Hershey’s Shepard and Stevenson win AHL’s Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award for 2023-2024

American hockey league

April 20, 2024 – News release from the American Hockey League (AHL).

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League today announced that Hunter Shepard and Clay Stevenson of the Hershey Bears have received the Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award for the 2023-2024 season. Since 1972, the award has been presented to the goaltender(s) of the team that allows the fewest goals per game in the regular season.

To be eligible for the award, a goalkeeper must have appeared in at least 25 of his team’s matches.

The Bears, who won the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as AHL regular-season champions with a 53-14-0-5 record (111 points), allowed 151 goals in 2023-24, an average of 2.10 per contest. . This is the second time in the past four years that Hershey goaltenders have won the Holmes Award.

A first-team AHL All-Star, Shepard went 27-4-3 in 34 appearances and led the league with a 1.76 goals-against average – the fifth-lowest mark in AHL history – and a save percentage of .929, while recording five shutouts. Stevenson, in his first full AHL campaign, went 24-10-2 with a 2.06 GAA and a .922 save percentage and tied an 85-year-old franchise record with seven shutouts.

Shepard and Stevenson will be the fifth pair of teammates to finish a season 1-2 in league play with goals-against average, following Boston’s Ross Brooks and Dan Bouchard in 1971-72; Dave Elenbaas and Ed Walsh from Nova Scotia in 1976-77; J.C. Bergeron and Andre Racicot of Sherbrooke in 1989-90; and Hartford’s Steve Valiquette and Jason LaBarbera in 2003-2004.

The Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award, first presented in 1948 to the goaltender with the best goals-against average in the AHL, is named after Hockey Hall of Famer Harry “Hap” Holmes, a prominent figure in the early professional hockey and an outstanding goaltender of his era. Previous winners or co-winners of the award include Gil Mayer (1951, ’53, ’54, ’55, ’56), Johnny Bower (1957, ’58), Marcel Paille (1961, ’62), Gerry Cheevers (1965 ), Gilles Villemure (1969, ’70), Pete Peeters (1979), Pelle Lindbergh (1981), Clint Malarchuk (1983), Vincent Riendeau (1987, ’88), Corey Hirsch (1993), Olaf Kolzig (1994), Byron Dafoe (1994), Mike Dunham (1995), Manny Legace (1996), Jean-Sebastien Giguere (1998), Martin Biron (1999), Jason LaBarbera (2005, ’07), Cory Schneider (2009), Matt Murray ( 2015), Tristan Jarry (2017), Casey DeSmith (2017), Garret Sparks (2018), Calvin Pickard (2018), Troy Grosenick (2020), Connor Ingram (2020), Pheonix Copley (2021), Zach Fucale (2021) , Alex Lyon (2022) and Dustin Wolf (2023).

The American Hockey League, in operation since 1936, remains the top developmental league for all 32 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and over the years the American Hockey League has had more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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