Visentin posted a 30-9-2-4 record between the pipes for the IceDogs helping the club to their best regular season finish in franchise history with 96 points in the OHL’s Eastern Conference. In 46 games he carried the second-best goals-against-average with a mark of 2.52 while his .917 save percentage was the highest in the OHL this season. Visentin also earned four shutout victories which tied for second-most in the league. He becomes the second IceDogs’ goaltender to win the award following Michael Ouzas in 2004-05 who received the honour with the franchise based in Mississauga. He is also the second goaltender from a Niagara-based team to win the award following Manny Legace who won in 1992-93 with the Niagara Falls Thunder.
"It’s an honour to receive this award considering all of the talented goaltenders in the league this year,” said Visentin. “I couldn’t do it without the great players in front of me, the superb coaching staff, and the wonderful organization here in Niagara. It’s also an honour to follow the footsteps of other great goaltenders who have won this award in the past."
Visentin, an 18-year-old from Waterdown, ON, has played three OHL seasons with the IceDogs who selected him in the third round of the 2008 OHL Priority Selection. In 44 starts this season he allowed two or less goals 21 times including five-straight games from February 3-13 in a stretch where he received OHL Player of the Week honours and was named the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week twice. This season he competed as a member of Team OHL in the 2010 SUBWAY Super Series before being selected to represent Canada at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, NY, where he earned a silver medal. In April, Visentin signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Phoenix Coyotes who selected him with the 27 overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
“Mark was great for us all season,” said IceDogs Head Coach and General Manager Marty Williamson. “He is a tremendous worker and the backbone of our team. We are extremely proud of Mark and this award just goes to show that his hard work and dedication really paid off.”
The OHL Goaltender of the Year is awarded to the league’s most outstanding goaltender as selected by OHL General Managers. Teams were not permitted to vote for a goaltender from their own hockey club. Goaltenders received five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote and one point for a third place vote.
In a very close vote, Visentin received 63 points while JP Anderson of the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors received 59 for second place. Petr Mrazek of the Ottawa 67’s finished in third place with 24 points.
The award was first presented in 1987-88 to Rick Tabaracci (Cornwall) with other notable winners including Ray Emery (Sault Ste. Marie 2001-02), Steve Mason (London 2006-07), and Mike Murphy of the Belleville Bulls who is the only goaltender to win the award twice in 2007-08 and 2008-09. The Majors’ Chris Carrozzi earned the award last season.
Visentin will be formally presented with the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year Award on Wednesday June 8 at the OHL Awards Ceremony held at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. He is also the OHL’s nominee for the CHL Goaltender of the Year.
2010-11 OHL Award Winners:
Rookie of the Year – Nail Yakupov, Sarnia Sting
Coach of the Year – Mark Reeds, Owen Sound Attack
Overage Player of the Year – Jason Akeson, Kitchener Rangers
Scholastic Player of the Year – Dougie Hamilton, Niagara IceDogs
High School Academic Player of the Year – Andrew D’Agostini, Peterborough Petes
Post-Secondary School Player of the Year – Derek Lanoue, Windsor Spitfires
Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year – Jason Akeson, Kitchener Rangers
Humanitarian of the Year – Jack Walchessen, Peterborough Petes
Defenceman of the Year – Ryan Ellis, Windsor Spitfires
Goaltender of the Year – Mark Visentin, Niagara IceDogs
OHL All-Star Teams – TBA
Mickey Renaud Captain’s Trophy winner – TBA
Executive of the Year – TBA
Bill Long Award winner – TBA
Most Outstanding Player of the Year – TBA