Quinnipiac men's ice hockey goalie Eric Hartzell has signed a one-year entry-level contact with the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League.
"We are so proud of Eric and everything he has accomplished at Quinnipiac University," Bobcats' head coach Rand Pecknold said. "His signing with the Pittsburgh Penguins is a dream come true. We wish him all the best as he moves on to the NHL."
The announcement was made on the Penguins' Official Website, penguins.nhl.com, by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero. Hartzell's one-year contract will run through the 2012-13. The 6-4 goalie will join Pittsburgh for its game against the Montreal Canadians on Wednesday, Apr. 17 at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Hartzell is the fourth player in Quinnipiac history to sign a contract with a professional franchise, joining former All-American and current assistant coach Reid Cashman, who signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2007; Justin Eddy with the Washington Capitals in 2004 and Jamie Holden with the San Jose Sharks in 2005.
Hartzell's signing came a day after he played in the NCAA National Championship Game at Pittsburgh's CONSOL Energy Center. Hartzell led Quinnipiac to its first NCAA Frozen Four and back-stopped the Bobcats to their first three NCAA Tournament wins in program history. A 2013 Hobey Hat Trick finalist and AHCA/CCM Hockey All-American, Hartzell finished the year with a 30-7-5 record as well as a 1.57 GAA and a .933 save percentage - with all three figures breaking Quinnipiac single-season records.
With a 17-2-3 record in ECAC Hockey play to go along with 1.43 GAA and .935 save percentage, Hartzell was named the ECAC Hockey Player of the Year and the ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Year as well as an All-ECAC Hockey First Team selection.
In addition, Hartzell finishes his career with the second-most wins (58) in program history, while his 1.96 GAA and .924 save percentage are Quinnipiac career records. Additionally, his five shutouts this season and 10 for his career are also Quinnipiac records.
This season, Hartzell led Quinnipiac to its first NCAA Frozen Four as well as the most wins (30) in NCAA Division I men's ice hockey. The Bobcats also posted the longest unbeaten streak (21 games) in the nation this year while also capturing the ECAC Hockey Regular-Season Championship, the Cleary Cup.