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Prospect Performer of the Week: Kristers Gudlevskis

by Michelle Holden / Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning prospect and Syracuse Crunch goaltender, Kristers Gudlevskis, was named the American Hockey League (AHL) Player of the Week on January 12. In a stretch that began with his selection to represent Latvia in next month's Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Gudlevskis also stopped 73 of 75 shots he faced. Taking over the starting duties while Cedrick Desjardins was loaned to Tampa Bay on an emergency basis, Gudlevskis posted back-to-back shutouts (2-0-1) for the Crunch during his time in net.

Kristers Gudlevskis will represent Latvia at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games

In his first pro season, Gudlevskis has recorded a .973 save percentage in the past week and in 16 Crunch appearances this season, has impressed with a .915 save percentage. He is currently tied for first with four shutouts.

The 21-year-old was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning 124th overall in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Entry draft. A native of Aizkraukle, Latvia, Gudlevskis played in 145 career games with HC Riga of Russia's top junior league, the MHL, from 2010-13, where he registered 11 shutouts.

Next week the Crunch take on the Hershey Bears in back-to-back games, beginning a four game road trip where Gudlevskis will look to help the Crunch improve their record of 16 - 15 - 2.

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