SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League has announced that Nolan Schaefer and Barry Brust of the Houston Aeros have won the Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award for the 2007-08 season. Since 1972, the award has been presented to the goaltender(s) appearing in at least 25 games for the team which allows the fewest goals in the regular season.
Houston allowed just 183 goals in 2007-08 and finished the regular season with a record of 45-29-2-4. The Aeros are on their way back to the Calder Cup Playoffs for the sixth time in seven years as a member of the American Hockey League, and will open their division semifinal series against Rockford on Friday night.
Schaefer concluded the regular season atop the AHL in goals-against average at 2.06. A participant in the 2008 AHL All-Stat Classic, Schaefer posted a record of 19-13-0 in 34 games and finished tied for second in the league with six shutouts and fourth in save percentage (.924).
Brust appeared in a career-high 43 games for the Aeros this season and ended the year at 24-16-3 with a 2.27 goals-against average, good for sixth in the league.
The Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award, which was first awarded in 1948 to the goaltender with the best goals-against average in the AHL, is named for Hockey Hall of Famer Harry “Hap” Holmes, a prominent figure in early professional hockey and an outstanding goaltender of his time. Previous winners or co-winners of the award include Gil Mayer (1951, ’53, ’54, ’55, ’56), Johnny Bower (1957, ’58), Marcel Paille (1961, ’62), Gerry Cheevers (1965), Gilles Villemure (1969, ’70), Pete Peeters (1979), Pelle Lindbergh (1981), Olaf Kolzig (1994), Mike Dunham (1995), Manny Legace (1996), Jean-Sebastien Giguere (1998), Martin Biron (1999), Mika Noronen (2001), Joey MacDonald (2003), Wade Dubielewicz (2004), Jason LaBarbera (2005, 2007) and Dany Sabourin (2006).
Currently in its 72nd season of play, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 83 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 6 million fans have attended AHL games across North America in each of the past six seasons. Sixteen clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2008 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway on Wednesday night.