TORONTO, Thursday, January 14, 2010 – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Nicola Riopel of the Moncton Wildcats is the CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending January 10. Riopel won three games including a shutout victory posting a goals-against-average of 1.67 and save percentage of .928.
Riopel’s best performance of the week was played Sunday when he recorded his first shutout of the season making 25 saves as third star of a 3-0 win over the Halifax Mooseheads. He was tested earlier on in the week against some tough competition last Wednesday night when he made 26 saves to beat the QMJHL’s top ranked team the Saint John Sea Dogs by a score of 5-3. On Saturday night he made 13 saves in a 6-2 win over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
Riopel, a 20-year-old from St-Pie-De-Bagot, QC, is playing in fourth full QMJHL season with the Wildcats. A fifth round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Riopel has a 6-1-0-0 record since his recent return to Moncton. Last season he won this award an impressive three times and was also named the QMJHL’s Most Valuable Player.
Also considered for the award this week was Todd Mathews of the WHL’s Kootenay Ice and Brandon Maxwell of the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers. Mathews was impressive this week earning three victories including two big wins over the Calgary Hitmen and Saskatoon Blades posting a goals-against-average of 1.00 and save percentage of .962. Maxwell won both of his games between the pipes with a goals-against-average of 2.00 and a save percentage of .947.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)