Michael Leighton wins CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month Award
Rockford, Ill. - The American Hockey League announced on Tuesday that Rockford IceHogs netminder Michael Leighton has been named the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month for January.
The recognition puts a bow on what has been a thoroughly dominant month for the 33-year-old, who is in his first season with the IceHogs. In seven appearances in January, Leighton went undefeated in regulation with a 4-0-2 record, while posting a sterling .969 save percentage and 1.05 goals against average, along with two shutouts.
The Petrolia, Ontario native was stellar even in defeat, as one of his overtime losses came when Rockford fell 1-0 to the Milwaukee Admirals on Jan. 9. The 34-save performance helped Leighton set the longest shutout streak in IceHogs franchise history, which ended at 187:29.
Overall this season, Leighton owns a 12-7-4 record in 25 appearances with Rockford. He ranks among the AHL’s top goalkeepers with his 2.01 goals against average (T-4th),.931 save percentage (T-2nd) and four shutouts (T-2nd).
Leighton’s success this season has added to a decorated career that is rewriting the AHL history books. The four shutouts this year has pushed Leighton’s AHL career total to 40, one shy of matching Gil Mayer (1949-63) for second-most in league history. The 13-year veteran is six shutouts away from surpassing the 57-year-old high mark of 45 career AHL shutouts set by legend Johnny Bower (1945-58).
The AHL Goaltender of the Month nod is the second of Leighton’s career and the first ever in Rockford franchise history. It is the first monthly honor won by an IceHogs player since Jeremy Morin was named CCM/AHL Player of the Month in February 2014. Martin St. Pierre also won Player of the Month in November of 2007.
Leighton previously won the AHL Goalie of the Month Award in October of 2001, during his rookie season with the Norfolk Admirals.
Next Home Game: Saturday Feb. 7 vs. Milwaukee Admirals. Puck drops at 7 p.m. The IceHogs pay homage to their all-time leading goal scorer when they return to the BMO for Jeremy Morin Bobblehead Night against the Admirals. The first 2,500 fans will receive a bobblehead of the former IceHog, courtesy of Dental Dimensions.