Pirates’ Hurme named week’s best

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Portland Pirates goaltender Jani Hurme has been named the CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending April 2, 2006. Hurme earned road victories in each of his three appearances last week, moving the Pirates closer to their first-ever division championship.

On Wednesday in Manchester, Hurme earned his first shutout of the season, stopping all 28 shots in a 3-0 victory over the Monarchs. On Friday night, he turned aside 31 shots en route to a 4-1 win in Providence, and on Saturday, Hurme made 39 saves and recorded an assist as the Pirates thumped Albany, 8-1. For the week, Hurme stopped 98 of the 101 shots he faced, good for a 1.00 goals-against average and a .970 save percentage.

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

Hurme, a former third-round draft choice by the Ottawa Senators, made his return to pro hockey in 2005-06 after suffering a life-threatening staph infection in 2003. The native of Turku, Finland, is 10-8-0 in 18 AHL appearances for Chicago and Portland this season, including 8-4-0 with a 2.23 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage with the Pirates. Hurme has played 76 career NHL games with Ottawa and Florida, posting a record of 29-25-11 with six shutouts.

Other nominees for CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week include Binghamton left wing Denis Hamel, Bridgeport center Ryan O’Marra, Chicago center Kevin Doell, Cleveland goaltender Nolan Schaefer, Grand Rapids center Valtteri Filppula, Hartford right wing Brad Smyth, Hershey left wing Kris Beech, Houston right wing Kirby Law, Iowa left wing Loui Eriksson, Lowell center Ryan Steeves, Manitoba left wing Jason Jaffray, Milwaukee left wing Libor Pivko, Norfolk goaltender Adam Munro, Peoria center Mike Zigomanis, Philadelphia forward Tony Voce, Providence center Ben Guite, Rochester left wing Clarke MacArthur, San Antonio forward Jeff Taffe, Syracuse center Joe Motzko, Toronto left wing Bates Battaglia, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton forward Krys Kolanos.