Robert Levin had a tremendous freshman season, and Friday the ACHA announced the Arizona State goalie would be taking home its Rookie of the Year award.
Levin burst into the ACHA last season, and instantly became not only the top rookie in the league, but the top goalie as well. He led the nation in goals against average (1.12), save percentage (.956) and tied for the lead with six shutouts.
Levin said he was pleased to win the award, but the national championship was the award he wanted the most.
"It's a nice accomplishment, it's a nice little cherry on top of the season, but at the end of the day, winning a national championship is all that matters," Levin said. "Obviously I couldn't have done it without the guys in front of me and coach (Greg) Powers and everything, but it's nice to be recognized, but at the same time, it's the whole team."
When it was time for the tournament, Levin got even better. In four postseason games, Levin allowed only 1.00 goals per game with a .958 save percentage. He also had two shutouts.
The ACHA Rookie of the Year adds to an already-impressive trophy collection for the freshman. He won Western Collegiate Hockey League Rookie of the Year, first team all-WCHL and ACHA tournament MVP.
"He's very quickly made a name for himself as a premier goalie in our league, and that recognition is well-deserved," coach Greg Powers said. "To duplicate that season is going to be really hard to do, but he's set the bar very high for himself."
Powers said he knew Levin was going to be good when he recruited him, but even he didn't know Levin was going to be that good.
"When a kid has a season like he had – literally video game numbers – you can't predict it," Powers said.
Levin posted a 22-1 record in the regular season splitting time with senior Joe D'Elia. Levin got the nod between the pipes in the team's most important regular season game back on Nov. 7 against then-No. 1 Minot State, and started all four tournament games.
With D'Elia's graduation, Levin figures to get even more playing time next season as the undisputed starter in net. Freshman Lucas Felbel served as the third goalie last season, playing in just three games. Felbel is expected to backup Levin in 2014-15.
Levin was the only non-forward to be a finalist. He beat out Robert Ward of Liberty, Jeremy Johnson of Minot State and Patrick Spellacy from Ohio. He is the first goalie to win the award since Anthony Feycok for the University of Rhode Island in 2003-04.
Levin joins his coach Greg Powers as Sun Devils with ACHA hardware, as Powers won the ACHA Coach of the Year last month. Forward Kale Dolinski is a finalist for ACHA Player of the Year.