The American Hockey League announced today that Lowell Lock Monsters goaltender Cam Ward has been named the Reebok AHL Rookie of the Month for December. In seven appearances last month, Ward was 5-1-1 with a 1.10 goals-against average, a .965 save percentage and two shutouts for the surging Lock Monsters.
After suffering a 2-1 loss in Bridgeport on Dec. 4, Ward went unbeaten over his next six starts, including back-to-back shutouts against Hershey (36 saves) on Dec. 12 and Worcester (24 saves) on Dec. 18. He made a season-high 40 saves in a 3-2 shootout loss to Springfield on Dec. 19, and concluded the month by stopping 24 shots in a 4-2 win over league-leading Manchester on Dec. 29.
In recognition of his achievement, Ward will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Lock Monsters home game.
Carolina’s first-round pick (25th overall) in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft and a native of Sherwood Park, Alta., Ward had a tremendously successful junior career, going 102-40-15 in three seasons and leading Red Deer to two WHL finals. In 2003-04, the 20-year-old Ward was named the Player of the Year and the Goaltender of the Year in the Western Hockey League, as well as the Canadian Major Junior Goaltender of the Year and a CHL First Team All-Star.
Other nominees for Reebok AHL Rookie of the Month include Albany center Zach Parise, Binghamton left wing Brandon Bochenski, Bridgeport defenseman Chris Campoli, Cleveland right wing Shane Joseph, Grand Rapids center Eric Himelfarb, Hamilton forward Corey Locke, Houston forward Junior Lessard, Manchester center Matt Ryan, Manitoba center Alexandre Burrows, Norfolk left wing Rene Bourque, Portland left wing Tomas Fleischmann, Rochester left wing Thomas Vanek, San Antonio forward Greg Jacina, Springfield left wing Adam Henrich, Syracuse left wing Greg Mauldin, Utah left wing Randall Gelech and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.