Athletics & Recreation

Hockey team takes home major NCHC awards on eve of playoffs

The University of Denver hockey team took home three major individual awards at the 2014 National Collegiate Hockey Conference Awards Celebration on Thursday night at the Muse Event Center in Minneapolis.

Senior goalie Sam Brittain was recognized as the NCHC Goalie of the Year, while junior Joey LaLeggia was honored as both the NCHC Defenseman of the Year and the NCHC Offensive Defenseman of the Year.

Winners were determined based on voting by the conference’s head coaches and one student-athlete from each team with the top three vote-getters (plus ties) being finalists.

LaLeggia leads Denver’s high-scoring defensive unit with 22 points on 11 goals and 11 assists – despite missing five games this season due to injury. The junior has posted five power play goals and one game winner.  He currently ranks as the 21st highest-scoring defenseman nationally with an average of 0.65 points per game.

Brittain, who is also one of five finalists for the inaugural Mike Richter Award, which is presented to the nation’s top goaltender, has been Denver’s rock between the pipes all season. The senior has posted five shutouts, ranks second nationally with a .934 save percentage and 10th with a 2.06 goals against average. In addition, Brittain has played the second-highest minutes of any goalie nationally and has posted 30 or more saves in a total of 16 games this season – including five contests with 40 or more stops.

In addition, Brittain has been recognized as the NCHC Goalie of the Week a league-best six times this season.

No. 6 seed Denver continues the 2014 postseason today when it battles No. 5 seed Western Michigan in the NCHC Semifinals beginning at 3:08 p.m. MDT. The game will be televised live to a national audience on CBS Sports Network. Watch parties are scheduled at the Crimson and Gold, the Pioneer, Boone’s Tavern, the Stadium Inn and South Philly Cheesesteaks.



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