SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The American Hockey League announced that former Cincinnati Cyclones and current Milwaukee Admirals goaltender Mark Dekanich has been named the Reebok/AHL Goaltender of the Month for February.
He was also named the Reebok Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the Week for the week of Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2009.
The Cyclones are the ECHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens and the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League and Hamilton and Milwaukee of the American Hockey League. Former ECHL coach Peter Horachek is an assistant coach with the Predators.
The 23 year old went 5-1-0 with two shutouts, a 1.07 goals-against average and a .959 save percentage in six appearances during the month. Dekanich is 20-11-3 with three shutouts, a goals-against average of 2.40 and a save percentage of .910 this season in 35 games with Milwaukee.
The North Vancouver, British Columbia native appeared in two games with Cincinnati this season and allowed only one goal in back-to-back wins against Florida. He posted a 2-1 shootout win against the Everblades on Dec. 4 in his ECHL debut and registered a 27-save shutout in a 3-0 win on Dec. 5.
During his first professional season in 2008-09, Dekanich had a record of 15-10-2 with a shutout, a goals-against average of 2.09 and a save percentage of .923 in 30 games with Milwaukee.
Other current and former ECHL players nominated for the award were Richard Bachman, Kevin Lalande, Drew MacIntyre, Mike McKenna, Justin Peters, Justin Pogge, Curtis Sanford, David Shantz, Brad Thiessen, Tyler Weiman and Matt Zaba.
The ECHL has had affiliations with 20 or more teams in the AHL the last eight years and in the past seven seasons there have been more ECHL players called up to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined.
Seven times in the last nine years the winner of the AHL Coach of the Year award has been a former ECHL coach including 2006-08 with Scott Gordon, Mike Haviland and Kevin Dineen. Former ECHL coaches won the award four consecutive years from 2001-04 with Don Granato, Bruce Cassidy, Geoff Ward and Claude Noel. The first former ECHL coach to win the award was Peter Laviolette in 1999.
The ECHL has been represented on the last 20 AHL champions including 2009 when 15 of the 26 players who played for Hershey played in the Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League. It is the most former ECHL players on an AHL champion surpassing the 14 players for Chicago in 2008. There have been 41 former ECHL players on the last three AHL winners and 59 former ECHL players on the last five champions. The head coach of the Bears, who won their league-record 10th title, was former ECHL player and coach Bob Woods, who is now an assistant coach with the Washington Capitals of the NHL, and the assistant coach was former ECHL assistant Mark French, who is now the head coach of Hershey.