LaFontaine named Big Ten Goaltender of the Year, First Team All-Big Ten

Gophers goalie Jack LaFontaine has put up some of the best numbers in program history during his senior season.

Minnesota%E2%80%99s+goalie+Jack+LaFontaine+blocks+an+attempted+goal+from+Notre+Dame%E2%80%99s+Graham+Slaggert+on+Saturday%2C+Jan.+16+at+the+3M+arena+at+Marriucci.

Audrey Rauth

Minnesota’s goalie Jack LaFontaine blocks an attempted goal from Notre Dame’s Graham Slaggert on Saturday, Jan. 16 at the 3M arena at Marriucci.

Julianna Landis, Sports Reporter

Minnesota men’s hockey made the announcement via Twitter that senior goalie Jack LaFontaine was named the Big Ten Goaltender of the Year and to the First Team All-Big Ten on Tuesday.

In his second season with the Gophers, LaFontaine led the nation in multiple statistics. His 20 wins on the season place him first among all NCAA goalies, and his .937 save percentage is tied for first among those who have played in at least half of their team’s games.

LaFontaine’s 1.65 goals against average (GAA) ranks second in the NCAA. His five shutouts, including one against his former team Michigan and back-to-back shutouts against Notre Dame this season is good enough for second-best across college hockey.

A native of Mississauga, Ontario, LaFontaine’s NHL rights belong to the Carolina Hurricanes, who drafted him with their third-round pick (75th overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. He is also  in the running for the Hobey Baker and Mike Richter Award.

In addition to Jack LaFontaine’s year-end accolades, Minnesota announced Tuesday that eight other players received various Big Ten awards.

Joining their goaltender on the All-Big Ten First Team are defenseman Jackson LaCombe and forward Sampo Ranta, with Minnesota representing half of the First Team selections. Only one other team, Wisconsin, earned multiple spots.

While no Minnesota player was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team, five were awarded honorable mention: forwards Ben Meyers, Scott Reedy, Sammy Walker, and defensemen Ryan Johnson and Brock Faber. Faber was also named to the All-Freshman team.

Cullen Munson was Minnesota’s team recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.