Penguins goaltender Eric Hartzell, who starred for Quinnipiac University this season before signing with the Penguins, was named USA Hockey College Player of the Year, presented by Bauer Hockey.
Hartzell wasn’t the only American with local connections honored by USA Hockey, as Whitehall, Pa. native John Gibson won the Bob Johnson Award, which recognizes excellence in international hockey competition during a specific season of play.
Both players will be honored during USA Hockey’s 2013 Annual Congress to be held June 5-8 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Hartzell, 24, helped Quinnipiac win the ECAC regular-season title and earn the school’s first-ever Frozen Four berth by posting a 30-7-5 record, 1.57 goals-against average and a. 933 save percentage with five shutouts. Those numbers included a 21-game unbeaten streak (18-0-3) between Nov. 9-Feb. 9.
The Hobey Baker Award (best college hockey player) finalist took home several major awards this year, including USCHO Player of the Year, 2013 ECAC Player of the Year, ECAC Hockey Ken Dryden Goaltender of the Year, a selection to the ECAC First-Team All-Star squad, a spot on the All-New England All-Star team and a selection to the CollegeHockeyNews.com's First-Team.
A native of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, Hartzell helped Quinnipiac lead the nation in overall team defense by allowing two or fewer goals in 35 of his 42 starts.