Toronto – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Michael Houser of the London Knights is the 2011-12 recipient of the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year award.
Houser posted a 46-15-0-1 record backstopping the Knights to their fifth Hamilton Spectator Trophy as the OHL’s top regular season team, and tied an OHL single season record for most wins by a goaltender. He becomes the third member of the Knights to win the award following Adam Dennis in 2006, and Steve Mason in 2007.
“I am proud to receive this award, it was a great season individually and most importantly from a team standpoint we were successful,” said Houser. “I was fortunate to have a good group of defencemen in front of me that made my job easy.”
Houser, a 19-year-old from Wexford, PA, is just the second American goaltender to win the award following Ottawa Senators netminder Craig Anderson of Park Ridge, IL, who claimed the honour in 2001 with the Guelph Storm. This season Houser played in 62 games to lead all goaltenders, also leading the way with 1862 saves while finishing second with six shutout victories.
His goals-against-average of 2.47 was third-best in the league, and his save percentage of .925 ranked fourth overall. Houser opened the season with a shutout victory and five straight wins to claim the season’s first Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week award. He also recorded a season-high winning-streak of nine games from December 30 through January 22, and finished the season as the Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month for March. In total, Houser stopped at least 30 shots in 36 different games this season including six games with 40 or more saves.
“Michael has been a winning goaltender since he joined the team three years ago,” said Knights Goaltending Coach Bill Dark. “He has a high standard of work ethic and is a true leader of this team. Often times the more respected a goalie is among his teammates, the better the guys play in front of him, and that was certainly the case this year.”
The OHL Goaltender of the Year is awarded to the league’s most outstanding goaltender as selected by OHL General Managers. Teams were not permitted to vote for a goaltender from their own hockey club. Goaltenders received five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote and one point for a third place vote.
Houser received 74 points in the voting process while last year’s winner Mark Visentin of the Niagara IceDogs finished in second place with 46 voting points. John Gibson of the Kitchener Rangers finished in third place with 30 voting points.
The award was first presented in 1987-88 to Rick Tabaracci (Cornwall) with other notable winners including Andrew Raycroft (Kingston 1999-00), Ray Emery (Sault Ste. Marie 2001-02), and Mike Murphy of the Belleville Bulls who is the only goaltender to win the award twice in 2007-08 and 2008-09.
Houser will be formally presented with the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year Award on Tuesday, June 5 at the OHL Awards Ceremony held at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. He is also the OHL’s nominee for the CHL Goaltender of the Year.
– From OHL news release