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Copley, Fucale win Hap Holmes Award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Pheonix Copley and Zach Fucale of the Hershey Bears are the recipients of the Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award for the 2020-21 season. Since 1972, the award has been presented to the goaltender(s) on the team which allows the fewest goals per game in the regular season.

To qualify for the award in 2020-21, a goaltender must have appeared in at least one-third of his team’s games.

The Bears allowed an average of 2.33 goals per game in 2020-21 while posting a league-best record of 24-7-2-0 (50 points, .758). Hershey finished with the fewest goals against in the AHL for the first time since 1996-97.

Copley was 10-4-1 in his 15 appearances for the Bears this season, registering two shutouts, a 2.66 goals-against average and an .896 save percentage – including a 6-0-1 mark (1.55, .943) on home ice. The seventh-year pro from North Pole, Alaska, has a career record of 100-60-22 with a 2.55 GAA, a .911 save percentage and 13 shutouts in 191 career AHL games with Hershey and Chicago.

Fucale made 11 appearances for the Bears and went 9-2-0 while leading the AHL with a 1.80 goals-against average and ranking second with a .932 save percentage. A native of Laval, Que., Fucale has played 80 games in the AHL over six professional seasons with Hershey, Syracuse, Chicago, Laval and St. John’s, going 37-34-4 with a 2.90 GAA, a .904 save percentage and three shutouts.

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), Clint Malarchuk (1983), Vincent Riendeau (1987, ’88), Corey Hirsch (1993), Olaf Kolzig (1994), Byron Dafoe (1994), Mike Dunham (1995), Manny Legace (1996), Jean-Sebastien Giguere (1998), Martin Biron (1999), Cory Schneider (2009), Matt Murray (2015), Tristan Jarry (2017), Casey DeSmith (2017), Garret Sparks (2018), Calvin Pickard (2018), Troy Grosenick (2020) and Connor Ingram (2020).

In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 31 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.