Dawes, Sanford named to AHL second all-star squad

Hamilton Bulldogs left winger Nigel Dawes and goaltender Curtis Sanford have been named 2010-11 American Hockey League Second-Team All-Stars.

Dawes, 26, leads the Bulldogs in points with 62 (38 goals, 24 assists) and all AHL players in goals. The native of Winnipeg spent the first half of the season with the Chicago Wolves before joining Hamilton following a trade from the Atlanta Thrashers organization to the Montreal Canadiens. Since joining the Bulldogs on Feb. 24, Dawes has recorded 18 points (11 goals, seven assists) including two hat tricks.

Dawes has also played in 13 National Hockey League games for Atlanta and Montreal this season recording an assist. The 5-foot-9, 200-pound left winger has played in 212 NHL regular season games registering 84 points (39 goals, 45 assists) and 43 penalty minutes. Dawes has also competed in 226 career AHL games posting 223 points (114 goals, 109 assists).

Sanford, 31, currently ranks second among AHL goaltenders in both goals-against-average with a 1.93 GAA and save percentage with a .930 SV%. In 40 appearances for the Hamilton this season, the native of Owen Sound posted a record of 22-13-2 while matching a career-high for shutouts with five. Following a pre-season injury, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound goaltender made his season debut on Nov. 2, winning eight of his first nine decisions, surrendering more than two goals only once. Sanford will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing successful shoulder surgery on March 16.

Dawes and Sanford are Hamilton’s seventh and eighth players to be named AHL Second-Team All-Stars. Sanford is the Bulldogs’ second straight goaltender to be named to the team after Cedrick Desjardins was named in 2009-10. Former ‘Dogs named to previous year’s teams include defenceman Marc-Andre Bergeron in 2002-03, left wing Ralph Intranuovo in 1996-97, right wing Daniel Cleary in 1999-2000, centre Brian Swanson in 2001-02 and goaltender Steve Passmore in 1998-99.

The 2010-11 AHL First-Team All-Stars were Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins goaltender Brad Thiessen, Portland Pirates defenceman Marc-Andre Gragnani, Houston Aeros defenceman Maxim Noreau, Oklahoma City Barons left wing Alexandre Giroux, Binghamton Senators centre Corey Locke and Portland Pirates right wing Mark Mancari.

The Second-Team All-Stars include Binghamton Senators defenceman Andre Benoit, Manchester Monarch defenceman Viatcheslav Voynov, Hershey Beats centre Keith Aucoin, and Chicago Wolves right wing Darren Haydar.

Each All-Star receives a custom designed crystal award in recognition of his selection to the 2010-2011 AHL First and Second All-Star Teams.