April 2, 2009

Courtesy of Northeastern

Northeastern University goaltender Brad Thiessen was named a Hobey Hat Trick finalist as a top-three selection for the 2009 Hobey Baker Memorial Award, honoring college hockey's top player. Thiessen was also named New England MVP and a New England All-Star on Thursday. He was already named Hockey East Player of the Year and was the only unanimous Hockey East All-Star selection.

Along with Thiessen, Boston Unviersity defenseman Matt Gilroy and BU forward Colin Wilson were named top-three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award. It's the first time in the nine years of the current Hobey Baker Award format that all three Hobey Hat Trick finalists came from one conference. Also on Thursday it was announced that Northeastern's Greg Cronin was named New England Coach of the Year and Joe Vitale was named New England's Best Defensive Forward.

This year's Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced Friday, April 10, from Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., during the NCAA Frozen Four. The 29th annual announcement will be aired live on ESPNU at 7 p.m.

Thiessen led the Huskies to one of the best seasons in program history, posting a 25-12-4 record, 2.12 goals against average and .931 save percentage in 41 games. Northeastern tied the program record with 25 wins, finished second in the Hockey East regular season for just the second time ever and made its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1994. The Huskies' season came to an end last Saturday with a 3-2 loss to Cornell in the NCAA Midwest Regional in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Thiessen played every minute in net in 2008-09. Going into the NCAA Tournament, he led the nation in minutes and saves. He finished the season with totals of 2495:44 minutes and 1195 saves. No other goaltender had more than 1100 saves. His 2.12 goals against average ranked 12th in the nation and he averaged 29.1 saves per game, which was more than any other goaltender in the top 15 in GAA.

In 2008-09, Thiessen had three shutouts, 16 games allowing one goal or less, and 24 games allowing two goals or less. Northeastern was 19-1-4 in those games.

Thiessen set Northeastern's season records in every major category: wins (25), goals against average (2.12), save percentage (.931), saves (1195), games (41) and minutes (2495:44). Thiessen is Northeastern's career leader in goals against average (2.40), save percentage (.922) and shutouts (nine). He ranks second all-time in saves (3166) and third in games (111) and minutes (6661:23).

Thiessen joins Jim Fahey as Northeastern's only two Hobey Hat Trick finalists. Fahey, a defenseman, was a Hobey Hat Trick finalist in 2002 when he had 14 goals and 32 assists for 46 points in 39 games. Sandy Beadle is Northeastern's only other Hobey Baker Award top-10 finalist (1981). Thiessen was Northeastern's first-ever Hockey East Player of the Year and was also the Hockey East ITECH Goaltending Champion and received the Three Stars Award.