Perhaps we should have seen it coming – the postseason brilliance of Princeton goaltender Ryan Ferland.
Ferland (Franklin, Mass.) entered the postseason with a reputation as a solid goaltender as a Princeton freshman, but certainly not anyone’s pick to emerge as MVP of the ECAC Hockey tournament. But then again, who had Princeton winning its first ECAC Hockey title in 10 years as a No. 7 seed?
The 2017 ECAC Hockey tournament wasn’t the first time Ferland had stepped up in a postseason. As a high schooler, he led St. Mark’s School (Southborough, Mass.) to back-to-back New England championships in 2015 and 2016.
Last winter, Ferland led the New Jersey Junior Titans to the NAHL Eastern Conference finals with a .928 save percentage and 2.04 GAA in eight postseason appearances. Those numbers were a dramatic improvement from Ferland’s regular-season stats (.892 save percentage, 3.29 GAA).