Zapolski called up to AHL

That didn’t take long.

When I was looking at the Stingrays statistics on Monday, I wondered out loud when someone in the AHL would notice Ryan Zapolski. Even with the NHL lockout, there is always a place for a guy playing well in the AHL.

I’m a little shocked it took this long.

Zapolski has been called up to the American Hockey League’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Zapolski, 26, leads the ECHL with a 1.57 goals-against average and a .945 save percentage in 14 appearances this season and stands fourth among league goaltenders with 10 wins. The Stingrays are on a season-high six-game winning streak due in large part to Zapolski’s play.

“Ryan has been great for us,” said Stingrays coach Spencer Carbery. “He’s not the flashiest goalie out there, but he always seems to be in good position to make the save. He’s been a huge part of our recent turnaround. I’m really happy for Ryan because no one deserve it more than he does. Because he’s not under contract with an AHL or NHL team, he’s had to be resilient during his pro career and fight through some adversity. I couldn’t be happier for him.”

Since joining the Stingrays on Nov. 9, the Erie, Penn., native is 8-4-0 with a 1.49 GAA, .948 save percentage and is 6-0-0 in his last six appearances. Zapolski, who was named the ECHL Goalie of the Week last week, started the 2012-13 season with the Gwinnet Gladiators earning a 2-0-0 record, a 2.00 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.

Zapolski played for three different teams – Kalamazoo, Toledo and Gwinnett – during this rookie campaign a season ago. He went 8-4-1 with a 2.37 goals against average and a .917 save percentage. Prior to turning pro, Zapolski skated four seasons at Mercyhurst College dressing in 109 games going 48-43-11 with eight shutouts, a 2.77 goals-against average and a save percentage of .920.

Carbery said he has a goalie for tonight’s game with Greenville (7:05 p.m.) at the North Charleston Coliseum. He said I know the goalie and I will be shocked. .. I’m efforting to find out who the mystery goalie is.

Remember you can always follow me on Twitter @APMILLER_PandC

See you at the Rink,

APM

23 thoughts on “Zapolski called up to AHL

  1. Is he signing an EBUG or will it be an actual contract goalie. Both of WBS goalies have been playing well. Is Zapolski’s call up for an injury or are they just taking a look at him? Did Spencer have an idea of how long Zapolski would be at WBS? I’m guessing Joey Z could get the call if it is just for EBUG duty for one night. Or maybe Tim Thomas is bored and ready to play again……..

  2. Hello, WBS fan here.

    To answer the question about how long Zapolski will be gone: The reason for the recall is because our starter, Jeff Zatkoff, is day-to-day with something. Same goes for our ECHL goalie Patrick Killeen, announced same day that he was day-to-day with something too.

    Zapolski was signed to a PTO, officially.

  3. I was pulling for JoeyZ as the EBUG but maybe next time. Jakaitis is solid. I am just wondering why he hasn’t been playing this year. He was only an EBUG in Gwinnett after a stellar year last year. Both of Gwinnett’s goalies are on NHL contracts. Has he just been sitting around waiting for a roster spot or are there other issues? I’m sure he could have made good money in Europe this year. Morrison was OK for 2 periods but then imploded. I think lack of offensive support and head games eventually got to him in the 3rd period.

  4. Jakaitis has been hurt since January and just recently returned to full strength. He definitely is a #1 goalie and if Zapo returns we will have 2 #1 goalies.

    Morrison kinda reminds me of another goalie we had a couple of years ago, Todd Ford. I think he and the team have no confidence when Morrison is the back stop.

    The game may have been different if we could have buried a couple of solid chances in the first two periods against Gville.

    • I keep forgetting that Morrison is a 21 year old rookie. He had moderate #’s in the WHL last year but nothing earth shattering. I wonder if a year or two in the CIS would have been a better move for him. Either way he needs to mentally toughen up. I hope that when Zapolski gets sent back down that we trade either Zapolski or Jakaitis rather than dropping them on the waiver wire. I highly doubt that we’d keep 3 goalies contracted for more than a week. Where is Boston’s goalie coach at???? They have Morrison on contract through 14/15 so it’s not as if they can just write him off. They need to do the right thing and help their prospect out.

  5. Continuing to play Morrison will start to cause dissension in the locker room. How long will these guys play 100% for this guy when they know he’s just not that good. He flops around out of control alot of the time.

    The fan base is already down so keep putting a guy in net that doesn’t cut it will only deplete it more. Send him down to the CHL for some work. These affiliations are about making the parent club better not the other way around; Hershey and Washington proved that. Putting either Zapo and Jakaitis on the waiver wire and keep Morrison would be a big mistake.

    • Unfortunately we can’t send him anywhere. Boston would have to make that call. We won’t be able to keep Zapolski and Jakaitis when Zapolski gets sent back down so we might as well trade one of them rather than letting them go to the waiver wire for free. At least Washington would send down Kolzig every now and then to work with the goalie down here.

      • tweet from Joey Z
        ‏@JoeyZStingrays

        . @NHLBruins goalie coach Bob Essensa on the ice with @SCStingrays this morning working with Jakaitis and Morrison pic.twitter.com/Puhnj7JV

  6. My concern is: will the Bruins pressure the Rays to play Morrison? Riding the bench isn’t helping him at all. Do the Bruins see him developing into a future prospect? If so, he’ll need to play. If not, throw him back into the water and fish again.

  7. I recently asked Coach Carbery if he was feeling pressure from the Bruins to play Morrison and he said that the Bruins have a different philosophy than the Caps in that their big thing is developing players whereas the Caps were more win, win . He did say that visits from the Bruin’s goalie coach were expected.I sensed that he was not looking over his shoulder as much as I feared he would be.

    • Thanks for the heads up. That is good stuff to hear. I did see that only Cross has played in the last 2 games up in Providence. I wonder if we might see a return of one of the forwards in the near future. Also Weller is out with a broken finger for St John’s no clue how long he will be on the IR before being sent back down. Zatkoff is still out in WBS so at least we don’t have to deal with a goalie dilemma for right now.

  8. There is no goalie controversy as long as Morrison is the odd man out in my opinion. He gives us no shot at winning when he is the back stop; contract player or not.

  9. That price of affiliation will cost butts in the seats if he continues to play; seats we can’t afford to lose. The attendance numbers don’t lie. Only those who truly love hockey will attend if Boston dictates that he plays.

    We’re not going to put up 5 to 6 a night to offset Morrison; great goaltending will steal you games you don’t deserve to win…I like it that Carbery will make changes if necessary.

  10. Koger with 10 points for Dee with 6 points. Did I miss something? Did he just trade a little offense for a little less offense?

  11. I think that many of us are being too critical of Adam Morrison. Yes, he has not played well. Obviously Coach Carbery agrees as Morrison has only played in 9 games. Spencer signed a quality goal tender in Jeff Jakaitis and today is hosting Bob Essensa, Bruins goalie coach. The jump from the Western Hockey League to the pros is huge for a 21 year old. The Flyers and Bruins saw enough in Morrison to sign him. Lets give him some slack.If the fans jump all over him, it ain’t going to help the team or him at all.

    • It’s not like Morrison just started playing goalie at 21.He’s probably been a goalie for about 15 yrs. starting out in kids play up thru 21 years of age. The NHL teams sign a lot of players that just don’t live up to what they thought they would and Morrison might just be one of those. The Stingrays have won Kelly Cups and not used to just throwing games away and the fans will stay away more and more the longer he lasts here. Boston can move him to another ECHL affiliate where he might be a better fit.

  12. I don’t think these clubs care whether we win or lose as we saw in the past few years with Hershey. They don’t help in any way financially except with the contract players..

    If we keep playing Morrison the fan base will only dwindle until we’re at the bottom of the attendance chart.

    If nothing changes I really believe you open yourself up to dissension in the locker room. If Morrison stays and we get rid of either Zapolski or Jakaitis then Spencer will put his job in jeopardy because he will lose the locker room.

    As far as the trade; I thought Koger had been playing his best hockey as a Ray in the past 3 weeks!

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