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Bulldogs report - January 19, 2011

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
MONTREAL – Despite missing a month’s worth of regular season games, Curtis Sanford’s outstanding play has earned him an invite to the AHL’s All-Star Game.

After being sidelined for the entire month of October with a fractured larynx, the 31-year-old netminder returned to action in top form, displaying a remarkable consistency since stepping back into the crease on Nov. 2.

Since that date, the veteran goaltender has dominated the AHL with a goals-against average of 1,67 while also ranking first with a save-percentage of 0,941.

Sanford’s recent performances were good enough to earn him an invite, along with Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais, to the AHL’s 2011 All-Star Game. While it’s doubtful his two former teammates will be attending the game after being called up to play with the Montreal Canadiens, count on Sanford to make his way to Hershey for the event slated to take place on Jan. 30 and 31.

While Sanford’s nomination is indeed an honour, it’s not one that comes as a surprise. Sanford watched last season as teammate Cédrick Desjardins, currently playing with the Norfolk Admirals, received an invitation to the 2010 All-Star Game. While he may have taken a secondary role to Desjardins at that time, Sanford wound up finishing the season having played 41 games and ranking third overall in the AHL in goals-against average, behind only Desjardins and Jonathan Bernier who would go on to find a home with the NHL’s L.A. Kings.

Not only does Sanford now have a new accolade to add to his resume, but he recently also took part in writing a new page in Bulldogs history. On Jan. 14, 2011, Sanford was between the pipes as Hamilton faced off against Syracuse in a game where both goalies remained perfect through 60 minutes of regulation play as well as overtime.

The feat marked the first time in franchise history that the Bulldogs entered into a shootout with the game still tied at zero. Despite both netminders posting shutouts on the night, it was ultimately Sanford who left the ice with the win after teammate Alexandre Avstin potted the game winner, adding the exclamation point to the ‘Dogs performance.

Vincent Cauchy is a writer for Translated by Justin Fragapane.

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