Bulldogs’ goalie Halak catches AHL player honours

Hamilton Bulldogs’ goaltender Jaroslav Halak has started off the New Year on a positive note – he was named the American Hockey League’s Player of the Week. Halak posted a 3-1-0 record with one shutout in four games last week, allowing just four goals on 117 shots with a 1.01 goals against average and a .966 save percentage.

Halak registered a 22-save 1-0 shutout win on New Year’s Eve at Grand Rapids, then stopped 35 of 36 shots in Hamilton’s 2-1 win on Jan. 2 at Rockford. The native of Bratislava, Slovakia, turned aside 24 of 25 shots in another win over Grand Rapids, 4-1 on Jan. 4, and finished the week with 32 saves on 34 shots in a 2-1 loss on Jan. 5 at Toronto. Halak was named one of the three stars of the game in each of his four starts.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound netminder has a record of 9-7-2 with two shutouts, a 2.26 goals against average and a .922 save percentage for Hamilton this season. Halak has appeared in 60-career AHL games with the Bulldogs, going 32-24-2 with a franchise-record 11 shutouts. The 22-year-old is also 10-6-0 in 17-career National Hockey League outings with Montreal, including one appearance this season. Halak was also an AHL All-Star in 2007 and a member of the league’s All-Rookie Team in 2006-07.

Halak was selected by the Canadiens in the ninth round, 271st overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

Other nominees for Rbk/AHL Player of the Week included Albany left wing Yannick Tifu, Binghamton right wing Niko Dimitrakos, Bridgeport left wing Jeff Tambellini, Chicago center Jason Krog, Grand Rapids center Darren Helm, Hershey left wing Grant Potulny, Houston center Serge Payer, Iowa right wing Konstantin Pushkarev, Lowell right wing Trevor Kell, Manchester center Brian Boyle, Manitoba left wing Michael Grabner, Milwaukee center Rich Peverley, Peoria goaltender Chris Beckford-Tseu, Philadelphia center Ryan Potulny, Portland center Geoff Platt, Providence center Vladimir Sobotka, Quad City center Krys Kolanos, Rochester left wing Stefan Meyer, Rockford center Colin Fraser, Springfield center Marc Pouliot, Syracuse right wing Adam Pineault, Toronto goaltender Justin Pogge, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton center Chris Minard and Worcester right wing Graham Mink.

The Bulldogs return to the ice at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday (Jan. 9) for an inter-conference tilt with the Binghamton Senators at Copps Coliseum.