Putting Ryan Zapolski’s shutout streak into historical perspective

So, I had a couple of emails and Tweets last night asking me where Ryan Zapolski’s shutout streak stands in South Carolina Stingrays history.

It’s second.

Ryan Zapolski’s shutout streak, if my math is correct, is at 184 minutes and 17 seconds. That dates back to last weekend’s games against Orlando. Zaps gave up a goal in the third period last Saturday night to the Solar Bears.

He hasn’t given up one since.

The three straight shutouts ties him with five other goalies in ECHL history, including former Rays goalie Shane Connelly, who still holds the club record with a shutout streak of 220 minutes and 6 seconds set during the 2009-10 season. That streak stretched over five games.

Zapolski is still a good ways off of the ECHL record of 236 minutes and 3 seconds, which was set by Darryl Paquette, of Hampton Roads, during the 1997 season. He needs another 51-plus minutes to get to that point.

As good as Zapolski has been the last week, he doesn’t even have the longest shutout streak in the locker room these days. That honor goes to Jeff Jakaitis, who had a shutout streak of 215 minutes and 19 seconds last season. Three of those shutouts came against the Stingrays.

However, Zapolski’s mark of 7 shutouts in a season is tied for second in ECHL history and one off tying the league mark of 8 shutouts in a season set by Alaska’s Jean-Philippe Lamoureux during the 2008-09 season. (The same goalie the Stingrays beat in the Kelly Cup finals that season).

Unless Zapolski has a tremendous collapse down the stretch, you’ve got to believe he is going to be the ECHL Goalie of the Year. He leads the league in just about every statistical category and he’s playing his best when the Stingrays are in the midst of a Kelly Cup playoff run.

I asked Rays head coach Spencer Carbery who was going to start this afternoon’s game against Greenville and he told it would be Jakaitis. If Jeff plays well, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Jakaitis back in the net against Gwinnett. There’s a very real possibility that Zapolski’s next start could come against Fort Wayne next Friday night.


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