Anchorage, Alaska - Former Notre Dame goaltender Steven Summerhays `14 (Anchorage, Alaska) has signed his first professional contract with his hometown team, the Alaska Aces of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). Head coach Rob Murray made the announcement on Thursday afternoon.
Along with Summerhays, the Aces, winners of the ECHL's 2014 Kelly Cup championship, also signed forward Tyler Currier, another Anchorage native, who played at the University of Alaska-Anchorage last season.
In making the announcement, Murray said, "Steven (Summerhays) and Tyler (Currier) are two players that we have had our eye on, with the potential to enhance our depth and provide a valuable contribution. Steven showed excellent progress in his development under head coach Jeff Jackson. It's gratifying to see players work hard to earn a pro contract and the opportunity to make a difference in their own hometown."
During his four seasons at Notre Dame, Summerhays boasted a career record of 57-38-5 and leaves the Irish ranked second all-time in wins (57), goals-against average (2.19), third in save percentage (.914) and is the program's all-time leader in shutouts with 13.
He was named the Notre Dame Monogram Club's Most Valuable Player in 2013-14 as he helped the Irish to a 23-15-2 overall record, a trip to the Hockey East semifinals and a second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. Summerhays led the nation in shutouts (7) last season while also leading Hockey East goaltenders with 21 victories. His 2.04 goals-against average was second in the conference and he ranked sixth with a .923 save percentage.
Following the 2013-14 campaign, Summerhays signed a tryout contract with the ECHL's Fort Wayne Komets and was 2-0-0 with a 1.92 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage. He served as the team's back-up goaltender during the Kelly Cup playoffs.
"It's an awesome experience to sign my first full-year contract with the team that I grew up watching as a kid," said Summerhays.
"Moving away as a teenager, I wasn't sure an opportunity would happen to play in Anchorage an in front of my family and friends. But that reality has me extremely excited for the upcoming season and a chance to contribute to a respected and successful team like the Alaska Aces."
The Aces open the regular season on Friday, Oct. 17 when they will unveil their third Kelly Cup Championship banner.
Summerhays, who graduated last May with a degree in finance from Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business, is expected to attend Notre Dame's Pro Hockey Camp that is scheduled from Monday, August 25 through Thursday, August 28 at the Compton Family Ice Arena.