SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Matt Zaba of the Hartford Wolf Pack has been named the Reebok X-Pulse/AHL Goaltender of the Month for February. Zaba was 8-2-0 in 11 appearances for the Wolf Pack last month, posting a 2.28 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage.
Zaba made seven consecutive starts from Feb. 18-28, winning six of them while allowing a total of 11 goals on 226 shots (1.35, .951); the only loss in that span was a 1-0 setback to Bridgeport on Feb. 18 in which he made 31 saves. Zaba stopped 36 shots in a 5-2 win at Lowell on Feb. 20, made 35 saves (including 21 in the third period) during a 3-2 win at Manchester on Feb. 22, and denied 39 of 40 shots in a 5-1 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Feb. 25. Zaba also appeared in his first two AHL shootouts to close out the month, combining to turn away nine of 10 attempts in wins over Manchester (Feb. 27) and Portland (Feb. 28).
In recognition of his achievement, Zaba will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Wolf Pack home game.
Zaba has gone 17-8-0 in 31 appearances for Hartford in 2008-09, ranking fourth among AHL rookies in both goals-against average (2.46) and save percentage (.917). A 25-year-old native of Yorkton, Sask., Zaba was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 2003 before playing four seasons at Colorado College. He signed as a free agent with the New York Rangers on Aug. 20, 2007.
Other nominees for Reebok X-Pulse/AHL Goaltender of the Month include Albany’s Justin Peters, Bridgeport’s Nathan Lawson, Chicago’s Ondrej Pavelec, Hamilton’s Marc Denis, Houston’s Nolan Schaefer, Iowa’s David LeNeveu, Lowell’s Jeff Frazee, Manchester’s Daniel Taylor, Manitoba’s Curtis Sanford, Milwaukee’s Drew MacIntyre, Norfolk’s Riku Helenius, Philadelphia’s Jean-Sebastien Aubin, Portland’s John DeCaro, Providence’s Tuukka Rask, Rochester’s Tyler Plante, Rockford’s Corey Crawford, San Antonio’s Josh Tordjman, Syracuse’s Sebastian Dahm and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s John Curry.