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by Staff Writer / Washington Capitals
HERSHEY – The 2009 Calder Cup Champion HERSHEY BEARS announced today in conjunction with the American Hockey League that center Keith Aucoin has been named the winner of the Les Cunningham Award as the AHL’s most valuable player for the 2009-10 season. The announcement was made today by BEARS President/GM Doug Yingst.

Aucoin, 31, has already established new career highs in goals (35) and points (102) heading into the final two games of the regular season.  The Waltham, MA native is also looking to win his first scoring title this season, currently holding a three-point lead over teammate Alexandre Giroux.  Aucoin becomes the sixth HERSHEY player to win league MVP honors, joining George Sullivan (1954), Mike Nykoluk (1967), Tim Tookey (1987), Jean-Francois Labbe (1997) and Alexandre Giroux (2009). He and Giroux look to finish one-two in scoring in the AHL for the second consecutive season this weekend.
With his 625th career point on March 27, Aucoin became the highest scoring American-born player in AHL history, but eclipsed the 100-point plateau for the first time just this season.  The BEARS have won an AHL record 59 games, and look to become the first team in league history to post 60 in a single season Friday night at Norfolk Scope.
The BEARS conclude the 2009-10 regular season Friday and Saturday in Norfolk against the Admirals before hosting Game One of the 2010 East Division Semi-Finals Wednesday, April 14 at Giant Center.  Face-off is at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for the first two Calder Cup playoff games are on sale now at the Giant Center box office, or by calling (717) 534-3911.
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