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Hartford Wolf Pack Establishes, Adds to AHL Shutout Mark

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

HARTFORD, CT ( -- The Hartford Wolf Pack set a new American Hockey League record for most shutouts for a team on Friday with a 3-0 blanking of the division-rival Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Pack's 14th shutout of the season surpassed the previous record of 13 held by Syracuse in 2001-2002.

But holding one team scoreless this weekend wasn't enough for Hartford, who posted its second straight shutout, fourth in the last six games and 15th of the season with a 2-0 win over the Worcester Ice Cats on Saturday at the Civic Center.

The win puts them atop the Eastern Conference with 72 points, one point ahead of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Pack are now unbeaten in seven (6-0-1-0).

Wolf Pack netminder Jason LaBarbera has gone 6-0-2 (one no decision) in his last nine games and has posted eight shutouts in his last 17 appearances. With the win on Saturday, he extended his AHL record for most single-season shutouts by a goaltender to 12.

"I don't know what to tell you," LaBarbera told after Friday's win. "I honestly don't know what to tell you. It's fun to play behind these guys. Every night I'm excited to play. That makes a big difference for anyone when you're excited to play."

"I don't shake my head because the guys believe in each other in there and they know that if they do all the little things right and build for the end of the game in that way, they know they're going to have success," Wolf Pack Head Coach Ryan McGill added. "But the best thing about all the shutouts is the guys just take it in stride. It's just another game and we're building for the end."

The Wolf Pack also announced that on February 28, former 1980 United States Olympic Team goaltender Jim Craig will make a presentation to LaBarbera prior to Hartford's game against Lowell to mark the netminder's record-setting play.

LaBarbera snapped a 61-year-old league record on Friday by posting his 10th shutout of the season in a 4-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phantoms at the Civic Center. He stopped 12 shots in the first period, turned aside seven in the second and made 14 saves in the final stanza to break a record first established by the Buffalo Bisons' Gordon Bell during the 1942-43 season.
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