DULUTH, Minn. - Junior goalie Hunter Vorva of Marian University men's hockey has been named the NCHA player of the year after leading the Sabres to the Harris Cup semifinals for a fourth straight year.
Vorva has played a key role in the stingy Marian defense this season, which currently ranks 14th in the nation in scoring, allowing just 2.11 goals per game. In conference games this season, Vorva posted an NCHA-best 1.55 goals against average and .945 save percentage allowing two or fewer goals in 15 of his 18 starts. His overall stats are just as impressive, currently ranking seventh in the nation with his .937 save percentage and 13th in the country with a 1.84 goals against average.
"I couldn't be more proud of Hunter," commented head men's hockey coach Zach Gaynor. "He is truly deserving of this award and his determination is a keystone of his success. What makes Hunter such a pleasure to coach and a dynamic goalie in the NCHA is his approach to each day. Hunter is selfless, has zero ego, and is constantly looking for ways to improve. His focus in games is the exact same as it is in practice and he makes our guys work in practice for every puck that gets behind him. He is very balanced mentally and focuses on one shot at a time."
His role since joining Marian a season ago has been immeasurable. Last season, his first with the Sabres, he finished second in the nation in shutouts, 11th in goals against average, and 15th in winning percentage. This led the Sabres to a 20-8-1 overall mark, which tied a program record for wins and earned Marian their first trip to the NCAA national tournament via the school's first-ever at-large bid.
"Ever since Hunter came to our program he has been the backbone of our team," commented Gaynor. "Last year's national tournament run and this year's third-place finish wouldn't have been possible without him. When Hunter is in net, our guys feel confident that they can beat anyone."
Vorva joins elite company becoming just the fifth Marian Sabre to be named the player of the year, and the program's first since the conference switched from the MCHA to the NCHA in 2013. He also becomes the first Sabre to earn the award since 2005 when Jon Daigle was named the MCHA co-player of the year. Daigle's award ended a streak for Marian where the Sabres had four conference players of the year in a span of just six years. He also becomes just the second goalie in program history to earn player of the year honors joining Terry Dunbar and is the first goalie to be named All-NCHA since Mike Baldwin in 2016.
This season he posted the fourth-most wins in a single season with 13 and made 696 saves putting him second in program history in the single-season records. In his two seasons, Vorva ranks fourth in the all-time record books with 33 wins, second with seven shutouts, second with a 1.89 goals against average, sixth with 1,369 saves, and is the all-time leader for save percentage at .931.
To view the full NCHA all-conference lists please visit http://nchahockey.org/sports/mice/2018-19/releases/1819_ALL_NCHA_Men.pdf.