On Monday Hershey Bears’ goaltender Vitek Vanecek was named the AHL player of the week. Vanecek went 2-0-1 with a .949 save percentage and a 1.67 goals-against-average. The 22-year-old Czech also posted his first shutout of the season against the Charlotte Checkers on Saturday.
— AHL (@TheAHL) October 22, 2018
The Bears needed Vanecek to step up after star prospect Ilya Samsonov went down with a lower-body injury. Samsonov is out day-to-day, and the Bears will continue to monitor his progress.
Vanecek made a couple of great saves, including a dandy on a one-timer in his 25-save shutout against the Checkers.
Bears’ head coach Spencer Carbery mentioned no set plan for who would start between Vanecek and Samsonov. The Bears will have a tough choice to make if Vanecek continues his stellar play.
Vanecek will likely get the nod against the Penguins if Samsonov remains out in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday.
More from the Bears:
The American Hockey League announced today that Hershey Bears goaltender Vitek Vanecek has been selected as the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Oct. 21. In recognition of being named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week, Vanecek will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Bears home game.
The Hershey netminder had a strong past week for the Chocolate and White, starting all three games, and posting a 2-0-1 record. He collected a 1.62 goals against average and a .949 save percentage on the week, stopping 94 of 99 shots in three road starts.
Vanecek played a large role in Hershey’s first win of the season, backstopping the Bears to a 3-2 win in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Wednesday. Vanecek made a career-high 40 saves, and helped Hershey snap an eight-game losing streak versus the rival Penguins. Vanecek followed the performance up with 29 saves in a 4-3 shootout loss in Charlotte on Friday. The next night, he made 25 saves to earn Hershey a 2-0 victory over the Checkers. The shutout was the eighth in Vanecek’s AHL career, and helped Hershey hand Charlotte it’s first loss of the season.
This is the second AHL honor of Vanecek’s career. He was previously named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Dec. 18, 2016. The native of Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic, has played 77 career AHL games with Hershey and is 33-25-10 with a 2.71 goals against average and a .902 save percentage. He was a second round selection of the Washington Capitals in the 2014 NHL Draft.
Headline photo: Hershey Bears
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