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College men's hockey: UMD's Shepard nominated for national, conference awards

Clint Austin / Minnesota Duluth goaltender Hunter Shepard (32) makes a save against Miami forward Gordie Green (9) on March 2 at Amsoil Arena.

And the nominee is ... Hunter Shepard.

Minnesota Duluth's junior goaltender from Cohasset was nominated for national and conference awards Thursday ahead of the Bulldogs' NCHC quarterfinal series against Nebraska-Omaha. Game 1 is at 7:07 p.m. Friday.

Shepard is a semifinalist for the Mike Richter Award — given to the national goaltender of the year — for the second year in a row. He's also nominated in the NCHC for Player of the Year, Goaltender of the Year and the Three Stars Award after landing on the all-conference first team Wednesday.

Shepard's 2.02 goals-against average ranks ninth nationally. His 21 wins are tied for second and his five shutouts are third in the NCAA. Shepard has started 73 consecutive games for the Bulldogs and owns the program's single-season (eight last year) and career (13) shutout records.

No other NCHC goaltenders were among the 10 semifinalists for the Richter Award with only last year's winner, Notre Dame junior Cale Morris, being a repeat semifinalist along with Shepard.

Other Bulldogs nominated for NCHC awards on Thursday include freshman forward Noah Cates for Rookie of the Year; sophomore Mikey Anderson for Defensive Defenseman of the Year; sophomore Scott Perunovich for Offensive Defenseman of the Year; and sophomore Justin Richards for Defensive Forward of the Year.

Scott Sandelin is nominated for the NCHC's Herb Brooks Coach of the Year Award along with his former assistant, first-year St. Cloud State coach Brett Larson.

The full list of awards and nominees can be found here.

Winners will be announced next Thursday during the NCHC Awards Celebration at the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul on the eve of the Frozen Faceoff at Xcel Energy Center.

• Duluth native Philip Beaulieu was named to the All-WCHA first team Thursday. The Northern Michigan junior defenseman from Duluth East had six goals and 22 assists in 28 league games this season. The Wildcats host Bowling Green in a best-of-three WCHA semifinal series this weekend.

Matt Wellens

College hockey reporter for the Duluth News Tribune covering the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs men's and women's teams, as well as the NCAA Division III programs at St. Scholastica and Wisconsin-Superior.

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