PENTICTON, BC. – Former Penticton Vees goaltenders Zach Driscoll, Jack LaFontaine, and Adam Scheel have been named to the watch list for the Mike Richter Award, given to college hockey’s top goaltender, as it was announced by the Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA) on Tuesday.
Driscoll has his name listed for the second straight season, after being named a nominee for the prestigious honour a season ago. The Apple Valley, Minnesota native has put up solid numbers in his senior season at Bemidji State University, posting a 2.35 goals against average and a .927 save percentage while holding a record of 6-4-2 in 12 games with the Beavers this season. Driscoll donned a Vees jersey for one season, during the 2015/16 campaign, posting a 21-4-0 record in 26 games played to go along with a 1.90 GAA and a .933 SV% while registering 4 shutouts in his time in Penticton.
LaFontaine has been one of the best goaltenders to man the crease in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) this season, leading the University of Minnesota to 13 wins in his 16 appearances. The Mississauga, Ontario native has compiled a 1.38 GAA and a .948 SV% in those 16 contests with 3 shutouts in his senior season with the Golden Gophers, wearing an ‘A’ on his jersey as well. LaFontaine played a key part in his season in Penticton during the 2018/19 campaign, winning 30 games with a 2.19 GAA and a .923 save percentage with 3 shutouts as well in 45 games played.
Into his junior season with the University of North Dakota, Scheel has taken over the reigns as the number one goaltender for the Fighting Hawks, putting up a 12-3-1 record in 17 games played between the pipes this season. The Lakewood, Ohio native has produced a 1.99 GAA and a .921 SV% so far in his third season with North Dakota to go along with 3 shutouts. 2017/18 was the only season Scheel was in Penticton but he made a lasting impression, playing in 45 games with the team and delivering a 29-12-0 record, coupled with a 2.08 GAA and a .927 SV% along with 3 shutouts.
A committee of voters, made up of a cross section of coaches, administrators, scouts and media, will pare the watch list down to approximately 15 names within the next two weeks and then ultimately choose the winner, who will be announced in April during the NCAA Frozen Four. The three former Vees are part of 6 former BC Hockey League crease keepers to make the watch list.