For the third time this season, senior goaltender Craig Pantano of the Merrimack College men’s ice hockey team has been recognized by Hockey East as the top weekly goaltender. But for the first time, he was named the league’s Player of the Week after his incrediblef performance on Saturday night.
Pantano, who was already a two-time Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week back in October and November, was so impressive on Saturday that his efforts led to his being named the league’s top overall player for the past week. He becomes the first Warrior this year to earn the league’s Player of the Week award and first since Brett Seney ’18 did so last January.
Pantano finished with a career-high 42 saves and moved into a tie for second place in the country with his fourth shutout of the season and fifth of his career after blanking the 11th-ranked Huskies on Saturday. Northeastern, which boasted a top-10 offense nationwide, was riding a nation-best eight-game winning streak coming into the game. The 40-save performance was the first by any Merrimack goaltender since former Warrior and current Chicago Blackhawk Collin Delia ’17, who had 40 at Notre Dame on Jan. 16, 2016.
On the year, the Bridgewater, Massachusetts, native has started 16-of-18 games with a 3.26 goals against average and .893 save percentage. He has five 30-plus-save performances and is 4-1-0 in those starts.
Pantano and the rest of the Warriors turn their sights next to the University of Michigan in the final non-conference game of the season on Tuesday (Jan. 8) night at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m.