Photo credit: Fighting Irish Media (Galajda)
The Watch List for the 2021-22 Mike Richter Award was announced this morning and there are four BCHL alumni included.
Bentley University’s Evan DeBrouwer, University of Notre Dame netminder Matthew Galajda, University of Connecticut goalie Darion Hanson and Quinnipiac University’s Yaniv Perets were all part of the 28 goalies listed for the award given to college hockey’s top goaltender.
Evan DeBrouwer (Graduate) – Bentley University (Nanaimo/Prince George)
DeBrouwer has been outstanding for Bentley in his first season since transferring from Arizona State University. The 24-year-old has a 6-1-0 record and is posting a career-best .939 save percentage, which is tops in the Atlantic Hockey conference and fourth among all NCAA Division I goalie. His 1.90 goals-against average is also the best in the conference and puts him in the top-10 in college hockey.
DeBrouwer played two years in the BCHL split between the Clippers and the Spruce Kings. In 2017-18 with Prince George, he posted a .920 save percentage, a 2.24 goals-against average and three shutouts, all top-five marks in the league, and led his team all the way to the Fred Page Cup Final.
Matthew Galajda (Graduate) – University of Notre Dame (Victoria Grizzlies)
Galajda owns a 10-3-0 record and the second best save percentage in the Big Ten conference with a rate of .929 since transferring from Cornell University in the offseason. He also owns the top goals-against average in the conference at 1.93 per game and has two shutouts to his name.
Galajda played for the Victoria Grizzlies for two seasons from 2015 to 2017, finishing his BCHL career with a .918 save percentage, a 2.52 goals-against average and seven shutouts in 83 appearances.
Darion Hanson (Graduate) – University of Connecticut (Vernon Vipers)
Hanson is another goalie in his fist year with a new team after he transferred from Union College in the summer. He has been a workhorse for UConn this year, appearing in 17 of the team’s 18 games and compiling a 9-8-0 record. The 24-year-old has a .913 save percentage on the year to go along with a 2.58 goals-against average.
Hanson played the 2016-17 campaign with the Vernon Vipers, joining the team midseason. In 21 games after joining the club, he posted a 14-4-0 record, a .945 save percentage and a 1.84 goals-against average with two shutouts.
Yaniv Perets (Sophomore) – Quinnipiac University (Penticton Vees)
Perets got his feet wet in college hockey last year when he joined Quinnipiac midseason and made two in-game appearances. The experience seems to have served him well this year as he has taken over the starting role and become one of college hockey’s top puck stoppers.
Through 14 games, the 21-year-old has an eye-popping 0.74 goals-against average, which is by far the best in college hockey, and his .952 save rate is the best in the ECAC Hockey conference and second in the NCAA. His eight shutouts are also most in the conference and second in college hockey. Perets has yet to lose a game in regulation this year and owns an 11-0-3 record.
The Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que. native played the 2019-20 season with the Penticton Vees, posting the third-best goals-against average in the league at 2.19, the second-most shutouts with five and a .918 save percentage.
The voting committee will cut the list down to 15 players within the next two weeks. The winner will be announced in April at the Frozen Four tournament.
Last season, University of Minnesota goaltender and former Penticton Vee Jack LaFontaine became the first BCHL alumnus to win the award.