PITTSBURGH -- Providence College men's hockey freshman goaltender Jon Gillies (South Portland, Maine) was named the Hockey Commissioners' Association (HCA) Division I National Rookie of the Year on Friday.
Gillies went 17-12-6 on the year and posted a Friar record five shutouts. He finished the year with a 2.08 goals against average – the second best mark in program history for a single season – and a .931 save percentage. His .931 save percentage ranks ninth in the nation, while his 2.08 GAA ranks 15th nationally. He made 992 saves on the year, the fifth-highest single season saves total in the PC record books.
"This is obviously an amazing honor and I would like to thank everyone who was part of the decision process," Gillies said. "I know I wouldn't be anywhere without my family, Coach Leaman and his staff and their belief in me, and most of all my teammates who had my back no matter what and without fail this season."
Gillies was named a Hockey East First-Team All-Star and selected as the League's Rookie of the Year (also named to the All-Rookie Team). He was the first ever freshman to be selected as the Hockey East First-Team goaltender and just the third freshman at any position to be named to the first team, joining Hall-of-Fame defenseman Brian Leetch (Boston College) and Hobey Baker winner Paul Kariya (Maine).
"In a particularly strong year where three or four rookies really had outstanding seasons, Jon really earned all the accolades he received," Head Coach Nate Leaman said. "He is an extremely talented goaltender and what I was most impressed with was that he consistently played at a very high level every game, which is extremely difficult to do as a freshman. I think his time before Providence prepared him well for that and he gave us a chance to win every game that he played this year."
Highlighting Gillies' record-setting five shutouts were 44 saves in a 2-0 win against the University of Massachusetts (Jan. 12), 37 saves in a similar showing a month later against then fifth-ranked New Hampshire (Feb. 13), and 31 in a critical 3-0 road win at UMass-Lowell (March 8) on the final weekend of the regular season.
Gillies' five shutouts were two more than the previous single season record at Providence and he already ranks tied for second on the Friars' career shutouts list. His five shutouts this season tied for the third-most in the country. On Jan. 17, he made a season-high 48 saves at UMass Lowell, which ranks as the seventh-most saves in a game by a Friar goaltender.
Gillies missed three games for the Friars while winning the gold medal with Team USA at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia. He was the 11th Friar to take part in the prestigious event and the first to earn a medal.
Gillies was named the George C. Carens Rookie of the Year by the New England Hockey Writers Association and he was also one of two goaltenders named to the Div. I All-Star Team. He was the second Friar to earn New England Rookie of the Year honors, joining Rob Gaudreau (1988-89). Gillies was also named the National Rookie of the Year by College Hockey News (collegehockeynews.com).
The 6-5, 215-pound Gillies played two years with the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League (USHL) before heading to Providence. He was selected in the third round (75th overall) in the 2012 National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames.
Voting for the HCA Rookie of the Year award is conducted by the assistant coaches of each Div. I men's ice hockey program, with each league's rookie of the year serving as a nominee. Andrew Gladiuk (Bentley), Riley Barber (Miami), Jason Kasdorf (RPI) and Stephon Williams (Minnesota State) were the 2013 runners-up. Gillies is the seventh winner of the HCA Rookie of the Year award and the third from Hockey East.
HCA Commissioners' National Rookie of the Year Runners-Up:
Riley Barber, Miami
Andrew Gladiuk, Bentley
Jason Kasdorf, Rensselaer
Stephon Williams, Minnesota State
2007 Andreas Nodl, St. Cloud State
2008 Richard Bachman, Colorado College
2009 Kieran Millan, Boston University
2010 Stephane Da Costa, Merrimack College
2011 T.J. Tynan, Notre Dame
2012 Joey LaLeggia, Denver
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