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LaBarbera Captures AHLxczas Aldege "Baz" Bastien Award

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

The American Hockey League announced today that Jason LaBarbera has won the Aldege "Baz" Bastien Award for outstanding goaltender. Last week, the Burnaby, British Columbia native was named to the AHL's First All-Star Team. LaBarbera currently leads the league with 31 wins, including a record-breaking 13 shutouts.

"This is as much a team award as anything," said LaBarbera. "Our style of play, and the guys in front of me make my job that much easier."

Wolf Pack head coach Ryan McGill added, "LaBarbera is well-deserving of this award. He has worked hard all season and if he continues to work hard, he has a bright future ahead of him. LaBarbera has been a mainstay of the club all year and we go into the playoffs confident of his abilities."

LaBarbera notched his first shut-out of the year, and only his third shut-out of his career on October 29, 2003 against Albany. That opened the flood-gates for registering the team's first-ever back-to-back shutout performance when he blanked Utah on the road two games straight on January 17 and 19. He has gone on to post back-to-back shutouts twice more this season in his run to surpass the league's old shutout record of nine, registering his tenth shutout on February 13 with a 4-0 victory over Philadelphia. Currently, LaBarbera has 13 shutouts under his belt.

As one of the busiest goalies in the league with more than 3,200 minutes played, the third-round draft pick (66th overall in 1998) currently sports a goals against average of 1.59, second-best in the league and a .936 saves percentage. His 31-9-1 record is tops in the AHL.

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