In Brust we trust

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … Abbotsford Heat goaltender Barry Brust made American Hockey League history on Saturday night, establishing a new league record for longest shutout streak.

Brust held the San Antonio Rampage off the scoreboard into the second period of their game at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, before finally allowing a goal to Rampage forward James Wright, ending his shutout run at 268 minutes and 17 seconds. That surpassed the previous AHL record of 249:51, established by Hockey Hall of Famer Johnny Bower with the Cleveland Barons in 1957.

Brust began his streak on Oct. 20, shutting out the Chicago Wolves over the last 51:41 of the game after allowing a first-period goal to Zack Kassian. Brust then recorded three consecutive shutouts, blanking Toronto on Nov. 1 and Lake Erie on Nov. 13 and 14, and broke Bower’s record with 1:49 left in the first period in San Antonio on Saturday.

Brust, who finished Saturday’s 3-2 shootout win with 26 saves, is now 5-0-0 on the season with a 0.59 goals-against average and a .978 save percentage, stopping 131 of 134 shots overall. The 29-year-old native of Swan River, Man., is 101-71-9 in 196 career AHL games, and was a member of the Binghamton Senators’ Calder Cup championship team in 2010-11.

In setting a record that stood for nearly 55 years, Bower – a three-time AHL MVP and three-time Calder Cup champion in his career – helped Cleveland to a 2-2 tie with the Buffalo Bisons on Nov. 27, 1957, before shutting out the Hershey Bears (Nov. 30), Springfield Indians (Dec. 1) and Hershey again (Dec. 5). His streak was ended by Buffalo’s Lou Jankowski on Dec. 7.