Kuemper named Player of the Week

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Houston Aeros goaltender Darcy Kuemper has been selected as the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Dec. 11, 2011.

With Matt Hackett on NHL recall, Kuemper made four starts last week and surrendered only four goals on 134 shots, posting a 2-0-2 record, a 0.96 goals-against average and a .970 save percentage.

Kuemper began the week with a 31-save performance in Houston’s 6-1 win on Tuesday in San Antonio, and on Thursday he stopped 34 of 35 shots in a 2-1 shootout loss to Oklahoma City. Kuemper registered the first shutout of his professional career on Friday, making 33 saves in a 1-0 victory over San Antonio, and finally made 32 stops in Sunday’s 3-2 shootout loss to Peoria.

Kuemper’s efforts helped the Aeros, who have one regulation loss in their last 13 games, remain one point off the lead in the overall AHL standings.

A 21-year-old rookie from Saskatoon, Sask., Kuemper has seen action in six AHL games since being recalled to the Aeros on Nov. 28 and is 3-1-2 with a 1.79 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage. A 2009 draft pick by the Minnesota Wild, Kuemper was the Western Hockey League’s Goaltender of the Year and Player of the Year in 2010-11, when he went 45-12-5 in 62 appearances for Red Deer and led the WHL in wins, GAA (1.86), save percentage (.933) and shutouts (13).

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

Also see: Past winners, AHL Player of the Week