College Hockey:
Miller Forgoes Senior Season

— Ryan Miller, one of just two goalies ever to win the Hobey Baker Award, will forgo his senior season at Michigan State after agreeing to a two-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres today.

Miller, a fifth-round pick of the Sabres in 1999, has been a standout since day one at Michigan State, posting eight shutouts his freshman season. He went on to break the all-time NCAA career shutout record by the end of the next season, when he posted 10 more. He finishes his NCAA career with 26 shutouts.

The 6-foot-2-inch, 160-pound Miller won the 2001 Hobey Baker Award when he posted a 31-5-4 record and 1.32 goals against average. He followed that up last season with a 26-9-5 record, 1.77 GAA and eight shutouts.

Miller joins a young goaltending corps that including returning starter Martin Biron and backup Mike Noronen, both of which excelled at Buffalo’s AHL affiliate in Rochester before getting to the NHL.

Miller is likely to start in Rochester.

“Every player in college, there’s going to come a time when the opportunity to further his pro career will take precedence over finishing his college career,” said Mike Liut, Miller’s agent, to the Associated Press.

Liut, a former college all-American and NHL goalie in his own right, said the decision was difficult.

“It’s not a decision that’s made cavalierly, you have to weigh it out, and much of it has to do with how they’ve performed. And with Ryan, he’s accomplished to a large extent what there is to accomplish,” Liut told AP.

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