Hopefully this isn’t the first post-season award for South Carolina goalie Ryan Zapolski.
Zapolski has been named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team.
I would be shocked if Zapolski isn’t the ECHL Goalie of the Year. He should also make the All-ECHL First or Second team.
And I think he’s got an outside shot at being named the league MVP.
I’m with several of you out there that wonder why an AHL team hasn’t swooped in and snatch him up.
Anyway, here are some particular on Mr. Zapolski, who proved that free agent goalies can be just as good as contract goalies.
Zapolski, 26, holds a 26-11-2 record this season and leads the ECHL with a 1.66 goals-against average, a .942 save percentage and eight shutouts. His eight shutouts are tied for the most in a single season in ECHL history. The Erie, Pennsylvania, native has allowed two goals or less in 33 of his 39 appearances this season. Zapolski was also named the Most Valuable Player of the 2013 ECHL All-Star Game and is a three-time ECHL Goaltender of the Week selection and two-time ECHL Goaltender of the Month selection (December and February).
The 6-foot, 185-pound goaltender is the third Stingray to be named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team in team history behind netminder Philipp Grubauer (2011-12) and forward Joey Tenute (2004-05). Prior to turning pro, Zapolski skated for four seasons at Mercyhurst College appearing in 109 games going 48-43-11 with eight shutouts, a 2.77 goals-against average and a save percentage of .920.