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UMD's Shepard Among 10 Semifinalists for 2020 Mike Richter Award

By NCHC, 03/24/20, 9:30PM EDT


Minnesota Duluth senior up for top goaltender in NCAA men’s hockey for third straight season

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – For the third consecutive season, Minnesota Duluth senior Hunter Shepard has been named a semifinalist for the Mike Richter Award, presented annually to the most outstanding goaltender in NCAA men’s hockey, as Let’s Play Hockey announced the 10 semifinalists for 2020 on Tuesday. Shepard was the lone National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) goaltender among the 2019-20 semifinalists and was also named NCHC Goaltender of the Year for the second straight season on Tuesday.

A top-five finalist for the Richter Award last season, Shepard (Cohasset, Minn.) is the second netminder to capture NCHC Goaltender of the Year twice, joining Denver’s Tanner Jaillet in 2017 and 2018 (Jaillet won the Richter Award in 2017). Shepard, an undrafted free agent, was also named First-Team All-NCHC this season, his second straight year earning First-Team honors, after landing on the Second Team in 2017-18.

This season, Shepard finished 22-10-2 (.676 win percentage), starting every game and breaking the NCAA record for consecutive starts, having finished his career starting 115 straight games. He compiled a 2.18 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage with two shutouts in 2019-20, while recording 826 saves (24.3 saves per game).

The UMD co-captain was the only NCHC goaltender to start all 24 conference games this season, going 17-5-2 with a.923 save percentage and 2.13 GAA, both second in conference play. Shepard was a seven-time NCHC Goaltender of the Week this year and the January NCHC Goaltender of the Month.  

The five finalists for the seventh annual Mike Richter award will be announced on Monday, March 30 with the winner announced on Friday, April 10.

Candidates for the Mike Richter Award were determined by nominations from all 60 NCAA Division I men’s hockey head coaches. The semifinalists, finalists and winner are selected by a committee of coaches, scouts and members of the media.

The 10 semifinalists this year combined for a 1.91 goals-against average, a .934 save percentage and 46 shutouts. The semifinalists include four seniors, three juniors, two sophomores and one freshman.

The NCHC is home to two previous Mike Richter Award winners in Denver’s Jaillet in 2017 and North Dakota’s Zane McIntyre, who was the first NCHC goaltender to claim the honor in 2015.

For more information on each of the 10 semifinalists, click here.