PITTSBURGH — Ryan Faragher ranks third among the starting goaltenders at the Frozen Four in goals against average, fourth in save percentage and fourth in winning percentage.
In Thursday’s national semifinals, the St. Cloud State sophomore will look to the other end of the ice and see a Hobey Baker Award Hat Trick finalist in Quinnipiac’s Eric Hartzell.
Goaltending is a priority in the NCAA tournament, and Faragher might be flying under the radar a bit entering the Frozen Four.
Not to Huskies players, though.
“We feel he is one of the best in the country, too,” said Huskies captain Drew LeBlanc, himself a Hobey Hat Trick finalist. “He’s won in big games and played on big stages before and performed well. He thrives under these moments.”
Faragher allowed one goal in each game of the Midwest Regional, knocking off Notre Dame and Miami. In the WCHA Final Five before that, however, he allowed three goals on 20 shots in a loss to Wisconsin.
St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko tells about Faragher’s first WCHA start, which came after the team lost starter Mike Lee to injury last season. Then a freshman, Faragher blanked North Dakota on the road to make quite the introduction.
“He’s our guy. We go to battle with this guy,” Motzko said. “We’ve watched him get better and improve in so many areas. When he’s had a couple of these challenges as a goaltender to get better, he’s handled them. I know all of us have complete confidence in him that he’s going to be prepared to go.”