Prospect Aittokallio Named AHL Player of the Week
Goaltender Sami Aittokallio had back-to-back shutouts for the Lake Erie Monsters
The American Hockey League announced Monday that Lake Erie Monsters goaltender and Colorado Avalanche prospect Sami Aittokallio has been named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Mar. 23, 2014.
Aittokallio backstopped the Monsters to consecutive shutout wins as he stopped all 48 shots he faced over two starts last week.
On Friday night, Aittokallio made 25 saves as Lake Erie earned a 5-0 win over Rochester. In Sunday’s rematch with the Americans, he turned aside 23 shots in a 3-0 Monsters victory, extending his personal shutout streak to 172 minutes, 54 seconds.
Aittokallio is the first Monsters goalie to post back-to-back shutouts since Jason Bacashihua accomplished the feat Feb. 25-27, 2009 against Syracuse and Toronto.
It was the 21-year-old's first game since Feb. 21 against Iowa, a 2-1 shootout loss, as he suffered an injury soon after during practice. He is now 3-0-1 in his last four games.
"I guess well rested. I had a good week on the ice," Aittokallio said after Sunday's game. "It was good that they gave me some time (after the injury), and I didn't have to play right after. Right back to where I was before."
A 2010 fourth-round draft choice by Colorado (107th overall), Aittokallio owns a record of 12-11-2 with a 2.48 goals-against average, a .915 save percentage and four shutouts in 28 games for Lake Erie this season.
He has made one appearance with the Avalanche this year, as he made 15 saves in two periods of work at Tampa Bay on Jan. 25. Aittokallio, a native of Tampere, Finland, is in his second season of play in North America after skating for Ilves in the Finnish SM-liiga.
In recognition of his achievement, Aittokallio will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Monsters home game.