PRINCETON, N.J. – Bakersfield Condors goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji is the CCM Vector ECHL Rookie of the Month for January.
Selected in the eighth round (238th overall) and under contract to Manchester of the American Hockey League, Fukufuji started nine games in January and posted a 7-1-1 record with a goals-against average of 2.06 and a save percentage of .931. He won seven consecutive games for the Condors, who were 10-2-2 in January, and he has not lost in regulation since January 1.
The 22-year-old Fukufuji began the winning streak with back-to-back one-goal games, stopping 26 shots in a 3-2 overtime win at San Diego on January 2 and 35 shots in a 4-3 win at Trenton on January 5. The 6-1 and 190-pound goaltender posted road wins at Johnstown and Atlantic City before returning home to beat Las Vegas and then winning on the road at Idaho. He made 20 saves for his first professional shutout, a 2-0 win against Fresno on January 24, and ended the month making 39 saves in a 3-2 overtime loss to Long Beach.
Fukufuji is 16-5-3 with a goals-against average of 2.49 and a save percentage of .918 in 25 games for Bakersfield. He is fifth in the league in wins and tied for 15th in goals-against average.