University of Vermont Athletic Hall of Fame
Tim Thomas 1997 - Hockey
A two-time All-American hockey goalie, Tim Thomas set several school and conference records over his standout four-year career in the UVM crease. A 2007 Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, he was the inaugural winner of the Ken Dryden Award as the ECAC Goaltender of the Year in 1995-96 when he helped lead Vermont to its first-ever trip to the NCAA Frozen Four.
Thomas, along with classmates and fellow inductees Martin St. Louis '97 and Eric Perrin '97, led the Catamounts to back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament along with the 1996 ECAC Regular Season Championship. Along with Perrin and St. Louis, he was named to the ECAC All-Decade Team for the 1990s and was selected to UVM's All-Time Team, 'The ECAC Years' in 2006.
A native of Davison, Michigan, he set ECAC single-season and career records for saves and is the Vermont career leader for victories, 81, while playing 139 games in goal logging 8,286 minutes. He graduated as UVM's career leader in shutouts, 10, save percentage, .914, and lowest goals against average, 2.70.
He was named to the ECAC All-Rookie Team in 1993-94 when he posted a 3.03 GAA and a .899 save percentage. That June, Thomas was drafted by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft.
In 1994-95 he was named to the All-ECAC, first team and was a second-team All-American after leading the nation in save percentage (.914) and ranking second in the NCAA in goals against average (2.69). Thomas had the best GAA, 2.68, in ECAC games to claim the conference goaltending title. Following the season he made his first of many appearances for USA Hockey in international play with an invitation to compete in the World Championships in Stockholm, Sweden.
Thomas' junior year was the best in Vermont hockey history as he along with Perrin and St. Louis led the Catamounts to the 1996 NCAA Frozen Four after capturing the school's first-ever ECAC Regular Season Championship. He won his second straight ECAC goaltending title with a 2.05 GAA in league games becoming the third in history to win two in a row. He had the nation's best save percentage, .924, and was third in GAA (.924) while posting a 26-7-4 record. He made 32 saves in UVM's 2-1 win over Lake Superior State in the NCAA East Regional to advance to the Frozen Four. He made 43 stops in Vermont's 4-3 heart-breaking double-overtime loss to Colorado College in the national semifinals in Cincinnati.
In the summer between his junior and senior years, he traveled again with Team USA to the World Championships earning a bronze medal and made his third trip to the Tempere Cup.
He had a 2.81 overall GAA and a .914 save percentage as a senior as the Catamounts returned to the NCAAs. He ranked third in the ECAC with a 2.57 GAA in league games and was an All-ECAC honorable mention selection. He finished his career with a ECAC career record with 1,079 saves.
Thomas embarked on a pro career after graduation that has taken him around the world. His persistence and hard work paid off in 2002-03 when he made his National Hockey League debut with the Boston Bruins. After another trip to Finland and two seasons with the Bruins' AHL affiliate in Providence, Thomas settled in as Boston's starting goalie in the fall of 2005. Very popular in Boston with his teammates and the fans, he won the NESN Bruins Seventh Player Award in 2005-06 and 2006-07.
He helped return the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2007-08 with an inspring late season run. Thomas was solid in goal as the eighth-seeded Boston nearly upended Montreal, the top team in the regular season, in the first round of the 2008 Eastern Conference playoffs.