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Falcons’ Blatny earns weekly honor

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Springfield Falcons left wing Zdenek Blatny has been named the CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending March 12, 2006. In four games last week, Blatny scored four goals and added five assists as the Falcons went 2-1-1-0.

In a week where Springfield’s offense recorded 10 goals, Blatny had a hand in nine of them. He began by registering two power-play goals and tallying an assist in a 5-3 loss at Albany on Wednesday night, then assisted on both goals in Friday’s 2-1 win over Hartford, and on Saturday scored the game-tying goal in what would be a 3-2 overtime loss to Providence. Finally, Blatny had a goal and two assists in regulation and converted on his shootout attempt to help Springfield to a 4-3 victory over Lowell on Sunday.

In recognition of his achievement, Blatny will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Falcons home game.

Blatny, 25, was a third-round draft choice by Atlanta in 1999 and is currently in his fifth professional season. He has recorded 16 goals and 32 assists for 48 points in 50 AHL games this season, including 18 points in 15 games since joining Springfield last month in a trade from the Boston Bruins organization. A native of Brno, Czech Republic, Blatny has notched 43 goals and 67 assists in 224 career AHL contests with Springfield, Providence and Chicago, and was a member of the Wolves’ Calder Cup championship team in 2002.

Other nominees for CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week include Albany center Nicklas Bergfors, Binghamton left wing Denis Hamel, Bridgeport forward Rob Collins, Chicago center Kip Miller, Grand Rapids center Donald MacLean, Hamilton goaltender Jaroslav Halak, Hershey goaltender Frederic Cassivi, Houston left wing Patrick O’Sullivan, Manitoba right wing Jesse Schultz, Norfolk center Jason Morgan, Omaha center David Moss, Peoria goaltender Reinhard Divis, Portland goaltender Jani Hurme, Providence left wing Eric Healey, Rochester forward Daniel Paille, Syracuse goaltender Martin Prusek, Toronto forward John Pohl and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltender Andy Chiodo.