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Notre Dame goaltender Bischel receives West All-America honors

John Fineran
Tribune Correspondent
Notre Dame goaltender Ryan Bischel (30) during the Michigan State-Notre Dame NCAA hockey game on Saturday, March 04, 2023, at Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend, Indiana.

Notre Dame senior goaltender Ryan Bischel was named a second-team West All-American Friday when the American Hockey Coaches Association and CCM teams were announced outside of the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., where Minnesota and Quinnipiac will play for the NCAA championship Saturday night.

Bischel, the Big Ten’s goaltender of the year after leading the Fighting Irish to a fourth-place finish in the league and a 16-16-5 record, finished behind Michigan Tech’s Blake Pietila. Bischel, a senior who was a semifinalist for the Mike Richter Goaltender of the Year award, led the nation with saves (1,183), was third in saves percentage (.931), had five shutouts (fifth nationally) and a 2.39 goals-against average (25th). He is Notre Dame’s first All-American since defenseman Bobby Nardella in 2019 and the program’s 16th overall.

 “Ryan did this while playing the toughest schedule in college hockey,” Irish coach Jeff Jackson said. “His growth as a young man and a goaltender this year was impressive.”

Return of Bischel, Janicke and incoming freshmen have Notre Dame hockey coach upbeat

 A senior from Medina, Minn., the 23-year-old Bischel has announced he will return as a graduate player next season, using the extra season the NCAA gave to all athletes whose college careers were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the 2019-2020 and 2020-21 seasons.

Pietila, a senior at Michigan Tech, finished with a nation-leading 10 shutouts and a .924 saves percentage with a 2.15 goals-against average in capturing the West first-team All-American honors.

Minnesota, the Big Ten regular-season champion, and Michigan, the league’s postseason tournament champion, dominated the West All-American first team. Junior Brock Faber of Minnesota and sophomore Luke Hughes were the defensemen. Freshman Adam Fantilli, freshman Logan Cooley of Minnesota and sophomore Matthew Knies of Minnesota were the forwards.

Fantilli, who led the nation in scoring with 30 goals and 65 points, was named the winner of the Hobey Baker Award as the nation’s top player, edging out Minnesota’s Cooley and Knies. Fantilli also won the Tim Taylor Award as the nation’s top rookie.

The Mike Richter goaltender award, won by Notre Dame’s Cale Morris in 2018, was won by Northeastern senior goaltender Devon Levi for the second straight year. Levi, now goaltending for the NHL Buffalo Sabres, was the first-team East All-America goalie ahead of Quinnipiac sophomore Yaniv Perets.