CALGARY, Alberta – The Canadian Junior Hockey League announced today the five finalists for the 2016 Top Goaltender Award. The award will recognize the most the outstanding goaltender in the CJHL based on individual performance during the regular season.
Each of the 10 leagues within the CJHL selected a nominee for the Goaltender of the Year honour. Following the initial round of voting, five players qualified as finalists for the award and will now advance to the final stage of the selection process. The five finalists are:
Matthew Murray, Spruce Grove Saints, AJHL (29 GP, 23 W – 4 L – 2.59 GAA – .910 S% – 3 SO)
Matthew Murray had a season filled with awards and recognitions beginning in December as he won a Gold Medal with Team Canada West at the 2015 World Junior A Challenge. In January, Murray was selected to participate in the 2016 CJHL Prospects Game and soon after was identified in the NHL Central Scouting Mid-Term Rankings. In addition, Murray was awarded the Alberta Ford Dealers AJHL Goaltender of the Week in November 2015 and was selected as the Viterra AJHL Star of the Game twice for the Saints. In his second year with the Saints, Matt has compiled a record of 23-4-0 with 3 shutouts, a 2.59 GAA and .910 Save Percentage. Through the month of November 2015, Murray recorded 7 consecutive wins for the Saints. Last season Matthew backstopped Spruce Grove to their second consecutive AJHL Championship as a rookie, while also sharing in the AJHL Top Goaltends award, which is awarded to the AJHL team with the lowest GAA. The 18 year old from St Albert, Albert has committed to the University of Massachusetts of the NCAA Division I.
Nathan Park, Portage Terriers, MJHL (46 GP, 38 W – 7 L – 3 T – 1.92 GAA – .922 S% – 7 SO)
Just call this native of Edmonton, Mister Number One. After the dust settled at the completion of the 2015-16 season, Park ranked No. 1 in a number of MJHL goaltending categories: Wins (38), minutes played (2,655), shutouts (7) and goals against average (1.92). Park, 20, capped his season by being named the MJHL’s top goaltender. A first-team all-star, Park is highly skilled: quick on his feet, great glove hand, fantastic ability to track pucks, and most importantly: loves playing pressure hockey.
Zach Driscoll, Penticton Vees, BCHL (26 GP, 21 W – 4 L – 0 T – 1.90 GAA – .933 S% – 4 SO)
Driscoll won the BCHL Goaltending Award after posting a 1.90 goals-against average to go along with a 21-4 record. His .933 save percentage was also tops in the BCHL, aided by his four shutouts. The 19-year-old product of Apple Valley, Minn. allowed more than three goals only once on the season and won eight-straight decision after joining the Vees in early October. Driscoll is committed to St. Cloud State University and will play one more season with the Vees before heading off to college.
Andrew Masters, Georgetown Raiders, OJHL (43 GP, 28 W – 9 L – 3 T – 2.00 GAA – .934 S% – 4 SO)
The 20-year old Kitchener, Ontario native was a rock between the pipes for the Raiders during his first season in the OJHL, helping lead the club to a second consecutive West Division and South-West Conference regular season title, while also finishing as runner-up for the overall OJHL crown to the Trenton Golden Hawks. Twice named the OJHL Gongshow Gear Goaltender-of-the-Month, back-to-back in December and January, Masters was also named runner-up for the award in September. He posted a 28-9-3 record for the league's second best win total, along with four shutouts, which was tied for the third best total. The 2nd Team All-Star also ranked second with 43 games, 2,485:47 minutes played and a 2.00 goals against average. Stopping the third most shots in the league with 1,180 saves, Masters posted the OJHL's best save percentage at .934%. Twice during the season Masters posted five game winning streaks, kicking-off his OJHL career by winning eight of his first ten games this season, and he finished strong by winning 14 of his last 18 games to help clinch the number one seed throughout the South-West Conference post-season. The runner-up for the OJHL Top Goaltender Award with his sparkling 2.00 goals against average, Masters' efforts would earn him a spot on Team OJHL Coffey for the 2015 Eastern Canada Cup All-Star Challenge that was held in Cornwall, Ontario.
Jack Burgart, Weyburn Redwings, SJHL (43 GP, 27 W – 10 L – 4 OTL – 2 SOL – 1.97 GAA – .935 S% – 3 SO)
Jack Burgart (Fort St James BC) back stopped the Wings to a landslide first place finish in the Viterra Division, finishing second in the league in wins, but first in SPCT and first in GAA. In fact, Burgart was the only puck stopper to register a GAA of less than 2.00 per game (1.97). A three year veteran and second year starter, Burgart's coming out party began in the second half of last season and he carried that momentum through, going 27-10-4-and-2. He had a .935 SPCT and he posted three shutouts to give him eight for his career. How tough was Burgart to beat? He was never beaten for more than four goals in a game all year.
Congratulations to the following honourable mentions for the CJHL Top Goaltender Award:
- Riley Corbin, Thunder Bay North Stars – SIJHL
- Jacob Fancy, Truro Bearcats – MHL
- Garrett Forrest, Powassan Voodoos – NOJHL
- Henry Johnson, Brockville Braves – CCHL
- Steven Veilleux, Cobras de Terrebonne – QJHL
The Top 5 finalists for all CJHL Awards will be announced over the coming week. The recipient of the 2016 CJHL Rookie of the Year and all CJHL League Awards will be announced during the week of May 9th-13th. All award recipients will receive a special ring designed by Jostens Canada the official award supplier to the CJHL.