AMARILLO, TX – He backstopped the Amarillo Bulls to a National Championship in 2013, and now he is on a prestigious list to potentially win a NCAA Goaltending honor.
Paul Berrafato, who has been a key ingredient in the resurgence of the Holy Cross Crusaders in Atlantic Hockey, was nominated this week for the Mike Richter Award, as the NCAA’s Best Goaltender. Berrafato, a native of Buffalo NY won his 16th game of the season on Friday as the Crusaders beat Sacred Heart 5-2. The Sophomore puckstopper has won five games in a row this season, as well as two three-game winning streaks. Overall Berrafato is 16-9-5 with 2.22 Goals Against Average and .917 save percentage.
Holy Cross is three points out of first place in the Atlantic Hockey Conference trailing former Amarillo Bulls’ Greg Gibson, Tim Moor, Brady Ferguson and John Rey from Robert Morris University. Sandwiched in the middle of that is Tyler Rostenkowski and Air Force.
The Crusaders also have another former Bulls player as Karl Beckman is in his senior season and has collected nine assists.
Berrafato posted a mark of 51-10-8-3 in 78 regular season games for the Amarillo Bulls. He was 10-3 in the Robertson Cup Playoffs, including that National Championship shutout victory.
A former North American Hockey League goaltender and current NHL star Connor Hellebuyck won the first Mike Richter Award in 2014, while North Dakota’s Zane McIntyre took home the honor in 2015.
The 26 nominees for the third annual 2016 Mike Richter Award were announced Friday and the list includes 10 nominees from 2015, three finalists from 2015 and one nominee from 2014. The five finalists will be revealed on Wednesday, March 16, with the winner being announced and presented by Mike Richter himself at the Frozen Four in Tampa, Fla., in April.
The Amarillo Bulls close out a weekend series against the Wichita Falls Wildcats tonight (Saturday) at Kay Yeager Coliseum at 7 pm. Fans can tune into the action on CBS Sports Radio 1440, online at www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV with Fast Hockey beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 6:40 pm. The puck drop with Denis J. Puska follows at 7 pm.
Hockey is back at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center when the Bulls host the Topeka RoadRunners are Friday, Mar. 11 and Saturday, Mar. 12 at 7 pm. Friday is Community Options and 806 Sports Night, while Saturday is Presented by the Khiva Shriners. The Bulls will wear specialty jerseys that weekend with proceeds of a post game auction to benefit The Shriners.
Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including United Supermarkets or by calling 806-242-1122.