The South Carolina Stingrays announced today that goaltender Ryan Zapolski has been named the CCM ECHL Most Valuable Player for 2012-13.
Zapolski joins Frederic Cloutier (Louisiana, 2001-02) as the only players in ECHL history to win Rookie of the Year, Goaltender of the Year and Most Valuable Player in the same season. He is the first rookie to win MVP honors since Cincinnati's David Desharnais in 2007-08, and joins Cloutier and Scott Stirling (Atlantic City, 2003-04) as the only goaltenders to be named ECHL Most Valuable Player.
The Erie, Pennsylvania, native led the ECHL this season with a 1.64 goals-against average, a .942 save percentage and eight shutouts, while finishing tied for second with 27 wins and fifth with 2,378 minutes played. He set a new ECHL single-season record for lowest goals-against average, while tying the mark for most shutouts in a season and tying the second best save percentage in league history. Zapolski also earned Most Valuable Player honors at the 2013 ECHL All-Star Game, stopping all 17 shots he faced in the second period of the ECHL All-Star 7-3 win against Colorado.
In 32 of his 38 appearances this season, Zapolski allowed two goals or less and was at his best down the stretch going 12-3-2 over his last 17 games with five shutouts, a 1.22 goals-against average and a save percentage of .960.
Zapolski is the second Stingray in team history to be named ECHL Most Valuable Player. Forward Mike Ross won the award following a 110-point season (50 goals, 60 assists) in 1996-97.
The CCM Most Valuable Player award is presented annually to the player selected to be the most valuable to his team as determined in a vote of ECHL coaches, broadcasters, media relations directors and media members.
Mathieu Roy of Florida finished second, followed by Gwinnett's Casey Pierro-Zabotel and Nick Mazzolini of Alaska, and Colton Yellow Horn of Ontario.
CCMECHL Most Valuable Player Award Winners
2012-13 Ryan Zapolski, South Carolina Stingrays
2011-12 Chad Costello, Colorado Eagles
2010-11 Wes Goldie, Alaska Aces
2009-10 Tyler Donati, Elmira Jackals
2008-09 Kevin Baker, Florida Everblades
2007-08 David Desharnais, Cincinnati Cyclones (Rookie)
2006-07 Brad Schell, Gwinnett Gladiators
2005-06 Jeff Campbell, Gwinnett Gladiators
2004-05 Scott Gomez, Alaska Aces
2003-04 Scott Stirling, Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies