Quinnipiac senior goaltender Eric Hartzell has signed an entry-level contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins organization. The move comes just days after Hartzell and his teammates competed in the Frozen Four in the Steel City.
Hartzell was one of three Hobey Baker Hat Trick Finalists, but did not win the award. St. Cloud senior forward Drew LeBlanc won the prestigious award given annually to college hockey's top player. Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold believed his goaltender was more than worthy of receiving the award. "Not to take anything away from Drew, but I still think Eric should have won the Hobey Baker. He was our best player all year long," said an emotional Pecknold following the national championship loss to in-state rival Yale.
Hartzell did not have his best performance in the national championship game, allowing two five-hole goals and another where he might not have been squared off to the shooter. His coach didn't blame him for the loss. "Eric might have wanted that second one back, but if it wasn't for Eric we wouldn't even be here," said Pecknold.
The White Bear Lake, Minn. native finished the season with a record of 30-7-5, a 1.57 goals against average and a .933 save percentage.
Jeff Cox covers college hockey for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.