As much as it was bitterly disappointing for North Dakota to lose to Boston University in the NCAA Frozen Four semifinals Thursday night at TD Garden, there was a silver lining for the team’s goaltender.
Bruins prospect Zane McIntyre, a junior, was named the winner of the 2015 Mike Richter Award on Friday, which goes to the most outstanding goalie in college hockey.
UMass-Lowell’s Connor Hellebuyck was last year’s inaugural winner.
McIntyre credited many people with helping him get this far in his career.
“Whether it’s past coaches in youth rinks or coaches now, especially my family, I have to give high [marks] and rewards to them,” said McIntyre. “My mom, Kelly, and my sister, Jade, and our extended family and especially Grandma Susie [who died in 2011]. The most important factor, too, is my teammates. Without them, none of this would be possible; without them, it would just be a dream but the dream became a reality and I have to give a lot of credit to my teammates and especially our coaching staff as well.”
McIntyre, 22, said the decision to go to North Dakota changed his life in the most positive of ways.
“They’ve done a tremendous job taking a boy who was 19 years old . . . and really becoming a man,” he said. “A lot of that culture really starts with coach [Dave] Hakstol. What we have going at the University of North Dakota, everything is top notch — our facilities, our attitudes, what we expect year in and year out. It really shapes and molds you to be a complete person moreso than an athlete. It is really a lot of life lessons.”
McIntyre said after he has had time to process the season, he will decide whether to return to school for his senior season.
One person who is very impressed with McIntyre’s game is Richter, the former star for the New York Rangers who is in the US Hockey Hall of Fame.
“I think what separates the truly great players and the exceptional players like Zane is what is between their ears,” said Richter, who played at Wisconsin-Madison from 1985-87. “It is tough to get a sense for that until you start knowing the person. You’re not at this level unless you have a lot of talent. You just couldn’t compete but when you have that extra gear of the intangibles, that really starts to separate people.”
The AHCA/CCM Hockey Men’s Division 1 All-America teams were announced. BU’s Jack Eichel and Matt Grzelcyk, as well as Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey, were named to the first team. Providence’s Jon Gillies and Northeastern’s Kevin Roy were named to the second team.
Wisconsin’s Brittany Ammerman received the 2015 Hockey Humanitarian Award, and Penn State senior goaltender P.J. Musico was named the 2015 Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award Winner.
Providence is back in the NCAA title game for the first time since 1985, when the Friars lost to RPI, led by former Bruin Adam Oates. Despite coming out on the short end, Friars goaltender Chris Terreri was named the most outstanding player. The 30-year span between NCAA title game appearances is the fourth longest in Division 1 men’s hockey. Colorado College holds the record for the longest span — 39 seasons from 1957-96 . . . Friars forward Noel Acciari had a goal during PC’s victory over Omaha in the NCAA semifinal on Thursday, giving him a four-game point streak (three goals, two assists).