NAHL alum Hellebuyck named Hockey East Player of the Month
February 28, 2013
Connor Hellebuyck, a freshman from Commerce, Mich., was named the Athletic Republic Player of the Month for February, the Hockey East Association announced Thursday afternoon.
Hellebuyck played last season in the NAHL for the Odessa Jackalopes as was named as the NAHL's Co-Goaltender and Rookie of the Year during the 2011-12 season.
After missing a month due to minor injuries, Hellebuyck has gone 5-0-0 with a 1.61 goals against average and a .933 save percentage in leading UMass Lowell to sweeps over Massachusetts (6-3 and 3-2), Boston University (3-0 and 3-1) and a 4-2 victory at No. 4 Boston College Tuesday.
The River Hawks (19-9-2, 13-8-2 HE) currently sit in a four-way tie for first place in Hockey East with 28 points alongside Boston College (18-9-3, 13-8-2), New Hampshire (17-8-5, 12-7-4) and Providence (11-6-6, 13-10-7).
Hellebuyck led three goalies who earned the Hockey East monthly honors as freshman Jon Gillies (Providence) was named the Rookie of the Month and Sam Marotta (Merrimack) was named the Goaltender of the Month.
Honors have been plentiful for Hellebuyck this season. He has been named the HE Goalkeeper of the Month for December as well as the Rookie of the Week three times and the Defensive Player of the Week twice.
In his first appearance back from injuries, Hellebuyck stopped 26 shots in the 6-3 win at Massachusetts on Feb. 15, and followed with 23 saves in the 3-1 victory at the Tsongas Center to complete the sweep.
He backstopped a sterling defensive effort by the defense in the 3-0 win at Boston University Feb. 22 and remained steadfast in the 3-1 victory over the Terriers at home Feb. 23. The wins marked the first time in the series history that UMass Lowell won the season series over the Terriers in consecutive years.
On Tuesday, he guided the River Hawks to their fifth straight victory with 22 saves in the 4-2 win at Boston College.
Since dropping a 5-1 decision at No. 10/11 Denver on Oct. 19, Hellebuyck has since gone 11-0-0 with a 1.24 goals against average and .951 save rate. For the season, his numbers are similar: 11-1-0, a 1.57 GAA and .940 save percentage.
A fifth-round draft pick by the Winnipeg Jets (130th overall), Hellebuyck is majoring in marketing.