Stingrays goalie Ryan Zapolski named ECHL MVP
There’s no more room left in Ryan Zapolski’s trophy case.
Zapolski, the South Carolina Stingrays’ rookie goalie, added yet another honor to his already overflowing trophy case on Friday when he was named the ECHL Most Valuable Player for 2012-13 season.
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 MVP 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 the league’s MVP.
Zapolski 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.
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 also earned MVP 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.
Zapolski is the second Stingray in franchise history to be named ECHL MVP. Forward Mike Ross won the award following a 110-point season (50 goals, 60 assists) in 1996-97.