By Victor Fernandes Erie Times-News staff blogger
Staff writer Victor Fernandes has ice in his veins. Hockey – he plays it, coaches it and provides the region's best coverage of it.   Read more about this blog.
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Posts tagged ‘Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins’
Posted: August 21st, 2013

Erie native Ryan Zapolski, a Cathedral Prep alumnus and former standout goaltender for the Mercyhurst University men’s hockey team, will play for Raumann Lukko of Finland’s SM-liiga in the 2013-14 season. He signed with the club this past spring.
Zapolski, 26, turned a run to the ECHL’s most valuable player award with the South Carolina Stingrays a season ago into a chance to play overseas. He posted a 27-11-2 record and a league-best 1.64 goals-against average, .942 save percentage and eight shutouts on the way to being the second goaltender in the league’s 25-year history to earn top rookie, top goaltender and MVP honors in the same season. He set the ECHL record for goals-against average, tied the mark for shutouts and tied for the second-best save percentage in league history.
Spencer Carbery, Stingrays head coach and director of hockey operations, called it “one of the greatest years for a goaltender that I’ve ever seen with my own eyes.” Zapolski spent the past two seasons in the ECHL. He also had short stints in the American Hockey League with the Milwaukee Admirals and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins a season ago. He completed his four-year career as starter at Mercyhurst in 2011.

Posted: April 16th, 2013

Erie native Ryan Zapolski has signed a professional tryout agreement with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals, The Post and Courier of Charleston (S.C.) reported Monday.
Zapolski, 26, a Cathedral Prep and Mercyhurst University alumnus, earned the opportunity with the Nashville Predators’ AHL affiliate after completing a record-setting season with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays last week.
Zapolski was the second player in league history to capture top rookie, top goaltender and most valuable player honors in the same season, as well as the third goaltender to ever claim the MVP award. He also set the league record with a 1.64 goals-against average, tied the mark for shutouts (8) and tied for the second-best save percentage (.942). He led the league in all three categories this season and finished tied for second with 27 wins.
Zapolski had a week-long stint with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ affiliate, this past December. But he didn’t play in any games. He joins an Admirals club that includes former Erie Otters winger Michael Liambas. They are tied for ninth with the Chicago Wolves in the Western Conference, two points behind the Rockford IceHogs for the final playoff spot with four games left in the regular season. The Admirals play Chicago tonight.
In other Lakers’ news, fifth-year senior goaltender Max Strang signed an amateur tryout contract with the ECHL’s Reading Royals last Friday. Strang, who completed his Mercyhurst career last month, said he has replaced an injured goaltender on the Royals’ roster.