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Let's Play Hockey Press Release | March 30, 2020

College hockey: 5 Finalists named for 2020 Mike Richter Award

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The five finalists for the Mike Richter Award were announced Monday March 30 by Let’s Play Hockey. The Mike Richter Award honors the nation’s top collegiate goaltender. The seventh annual award will be presented April 10. 

The finalists are Matthew Galajda of Cornell, Spencer Knight of Boston College, Strauss Mann of Michigan, Dryden McKay of Minnesota State, and Jeremy Swayman of the University of Maine.

The five finalists are listed below in alphabetical order:

Name School Year MIN W-L-T GAA SV% SO SVS
Matthew Galajda Cornell Junior 1733:00 23-2-4 1.56 .931 5 608
Spencer Knight Boston College Freshman 1979:12 23-8-2 1.97 .931 5 872
Strauss Mann Michigan Sophomore 2071:55 18-13-4 1.85 .939 6 987
Dryden McKay Minnesota State Sophomore 2295:56 30-4-2 1.31 .942 10 761
Jeremy Swayman Maine Junior 2060:50 18-10-5 2.07 .939 3 1099

Matthew Galajda • Cornell • Junior • 6’0” 192 • Aurora, ON

Galajda helped his team to a No. 1 ranking at year’s end by posting impressive numbers, including winning his first 10 games of the season. A product of Aurora, Ontario and the Victoria Grizzlies of the BCHL, Galajda played 99.9 percent of his team’s minutes and his .862 winning percentage that led the nation with a 23-2-4 record. He posted five shutouts and a save percentage of .931. His goals against average of 1.56 is second in the nation. He allowed two goals or less in 25 of the 29 games he started. Galajda was a Mike Richter Award Finalist in 2018 and also a Hobey Baker Award finalist in 2018. He is majoring in Hotel Administration and sports a 3.72 GPA. “I feel Matt Galajda is the most underrated goalie in the country,” said head coach Mike Schafer. “I think the telling statistic is that we had 3 freshman defenseman play ever game this year.  Where did this show.  It really showed on our penalty kill where we had 5 defenseman killing penalties who had never killed for us before and our statistics showed because of this. We only gave up 45 goals against and 21 were PP goals.  Of the 21 he had no chance on 12 of them because they were back door or one-timer through traffic.  I have gone through all his goals and I only have him for three soft goals all year.”

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Spencer Knight • Boston College • Freshman • 6’3” 192 • Darien, CT

Knight was a first round pick (13th overall) by the Florida Panthers in last year’s draft and showed why by helping Boston College to a 24-8-2 mark this season. Knight won 23 of those games and his winning percentage of .727 ranked fifth. He also posted a 1.97 goals against average, which ranked 9th in NCAA and a .931 save percentage, which also tied him for ninth amongst Division I goalies. He tied for third in the nation in shutouts with five and ranked 19th with 872 saves. Knight was a member of the Under 18 National Development Team. He is majoring in Marketing and has a 2.80 GPA. “He had a remarkable freshman year at Boston College and became a valuable and respected member of our team,” said head coach Jerry York. “We’ve had a lot of tremendous goalies at BC like Schnieder, Demko and Woll, and Spencer is progressing in similar fashion.”

Dryden McKay • Minnesota State • Sophomore • 5’11” 175 • Downers Grove, IL

McKay helped lead the Mavericks to the top ranking early on and led the nation in multiple categories including wins (30), GAA (1.31), Save Percentage (.942) and shutouts (10). His 10 shutouts is second in NCAA history. He was also named WCHA Goaltender of the Year and was an 8-time WCHA Goalie of the Week winner. He set school records for single-season shutouts and career shutouts and also set school records in wins, save percentage and goals against average. McKay is a finance major with a 3.86 GPA. “The success of any hockey team starts with their goaltender and Dryden McKay has been the backbone of our team for the last two seasons,” said head coach Mike Hastings. “He’s a technically sound goaltender who is intelligent with tremendous anticipation.   His work ethic, demeanor and competitiveness separates him from most goaltenders and the numbers that he’s put up this season speak for themselves. Having played in 37 of 38 games this year and 71 of 78 games for his collegiate career, one of the most important qualities of  Dryden’s body of work has been his consistency.  He was the most important factor in us accomplishing back-to-back 30-win seasons. He’s also great in the classroom, carrying a 3.86 grade point average and being recognized by our league as a WCHA Scholar-Athlete and being named to the WCHA All-Academic Team this year.”

Strauss Mann • Michigan • Sophomore • 6’0” 175 • Greenwich, CT

Mann was stalwart in goal in his second season for the Wolverines  finishing third in the nation in save percentage (.939) and playing 97.8 percent his team’s minutes. The sophomore from Greenwich, CT, played in 21 games as a freshman before earning the starting role this season. He also recorded six shutouts, second most in NCAA and finished with a 1.85 GAA, good enough for sixth overall. He had 30-plus saves in 13 games and had more than 40 saves twice, including a 48-save effort in a 2-2 tie at Minnesota on Feb. 28. Mann is a member of the Ross Business School and has a 3.91 GPA. “Strauss is a tremendous young man who would make Mike Richter extremely proud if chosen for this award,” said head coach Mel Pearson. “I’ve been around college hockey for 38 years and Strauss is one of the finest young men you will ever find. He is the consummate student athlete.”

Jeremy Swayman • Maine • Junior • 6’3” 200 • Anchorage, AK

Swayman, a fourth round draft pick of the Boston Bruins in 2017, finished his junior season at Maine with stellar numbers. He played in over 2,000 minutes and led the nation in saves with 1,099 also posting a 2.07 goals against average and his .939 save percentage was second in the nation. He faced 1,170 shots and allowed just 71 goals. He stopped more than 30 shots 25 times during the season, more than 40 twice and more than 50 (52) once.  Swayman is a Management major with a 3.38 GPA. “Certainly Jeremy’s numbers this season are impressive and these speak for themselves,” said head coach Red Gendron. “The numbers provide evidence of his excellence but more than that, he provided our team with tremendous confidence because we all understood that he would make the saves we needed, whenever we needed them, ultimately leading to our team’s success.  His work habits and disciplined professionalism rivaled other great goalies I’ve been privileged to be on teams with like Martin Brodeur and Jon Quick.  These things can’t be seen by just looking at numbers but everyone here understands how real it truly was.”

The 2020 Richter Award winner will be announced April 10. Due to the uncertainty of the Covid-19 outbreak, a site and time have not been determined. 

Candidates for the Mike Richter Award were determined by nominations from all 60 NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey coaches. 

The finalists and winner are selected by a committee of coaches, scouts and members of the media. 

Past winners include: 2019 Cayden Primeau (Northeastern), 2018 Cale Morris (Notre Dame), 2017 Tanner Jaillet (Denver), 2016 Thatcher Demko (Boston College), 2015 Zane McIntyre (North Dakota), 2014 Connor Hellebuyck (UMass-Lowell).

The award is named after former Wisconsin Badger, Team USA member and NHL Hall of Fame goaltender Mike Richter. Richter was a 3-time All-Star who played his entire NHL career with the New York Rangers. He helped lead the Rangers to the 1994 Stanley Cup. He also won a silver medal with Team USA in 2002 and was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008.

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