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Thiessen, Curry claim Holmes Award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League has announced that Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins goaltenders Brad Thiessen and John Curry have won the Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award for the 2010-11 season. Since 1972, the award has been presented to the goaltenders on the team which allows the fewest goals in the regular season.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton surrendered just 183 goals in 2010-11, finishing its regular season on Sunday afternoon with a record of 58-21-0-1 and setting franchise records for wins and points (117) in a season. The Penguins’ 58 victories were the second-highest total in AHL history, and the team won its third East Division title and its first regular-season points championship.

Thiessen, winner of the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding goaltender this season, finished the season with a 35-8-1 record in 46 appearances, leading the AHL in wins, placing second in goals-against average (1.94), tying for second with seven shutouts and ranking 10th with a .922 save percentage. Curry played 41 games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and went 23-13-0 with two shutouts, a 2.44 GAA and a .905 save percentage.

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), Dany Sabourin (2006), Cory Schneider (2009), Cedrick Desjardins (2010) and Curtis Sanford (2010).

Celebrating its historic 75th anniversary season in 2010-11, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 85 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. The 2010-11 season ends on Apr. 10, and 16 clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway on Wednesday.