The United States Hockey League today announced that Kevin Lindskoug of the Muskegon Lumberjacks has been named the 2012-13 USHL Goaltender of the Year as determined by a vote of USHL coaches and general managers.
Over his 47 regular season appearances, which matched his uniform number, Lindskoug posted a 23-18-6 record with a 2.49 goals-against-average and .923 save percentage. His 23 wins ranked sixth among USHL goaltenders and are the most in a season by a Lumberjacks goaltender as he helped Muskegon earn a team record 31 victories. The 20-year-old was a workhorse in net as he played the fourth most minutes among League netminders (2,766) and made the fourth most saves (1,384). His save percentage (.923) led the USHL while his GAA was the second-best mark (2.49).
The most impressive number for the native of Trelleborg, Sweden was his eight shutouts. That total established a new season record for a goaltender in the USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present), surpassing the mark of seven recorded by Aaron Rock of the Tri-City Storm (2005-06) and Zane Gothberg of the Fargo Force (2011-12). The all-time USHL record is 11 shutouts set by Dan Ellis of the Omaha Lancers during the 1999-2000 season. At one point, Lindskoug recorded consecutive shutouts, stopping all 28 shots in the 4-0 win against Team USA on December 21st and then blanking the Chicago Steel the following night with a 29-save effort.
Lindskoug won his USHL debut, making 36 saves in the 3-1 victory over Chicago on October 5th, and would go on to win five of his first six starts in the League. Five times during the season, he made over 40 saves in a game, which included a League season high 52 saves in the 3-1 victory against Team USA on March 1st. It was the most saves in a USHL game since John Gibson stopped 58 shots for Team USA on November 20th, 2009.
In 15 of his wins this season, Lindskoug allowed just one goal or less. Over his last 11 victories in the USHL, he compiled a stellar 0.82 GAA and .975 SV%. The goaltender is now set to play professional hockey next season in his native Sweden.
"Kevin's arrival in Muskegon from Sweden transformed a young Lumberjacks team into a contender this season," said USHL President and Commissioner Skip Prince. "His pedigree, from a country that has produced outstanding goaltenders for the last twenty years, was certainly on display all season. To hold a USHL team scoreless eight times, with this League's fast-paced play and talented goal scorers, was as impressive a performance as any single player turned in all year. We'll continue to be fans, and wish Kevin the best as he launches his professional career back home."
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)