Bemidji State University freshman and former Dawson Creek Rage goaltender Andrew Walsh (Dawson Creek, British Columbia) has been named Hockey Commissioners’ Association (HCA) National Rookie of the Month for December, Association officials announced today.
Walsh posted a 4-0-1 record in five starts between the pipes for BSU in the month of December, posting a 1.04 goals-against average, a .961 saves percentage and two shutouts. Twice named the WCHA Rookie of the Week, he helped the Beavers log an impressive 6-1-1 team record. In his last four starts, he allowed just two goals on 109 shots for a .981 saves percentage and a 0.50 goals-against average, while backstopping a top 10 penalty-kill unit that was a flawless 18-for-18. He also put together a shutout streak of 163:02 over four games.
On December 10, Walsh made a career-high 36 saves in a 2-1 triumph over nationally-ranked Denver. On Dec. 16, Walsh recorded his first collegiate shutout with a 20-save, 3-0 win over visiting Alabama-Huntsville and then came back the next night (Dec. 17) with a second straight shutout over the Chargers, this time a 27-save effort in a 5-0 victory.
Through nine games played this season, Walsh sports a 6-2-1 record and leads Bemidji State with a 1.87 goals-against average and .935 and save percentage, ranking third in the nation in both categories. He is tied for the lead in victories among rookie goaltenders and ranks seventh in the country with a .722 winning percentage.
In addition to Walsh, the University of Maine forward Spencer Abbott was tabbed HCA Player of the Month for December.
The national honor is not only the first of its kind for Walsh, it stands as the first HCA National Player or Rookie of the Month Award earned by a member of the Bemidji State men’s hockey program.
Last season, Walsh played for the Dawson Creek Rage of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) where he posted a 8-19-1 record with a 3.70 goals against average and a 90.2% save percentage, recording one shutout.
Walsh also played in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in 2011 in Ann Arbor where he represented Team West as they posted a 2-1 record against other divisional prospect teams of the NAHL. Walsh played in all three games for Team West during the event, which annually showcases some of the league's brightest talent to college and pro scouts.