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Bears’ Aucoin takes Player of the Week honors

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Hershey Bears center Keith Aucoin has been named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Oct. 12, 2008. Aucoin recorded two goals and five assists for seven points to go with a plus-4 rating in three games to start the 2008-09 AHL season.

Aucoin had quite an auspicious debut in a Bears uniform on opening night, scoring just 1:36 into the first period and then adding four assists as Hershey rolled to an 8-4 win at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Oct. 8. He picked up an assist in a come-from-behind 5-3 win at Norfolk on Oct. 10, and then scored once in regulation and one in the shootout during the Bears’ 4-3 victory in Norfolk on Oct. 11.

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

Beginning his eighth professional season, Aucoin now has 136 goals and 304 assists for 440 points in 438 career American Hockey League games. The 29-year-old native of Waltham, Mass., has appeared in three AHL All-Star Classics (2006, 2007, 2008) and was named a Second Team AHL All-Star following both the 2005-06 and 2006-07 campaigns. Aucoin, who has tallied five goals and 10 assists in 53 career NHL games with Carolina, signed as a free agent with the Washington Capitals on July 3, 2008.

Other nominees for Reebok/AHL Player of the Week include Albany center Dwight Helminen, Binghamton goaltender Brian Elliott, Bridgeport right wing Mike Iggulden, Chicago left wing Colin Stuart, Grand Rapids left wing Ville Leino, Hamilton goaltender Marc Denis, Houston goaltender Nolan Schaefer, Iowa left wing Joakim Lindstrom, Lake Erie goaltender Tyler Weiman, Lowell right wing Matt Halischuk, Manitoba right wing Michel Ouellet, Milwaukee goaltender Drew MacIntyre, Norfolk right wing Brandon Segal, Peoria center Julian Talbot, Portland right wing Mark Mancari, Providence center Vladimir Sobotka, Quad City right wing Kris Chucko, Rochester defenseman Jason Garrison, Rockford goaltender Antti Niemi, San Antonio center Garth Murray, Springfield right wing Gilbert Brule, Syracuse left wing Tom Sestito, Toronto goaltender Justin Pogge and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton left wing Chris Minard.

Also see: Previous winners, Reebok/AHL Player of the Week