University of Michigan ice hockey sophomore and former Connecticut Jr. Rangers Midget player Strauss Mann was named the Big Ten Goaltender of the Year on Monday (May 11) as part of the conference's annual awards announcement.
The awards, voted on by a panel of Big Ten coaches and media, come nearly two months after the remainder of the 2019-20 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 12.
Mann played in the inaugural season of the USPHL (2013-14) with the former Connecticut Yankees’ 16U team, earning seven games in net that year. He came back for another USPHL season in the 18U Division with the newly minted Connecticut Jr. Rangers the next season, 2014-15, posting a .910 save percentage.
Mann is the first Michigan player to earn Big Ten Goaltender of the Year honors and the fourth Wolverine to be named all-conference goalie, joining program assistant Steve Shields (1993), Marty Turco (1997) and Shawn Hunwick (2011), all who earned the honor while Michigan competed in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA).
Mann was a finalist for the Mike Richter Award, presented to the nation's top goaltender, and also was a finalist for the league's player of the year. Michigan's recipient of the Hal Downes Award as the Team MVP, Mann was third in the nation in save percentage at .939 and sixth in goals-against average at 1.85. With six shutouts this season, Mann tied the Michigan single-season record and holds the single-season marks for save percentage and goals-against average in program history. During the season, Mann was named a Big Ten Star of the Week four times.
Michigan, ranked No. 17 in the nation and in the No. 14 position in the Pairwise rankings with an 18-14-4 record, was headed to the Big Ten semifinals to face Ohio State when the remainder of the schedule was canceled.
Joshua Boyd (USPHL.com) added to this article