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Pens’ Schaefer is top goalie for March

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Nolan Schaefer of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins has been named the Rbk X-Pulse/AHL Goaltender of the Month for March.

Schaefer earned an 8-3-0 record with a 1.98 goals-against average, a .918 save percentage and one shutout in 12 appearances, helping the Penguins stay in the thick of the race for the East Division title and first place overall in the AHL standings.

Acquired by the Pittsburgh Penguins from San Jose on Feb. 27, Schaefer made his Penguins debut with a 3-2 overtime win over Albany on Mar. 3 and later won six consecutive starts, including a 17-save shutout of Philadelphia on Mar. 21 and an overtime victory over division-leading Norfolk on Mar. 23.

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

A fourth-year pro, Schaefer has a record of 13-14-3 with a 2.57 GAA and one shutout in 31 appearances for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Hershey and Worcester this season. The 27-year-old native of Yellow Grass, Sask., appeared in seven NHL games with San Jose in 2005-06, starting his NHL career with five straight wins.

Other nominees for Rbk X-Pulse/AHL Goaltender of the Month include Jimmy Howard of Grand Rapids, Jason LaBarbera of Manchester, Pekka Rinne of Milwaukee, Corey Crawford of Norfolk, Hannu Toivonen of Providence, Adam Dennis of Rochester, Josh Tordjman of San Antonio, Tomas Popperle of Syracuse, Justin Pogge of Toronto and Thomas Greiss of Worcester.