Near-perfect week nets honor for Ayers

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Syracuse Crunch goaltender Mike Ayers has been named the CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending February 12, 2006. In three games last week, all victories, Ayers stopped 102 of the 103 shots he faced, good for a 0.33 goals-against average, a .990 save percentage and two shutouts.

Ayers returned to the Crunch early in the week and was in net on Wednesday, making 34 saves as Syracuse earned a 3-1 victory at Chicago. On Friday, Ayers turned aside 35 shots in the Crunch’s 2-0 win over Binghamton. And Saturday, Ayers recorded 33 saves for his second consecutive shutout as Syracuse posted a 6-0 win over Rochester.

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

Ayers has made 12 appearances with Syracuse this season, posting a record of 8-3-0 with a 2.16 goals-against average, a .932 save percentage and three shutouts. A second-year pro out of the University of New Hampshire, where he backstopped the Wildcats to two Frozen Four appearances, Ayers was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2000, and signed a contract with the Crunch on Nov. 17, 2005.

Other nominees for CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week include Albany defenseman Krisjanis Redlihs, Binghamton right wing Brandon Bochenski, Bridgeport left wing Sean Bergenheim, Chicago center Derek MacKenzie, Cleveland left wing Patrick Rissmiller, Grand Rapids goaltender Joey MacDonald, Hamilton center Maxim Lapierre, Hershey left wing Tomas Fleischmann, Houston defenseman Erik Reitz, Iowa right wing David Oliver, Manchester center Noah Clarke, Milwaukee center Kris Beech, Norfolk right wing Pavel Vorobiev, Omaha goaltender Brent Krahn, Peoria goaltender Reinhard Divis, Philadelphia left wing Tony Voce, Portland right wing Pierre Parenteau, Providence center Pascal Pelletier, Rochester left wing Clarke MacArthur, San Antonio goaltender Karl Goehring and Toronto defenseman Ian White.