BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – March 20, 2018 – The final individual award of the 2017-18 season in the Men's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) goes to a stellar example of on- and off-ice excellence, as the league proudly recognizes Alaska Anchorage senior goaltender Olivier Mantha as its Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year.
"On behalf of the WCHA, I congratulate and applaud Olivier on this fantastic and truly deserved honor," said WCHA President and Men's League Commissioner Bill Robertson. "Whether in the crease, in the community or in the classroom, Olivier's dedication and passion are to be applauded and emulated. We are proud to honor him as our Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year!"
One of the finest goaltenders to ever wear a Seawolves uniform, Mantha departs as UAA's all-time leader in saves (3,449), save percentage (.908) and minutes played (6973:22). The four-year starter and three-time (at least) Team MVP also ranks third in school history with a 3.01 goals-against average, fifth with three shutouts and sixth with 28 wins. In 122 collegiate games (121 starts), Mantha had 51 efforts with at least 30 saves, 13 contests with 40-plus stops and two performances with more than 50 saves (including 53 on the road against a nationally-ranked Penn State team Nov. 12, 2016). Nineteen of those 30-plus save games came as a senior in 2017-18, as the La Tuque, Québec native tallied 946 stops – just one shy of the UAA's single-season record.
A three-time WCHA Scholar-Athlete Award recipient and WCHA All-Academic Team member, Mantha is a mathematics major with a 4.0 cumulative grade point average. He is also the current holder of the UAA Dresser Cup, becoming just the second hockey player ever to win the institution's most prestigious internal academic award. For his skill and sportsmanship, Mantha was chosen by his teammates to serve as Assistant Captain; by his coaches as Team MVP each year he has played; and, by the Anchorage community, as Fan Favorite.
Following the Seawolves' 2017-18 season, Mantha signed a one-year contract with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League (AHL) and was then loaned to the Adriondack Thunder of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). He has opened his pro career with a 3-1-1 record, a .925 save percentage and a 2.34 goals-against average in five starts for the Thunder.