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Columbus Blue Jackets Goaltender Steve Mason Named NHL Rookie of the Month for December

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason has been named the NHL's rookie of the month for December, the club and league announced January 2. It is the second-straight month he has won the honor and third-straight month that a Blue Jackets player has won the award, as center Derick Brassard was named the league's rookie of the month for October. It is the first time in NHL history that a club has had a player win the award the first three months of the season and marks only the second time in League history that a team has had a player win the award in three-consecutive months (Pittsburgh 1984-85 – Warren Young won the award in November, while Mario Lemieux won it in December and January).

Mason, 20, posted a 7-5-0 record with a 1.41 goals-against average, .950 save percentage and three shutouts in 12 games in December. He edged out St. Louis Blues center Patrik Berglund (6-7-13 in 15 games), Anaheim Ducks right wing Bobby Ryan (4-8-12 in 13 games), Boston Bruins left wing Blake Wheeler (5-6-11 in 13 games), Florida Panthers center Michael Frolik (4-7-11 in 14 games) and Chicago Blackhawks right wing Kris Versteeg (3-6-9 in 11 games) for the award.

Mason allowed two goals or less in nine of the 12 games, allowing three goals in the other three games. He stopped 320-of-337 shots he faced during the month, including a career high 47 saves (one shy of the franchise record) in a 2-1 overtime win against San Jose on December 17. He closed out the month posting shutouts in three-straight games, a club record. The only other rookie to record shutouts in three consecutive starts during the NHL's modern era was Glenn Hall with the Detroit Red Wings in December 1955. Mason also has set the club record for longest shutout streak at 181:59 and counting.

Mason has gone 12-7-1 with a 1.69 goals-against average, .938 save percentage and five shutouts in 20 games with the Blue Jackets this season. He leads the NHL in goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts (tied), while ranking tied for 16th in wins.

The Blue Jackets return to action tonight when they visit the Colorado Avalanche. Game time from Pepsi Center is set for 9 p.m. ET. Live coverage on FOX Sports Ohio will begin with the Blue Jackets Live pre-game show starting at 8:30 p.m. The game will also broadcast live on the Blue Jackets Radio Network and flagship stations WBNS-AM, Sports Radio 1460 The Fan and WWCD-FM, CD101.

Tickets for 2008-09 regular season home games are on sale now at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, FOX Sports Ohio Blue Line at The Mall at Tuttle Crossing, The Chiller Ice Rinks and all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers. Fans can purchase tickets by phone at (614) 431-3600 or online at www.BlueJackets.com and www.ticketmaster.com. For information on season tickets, mini-plans or group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or 800-NHL-COLS.

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