Montoya wins goalie honors for February


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Al Montoya of the Hartford Wolf Pack has been named the Rbk X-Pulse/AHL Goaltender of the Month for February.

Montoya garnered a 5-2-0 record with a 1.37 goals-against average, a .946 save percentage and one shutout on the month, allowing two goals or fewer in each of his seven starts.

After opening the month with a 2-1 loss to the defending Calder Cup champion Hershey Bears, Montoya won his next five decisions, beginning with a 3-0 win over Worcester on Feb. 16, his third shutout of the year. He stopped 31 shots in a 3-2 win over Providence on Feb. 17, then made 20 saves in a 6-1 win at Lowell on Feb. 23 and 22 more saves in a 5-1 win at Bridgeport on Feb. 25.

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

Montoya, who turned 22 on Feb. 13, remains one of the hottest goaltenders in the AHL, going 14-3-0 with a 1.55 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage since Dec. 22. For the season, the native of Glenview, Ill., ranks fifth in the league in GAA (2.18) and owns a 16-12-0 record with a .919 save percentage in 31 appearances. The sixth overall pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Rangers, Montoya had a record of 23-9-1 as a rookie for Hartford in 2005-06 and played in the 2006 AHL All-Star Classic.

Other nominees for Rbk X-Pulse/AHL Goaltender of the Month include Tyler Weiman of Albany, Fred Brathwaite of Chicago, Jimmy Howard of Grand Rapids, Miroslav Kopriva of Houston, Dan Ellis of Iowa, Jason LaBarbera of Manchester, Pekka Rinne of Milwaukee, Curtis McElhinney of Omaha, Jordan Sigalet of Providence, Adam Berkhoel of Rochester, Tomas Popperle of Syracuse and Thomas Greiss of Worcester.