SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Jimmy Howard of the Grand Rapids Griffins has been named the Rbk X-Pulse/AHL Goaltender of the Month for December. In 13 appearances, Howard posted a 1.72 goals-against average, a .939 save percentage and two shutouts while going 7-5-1.
Howard allowed two goals or fewer in 10 of his 13 starts in December, while the Griffins were held offensively to two goals or fewer themselves in eight of the 13. Howard began the month with his first shutout of the season, a 22-save effort in a 1-0 win at Milwaukee on Dec. 2, and stopped 26 shots in a 2-0 blanking of Syracuse on Dec. 7. He turned aside 34 of 35 shots in a 2-1 shootout win over conference-leading Rockford on Dec. 21, and made 39 saves in a 2-1 shootout loss to Lake Erie on Dec. 26. He closed out December with 32 saves on 33 shots in a 1-0 loss to Hamilton on New Year’s Eve.
In recognition of his achievement, Howard will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Griffins home game.
A native of Syracuse, N.Y., Howard is 12-13-2 in 27 appearances this season with a 2.54 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage, and ranks third in the league in minutes played (1,630) and saves (730). Howard, 23, was a second-round draft choice by the Detroit Red Wings in 2002, and has a record of 60-40-7 with 10 shutouts in 114 career AHL appearances with Grand Rapids.
Other nominees for Rbk X-Pulse/AHL Goaltender of the Month include Albany’s Michael Leighton, Chicago’s Ondrej Pavelec, Hartford’s Al Montoya, Houston’s Nolan Schaefer, Lowell’s Frank Doyle, Manchester’s Erik Ersberg, Manitoba’s Drew MacIntyre, Philadelphia’s Brian Boucher, Providence’s Tuukka Rask, Quad City’s Matt Keetley, San Antonio’s David LeNeveu, Syracuse’s Adam Munro and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s John Curry.