Penguins goalies win Hap Holmes Award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Jeff Deslauriers and Eric Hartzell of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are the recipients of the Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award for the 2013-14 season.

Since 1972, the award has been presented to the goaltender(s) with at least 25 games played on the team which allows the fewest goals in the regular season.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton surrendered a league-low 185 goals in 2013-14, finishing its regular season on Saturday with a record of 42-26-3-5 and 92 points, qualifying for the Calder Cup Playoffs for the 12th consecutive season. As a team, the Penguins owned a 2.34 goals-against average and eight shutouts for the season; in addition to the goaltending of Deslauriers and Hartzell, the Penguins got 11 wins and four shutouts in 18 appearances from Peter Mannino in 2013-14.

This is the third time in four seasons under head coach John Hynes, and the fourth time in nine years overall, that the Penguins have ranked first in the AHL in goals against.

The Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award, which was first awarded in 1948 to the goaltender with the best goals-against average in the AHL, is named for Hockey Hall of Famer Harry “Hap” Holmes, a prominent figure in early professional hockey and an outstanding goaltender of his time. Previous winners or co-winners of the award include Gil Mayer (1951, ’53, ’54, ’55, ’56), Johnny Bower (1957, ’58), Marcel Paille (1961, ’62), Gerry Cheevers (1965), Gilles Villemure (1969, ’70), Pete Peeters (1979), Pelle Lindbergh (1981), Olaf Kolzig (1994), Mike Dunham (1995), Manny Legace (1996), Jean-Sebastien Giguere (1998), Martin Biron (1999), Joey MacDonald (2003), Jason LaBarbera (2005, 2007), Cory Schneider (2009), Cedrick Desjardins (2010), Ben Scrivens (2012) and Jeff Zatkoff (2013).

In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Sixteen clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway Wednesday.