Northeastern’s Thiessen Departs Early

Northeastern University goalie Brad Thiessen has signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team announced on Friday. Thiessen is a Hobey Hat Trick finalist and led Northeastern to one of its greatest seasons in 2008-09, with his 25-12-4 record, 2.12 goals against average and .931 save percentage. He will forgo his senior season with the Huskies to pursue his professional hockey career.

“I want to say thanks to everybody at Northeastern,” said Thiessen on Friday evening. “I really enjoyed the last three years here. Northeastern will always be a special place for me and it did a lot to help me further my goal of playing in the NHL.”

Thiessen was assigned to the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League (AHL). He joins Husky senior Joe Vitale, who was officially signed by the AHL Penguins on Thursday. Vitale was a seventh-round draft pick of the Penguins in 2005.

Thiessen will attend the Hobey Baker Award announcement on Friday, April 10, at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The 29th annual announcement will be aired live on ESPNU at 7 p.m.

Thiessen is Northeastern’s second-ever Hobey Hat Trick finalist as a top-three selection for the Hobey Baker Award, which honors college hockey’s top player. Jim Fahey was the other in 2002. Thiessen was already named New England MVP, Hockey East Player of the Year and was a unanimous selection to the Hockey East All-Star team and New England All-Star team. He also was Hockey East ITECH Goaltending Champion and earned the Three Stars Award.

Thiessen set Northeastern’s season records in every major category in 2008-09: wins (25), goals against average (2.12), save percentage (.931), saves (1195), games (41) and minutes (2495:44). Thiessen is Northeastern’s career leader in goals against average (2.40), save percentage (.922) and shutouts (nine). He ranks second all-time in saves (3166) and third in games (111) and minutes (6661:23).

Thiessen played every minute in net for Northeastern this season. Going into the NCAA Tournament, he led the nation in minutes and saves. Northeastern’s 25 wins tied the program record and the Huskies advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1994. In 2008-09, Thiessen had three shutouts, 16 games allowing one goal or less, and 24 games allowing two goals or less. Northeastern was 19-1-4 in those games.

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