Pietila named Mike Richter Award finalist

Courtesy of MTU

HOUGHTON, Mich. – Michigan Tech sophomore goaltender Blake Pietila has been named one of the nine finalists for the 2021 Mike Richter Award. The finalists were announced Friday (Feb. 26) by the Hockey Commissioners Association.

Pietila ranks fifth nationally in save percentage with a .938 mark for the Huskies this season. His three shutouts rank second in the WCHA and tied for seventh nationally. The Howell, Michigan, native’s 1.67 goals-against average is also the second-best mark in the WCHA and is No. 6 in the NCAA. He is one of eight NCAA netminders with 16 or more starts who have a GAA below 2.00.

Pietila is 12-5-0 this season and ranks ninth in the nation in winning percentage. He shutout Bemidji State on December 13 with 31 saves, Alabama Huntsville on January 2 with 18 saves, and Ferris State on February 12 after stopping 12 shots. Pietila earned his first collegiate win on December 6 with 43 saves against No. 6 Minnesota State.

Pietila was named the HCA National Goaltender of the Month and WCHA Goaltender of the Month for December. He also earned a pair of WCHA Goaltender of the Week honors this season.

Other Mike Richter Award finalists from the WCHA are Minnesota State’s Dryden McKay and Mareks Mitens from Lake Superior State. Finalists also include Boston College’s Spencer Knight, Minnesota’s Jack LaFontaine, Michigan’s Strauss Mann, Quinnipiac’s Keith Petruzzelli, North Dakota’s Adam Scheel, and Providence’s Jaxson Stauber.

The Mike Richter Award has been presented annually since 2014 to the top goalie in men’s NCAA Division I hockey. The award was previously administered by “Let’s Play Hockey” magazine.

The winner of this year’s Mike Richter Award will be announced in April during the NCAA Frozen Four.