Rats’ Leighton named player of the week


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Albany River Rats goaltender Michael Leighton has been named the Rbk/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending October 28, 2007. Leighton stopped 84 of 86 shots over three starts last week, going 3-0-0 with two shutouts as Albany climbed the standings in the AHL’s East Division.

Leighton snapped a personal three-game winless streak on Oct. 24, stopping 30 of 32 shots in the River Rats’ 3-2 win over Syracuse. On Oct. 26, he made 24 saves as Albany defeated host Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 1-0, and on Oct. 28 he came back with a 30-save effort in the Rats’ 2-0 win at Hershey. Leighton’s numbers for the week included a 0.67 goals-against average and a .977 save percentage, and his current shutout streak of 157:23 is the longest ever by a River Rats goaltender.

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

Leighton is 4-2-1 in seven appearances for Albany this season, ranking fifth in the AHL with a 1.56 goals-against average and second with a .948 save percentage. A 26-year-old native of Petrolia, Ont., Leighton played 215 career AHL games and shows a record of 104-82-22 with 24 shutouts, good for a tie for eighth on the league’s all-time list. He was an AHL All-Star and a member of the league’s All-Rookie Team in 2001-02, and has also played 48 career National Hockey League games with Chicago, Nashville and Philadelphia. Leighton was acquired by Carolina a trade from Montreal on June 23, 2007.

Other nominees for Rbk/AHL Player of the Week include Binghamton forward Denis Hamel, Bridgeport forward Jeremy Colliton, Chicago forward Alexandre Giroux, Grand Rapids forward Jamie Tardif, Hamilton forward Sergei Kostitsyn, Hartford forward Greg Moore, Hershey forward Kyle Wilson, Houston forward Aaron Voros, Manchester defenseman Brian Boyle, Manitoba forward Pierre-Cedric Labrie, Milwaukee goaltender Pekka Rinne, Norfolk forward Chris Lawrence, Peoria goaltender Marek Schwarz, Philadelphia forward Jared Ross, Portland forward Andrew Ebbett, Providence forward Pascal Pelletier, Quad City forward Kris Chucko, Rochester forward Clarke MacArthur, Rockford forward Jake Dowell, San Antonio forward Jon DiSalvatore, Syracuse forward Andrew Murray, Toronto forward David Ling and Worcester forward Mike Iggulden.

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