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Holy Moly What a Goalie

Shepard Named NAHL Goaltender of the Year, All-NAHL Goalie
 
FRISCO, TX – With just one day left before the Central Division Finals begin, the accolades continue to roll in for Bismarck Bobcat goalie Hunter Shepard: Thursday the North American Hockey League named the second-year stopper the 2016 Goaltender of the Year and the All-NAHL Team goalie.
 
“The Goaltender of the Year award is not really about me, I don’t think: it’s about the other 21 guys in our locker room who played a great team game in front of me; we all did it together,” stated Shepard, who recently committed to play Division I hockey in 2016-17 at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. “It is an honor, though, to receive the award because our league had some great goalies this year.”
 
In his second NAHL season, the Cohasset, Minn., native posted a 34-11-3 record—leading the league in wins (34), shutouts (8), minutes (2932:11) and appearances (50) while ranking second in GAA (1.90) and fourth in save percentage (.926).
 
Thursday marks the first time a Bobcat goaltender has earned the Goalie of the Year award from the NAHL.
 
“You look at the guys that have walked through those doors and protected our net: Ryan Faragher, Aaron Nelson, David Bosner—none of those guys ended up as Goalie of the Year,” explained Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, a former collegiate and professional goalkeeper who has developed goalies with the Bobcat organization since 2008-09. “Hunter has earned this award today not only through the incredible stats he’s put up, but also the incredible work ethic and attention to detail he brings to the rink every day.”
 
When the 2015-16 regular season concluded, Shepard found himself in the top five of 10 out of 12 franchise goaltending records: single-season wins (1st, 34); single-season shutouts (1st, 8); single-season GAA (4th, 1.90); single-season SV% (4th, .926); single-season minutes (2932:11); career wins (3rd, 48); career shutouts (T-1st, 9); career GAA (4th, 2.41); career minutes (3rd, 4671:17); and career saves (4th, 1856).
 
In addition to being selected to Team Central at the 2016 Top Prospects Tournament, Shepard was also the NAHL Goalie of the Month in January, runner-up for that award in February and Central Division Star of the Week three times over the course of the season.
 
Shepard’s honor marks the fourth time a Bobcat player or coach has received a league-wide individual honor, joining 2006 Rookie of the Year Eric Kattelus, 2009 Coach of the Year Byron Pool and 2014 Defenseman of the Year Nate Repensky.
 
His nomination to the All-NAHL Team is just the second time a Bobcat has made the league’s top unit, the first being Repensky as a defenseman in 2013-14.
 
On the ice, the Bobcats will open the Central Division Finals with a 7:15pm bout Friday against the two-time defending division champion Austin Bruins at the VFW Sports Center. Game Two will follow Saturday at the same time.
 
Tickets are now on sale for the first weekend of the Central Finals: fans can buy and print their tickets online 24 hours a day at BismarckBobcats.com, by clicking “Shop Now” on the team Facebook page or charge-by-phone at 222-3300.
 
Friday’s series opener will be broadcast live locally on SuperTalk 1270, KLXX-AM, the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, and worldwide online at NAHL.FASTHockey.com—the official web television partner of the North American Hockey League—with pregame coverage starting at 6:45pm.