Former Bulldog Goaltender Receives Amateur Tryout With West Michigan Pro Team

Mitch O'Keefe

Former Ferris State University goaltender Mitch O'Keefe (Almonte, Ontario) has signed an amateur tryout contract with the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Griffins of the American Hockey League (AHL) in a release issued by the club Tuesday (March 25).

O'Keefe, who will wear jersey number 35 for the Griffins, is slated to back up Adam Berkhoel in Wednesday's (March 26) home league tilt against the Lake Erie Monsters. Opening faceoff is set for 7 p.m. (EDT) at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich.

For the 2007-08 season, O'Keefe turned in a 10-8-5 record between the posts with a 2.28 goals-against average (54 goals allowed) and a .920 save percentage (622 saves) as a starter in 22 of 24 outings played in. He received Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Goaltender of the Week honors on Oct. 29 as a result of making 37 saves in a 3-0 league home triumph over nationally-ranked Notre Dame (Oct. 27). Among the 2007-08 national statistical leaders to date, O'Keefe currently ranks 17th in save percentage, 22nd in goals-against average, and 28th in winning percentage.

In his three seasons (2005-08) at Ferris State, O'Keefe compiled a 31-39-15 career mark with a 2.68 goals-against average (227 goals allowed) and a .903 save percentage (2,104 saves) in 86 appearances.

The 6-2, 218-pound netminder concluded his collegiate career ranking second among Ferris' career leaders in goals-against average, tied for second in shutouts (six), third in save percentage, fifth in both victories and minutes played (5,073), tied for fifth in games played, sixth in total saves, and eighth in winning percentage (.453).

In his initial season at FSU, O'Keefe was selected the Bulldogs' 2005-06 Rookie of the Year Award winner after his 14 victories in net tied for the sixth most single-season wins in the program's history. His 828 saves for the campaign represented the sixth highest output in Ferris State annals.

A native of Almonte, Ontario, O'Keefe was tabbed eighth among the nation's top incoming rookie goaltenders by Inside College prior to the 2005-06 season following a productive career in juniors with the Hawkesbury Hawks and then the Nepean Raiders.

O'Keefe played an integral role in helping Ferris State to an 18-16-5 overall record for the 2007-08 season as the Bulldogs captured fifth-place in the CCHA with a 12-12-4 league mark (28 points). Ferris' 18 victories and fifth-place league finish were the program's highest since the 2002-03 season.

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