Omaha, NE – For the second time this season, the American Hockey League has named Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights’ goaltender Curtis McElhinney the CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending February 25, 2007. McElhinney won all three starts last week and posted two shutouts to move the club to within three points of the top spot in the AHL's West Division. McElhinney received the same honor in December.
On Wednesday, McElhinney stopped 32 of 35 shots and then stopped five of six shooters in the shootout as the Knights beat the Peoria Rivermen, 4-3, ending a 13-game skid against Peoria. The shootout win tied his for the league lead. On Friday, he stopped all 33 shots in a 1-0 win at Milwaukee. He followed that up with another whitewash, stopping all 29 shots in a 2-0 win at Chicago.
That shutout set a new franchise record for team shutouts in a season (7). It is the second time this season that McElhinney has authored shutouts in consecutive games. He is now tied for second in the AHL in shutouts (6).
For the week, McElhinney stopped 94 of 97 shots to post a 0.97 goals-against average, a .969 save percentage.
In recognition of his achievement, McElhinney will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Ak-Sar-Ben Knights home game.
A 23-year-old native of London, Ont., McElhinney has a record of 24-13-1 in 41 appearances for the Knights this season. He ranks third in the American Hockey League in wins, fifth in goals-against average (2.21), tied for second in shutouts (6) and fourth in minutes played (2,259), and represented the Knights at last month’s 2007 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic.
The second-year pro was selected by Calgary in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft and spent four seasons at Colorado College.
Other nominees for CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week include Albany center Keith Aucoin, Binghamton right wing Jeff Heerema, Chicago center Steve Martins, Grand Rapids goaltender Stefan Liv, Hamilton goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris, Hartford center Jarkko Immonen, Hershey goaltender Maxime Daigneault, Houston center Jason Morgan, Iowa goaltender Dan Ellis, Manchester center Marty Murray, Manitoba right wing Lee Goren, Milwaukee goaltender Pekka Rinne, Peoria center Ryan Ramsay, Portland right wing Joe Motzko, Providence right wing Dennis Packard, Rochester right wing Greg Jacina, Syracuse left wing Alexandre Picard, Toronto right wing Ben Ondrus and Worcester goaltender Thomas Greiss.