By Mike Stackhouse
The Canadian Junior Hockey League has announced Nipawin Hawks goalie Kristian Stead as the winner of its Top Goaltender Award recipient for 2016-17.
The honor is given to the netminder deemed to be the top at his position across Canada amongst Junior ‘A’ puckstoppers. It’s a tremendous accomplishment.
This nod is in addition to Stead’s Top Goaltender and SJHL Most Valuable Player selections that were announced earlier this Spring.
Stead, who’s attending the University of Alaska-Anchorage in the Fall of 2017 on an NCAA Div I scholarship, led the SJHL in wins with 29 and shared top spot in SPCT at .936. He also produced seven shutouts, which led the league, and also sported a 1.97-GAA, good for third best.
While not a factor in voting amongst officials from each of the Canadian Junior ‘A’ Hockey Leagues, Stead finished off his junior career by going 7-and-3 in the playoffs. He also had a 1.91-GAA and .946-SPCT. Those last two stats led the league amongst netminders who played more than 180 minutes.
Stead is the first SJHLer to win this award since Matt Hrynkiw won it in 2012-13 while a member of the Humboldt Broncos.
Nipawin Head Coach and General Manager Doug Johnson offered his thoughts on the Stead selection. “We, the Nipawin Hawks, couldn’t be more proud of Kristian being named the CJHL Goalie of the Year. It is a huge accomplishment for Kristian and a very well deserved one. He is a great goalie but an even better young man. We know he will do great things at UAA and wish him nothing but the best for his future and will miss him tremendously both on and off the ice.”
SJHL President Bill Chow adds, “The recognition that Krstian Stead has been bestowed with as the CJHL Goalie Of The Year, along with Adam Dawe being named CJHL Rookie Of The Year, is a strong indication of the work that the Nipawin Hawks and Notre Dame Hounds have accomplished in recruiting elite hockey players.”
Chow also says, “The competitiveness of the SJHL, amongst all the teams, is also an indication of the level of athletes that both Dawe and Stead played with and against.”