2.57.

Past winners of the award include: Tanner Jaillet of Denver (2017), Thatcher Demko of Boston College (2016), North Dakota's Zane McIntyre (2015) and Connor Hellebuyck of UMass-Lowell (2014).

NMU opens its 2017-18 schedule Friday and Saturday with a home-and-home series against Lake Superior State University. The Wildcats head to Sault Ste. Marie for Friday's game at 7:07 p.m. before their home-opener on Saturday at 7 p.m. Prior to Saturday's contest, former NMU head coach Rock Comley will be honored with the official dedication of Rick Comley Rink inside of the Berry Events Center.


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