Syracuse Crunch goalie Kristers Gudlevskis named AHL player of the week

The goalie stopped 73 of 75 shots in three games this past week.

Things are going pretty well for Kristers Gudlevskis. This is very good news for the Syracuse Crunch, because when things go well for their goalies, things usually also go well for the team as a whole. This past week was no exception.

Syracuse saw its best performance in over a month last week, winning two out of its three games and netting five points out of a possible six. Gudlevskis was a very large part of that. The goalie was steady as a rock in net while facing down two teams near the top of their respective divisions. He allowed just two regulation goals during the span of those three games, facing 75 shots and making 73 saves.

His performance was good enough to attract the league's attention. Gudlevskis has been named the AHL Player of the Week. From the AHL's official release:

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. ... The American Hockey League announced today that Syracuse Crunch goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis has been selected as the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Jan. 12, 2014.

During a week that began with his selection to represent his native Latvia at next month’s Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Gudlevskis stopped 73 of 75 shots and posted back-to-back shutouts (2-0-1, 0.65, .973) for the Crunch.

On Wednesday night, Gudlevskis made 24 saves as visiting Syracuse defeated Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 4-2. Gudlevskis then got the start in both ends of a home-and-home set with Providence and shut out the Bruins for 125 minutes, stopping 22 shots in a 1-0 shootout loss on the road Friday and making 27 saves to preserve a 1-0 win back home on Saturday.

The 21-year-old Gudlevskis is in his first pro season after being selected by Tampa Bay in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. In 16 appearances with Syracuse, Gudlevskis is 9-5-2 with a 2.37 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage, and is tied for the AHL lead with four shutouts.

In recognition of his achievement, Gudlevskis will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Crunch home game.

This is the second time this season Syracuse has had an AHL Player of the Week. Nikita Kucherov was awarded the honor for the week ending 11/3/2013.

If Gudlevskis continues on this course, he might have a chance for the AHL's Goaltender of the Month award. Gudlevskis has started every game the Crunch has played in January so far. He has helped net a point for his team in every one of those games. His record for January is currently 3-0-1-1.

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