Pirates’ McKee named player of the week

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Portland Pirates goaltender David McKee has been named the CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending April 1, 2007.

McKee stopped 78 of 81 shots over three victories to help keep the Pirates’ playoff hopes alive in the Atlantic Division.

On Wednesday night, McKee made the second start of his American Hockey League career and stopped 17 shots to lead Portland to a 3-0 win at division-leading Manchester. On Friday, McKee came back with 36 saves in the Pirates’ 3-1 win in Lowell, and on Sunday he turned aside 25 shots as Portland defeated Springfield, 3-2. For the week, McKee was 3-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and a .963 save percentage.

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

A 23-year-old native of Irving, Texas, McKee is in his first professional season after a record-breaking collegiate career at Cornell University, where he was a Hobey Baker Award finalist, a First Team All-American and the Ivy League Player of the Year in 2005. McKee, who signed with the Anaheim Ducks on Apr. 1, 2006, has a record of 4-0-0 with a 1.25 GAA and a .953 save percentage in four AHL appearances with Portland.

Other nominees for CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week include Albany left wing Ryan Bayda, Bridgeport goaltender Michael Mole, Chicago left wing Brett Sterling, Grand Rapids forward Scott Parse, Hamilton center Corey Locke, Hartford left wing Nigel Dawes, Hershey left wing Chris Bourque, Houston goaltender Dieter Kochan, Iowa goaltender Dan Ellis, Manchester center Marty Murray, Milwaukee goaltender Pekka Rinne, Norfolk right wing Jack Skille, Philadelphia defenseman John Slaney, Providence left wing T.J. Trevelyan, Rochester center Kamil Kreps, San Antonio center Yanick Lehoux, Syracuse left wing Curtis Glencross, Toronto left wing Colin Murphy, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton center Robert Nilsson and Worcester left wing Mathieu Darche.

Also see: Previous winners, CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week