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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Kapalka named to 2011 CCHA All-Rookie Team

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – Lake Superior State freshman goaltender Kevin Kapalka was unanimously named to the Central Collegiate Hockey Association’s 2011 All-Rookie Team.

Kapalka, from Mississauga, Ont., took over as LSSU’s number one goaltender after senior goalie Brian Mahoney-Wilson suffered a season-ending injury in November. He made his collegiate debut against Michigan Tech during the season-opening Superior Cup and suffered a 6-2 loss. He recorded his first victory as a Laker by stopping 26 of 30 shots at home against Colgate. Kapalka played to a 2-2 tie at Miami on Oct. 30, which led to his first collegiate shootout. He lost that shootout 3-2 in five rounds, but went on to finish 5-3 in shootouts for the season.

Two CCHA Goaltender of the Week awards and one CCHA Rookie of the Week honor are part of Kapalka’s impressive first-year resume. His first honor was the result of 1-0 and 4-0 victories over Ferris State Nov. 11-12. His second honor came from back-to-back shootout victories over Bowling Green State Dec. 3-4. He was named rookie of the week Feb. 7 after the Lakers swept Northern Michigan on the road, 4-1 and 2-0.

Kapalka is seventh nationally and second in the CCHA in overall save percentage (.926). He is 15th nationally in goals-against average (2.25). When playing CCHA competition, he is ranked third in save percentage (.928) and sixth in goals-against average (2.16).

Michigan State’s Will Yanakeff is ranked first among freshman on the national save percentage list, while Kapalka is second. Yanakeff played in 12 games compared to Kapalka’s 29. Kapalka is third among freshmen on the nation’s goals-against list and first in shutouts with four.

Kapalka totaled career high of 48 saves to lead LSSU to a 4-0 victory over Ohio State during Friday’s opening game of the CCHA First-Round Playoffs. He stopped 76-of-78 shots for the weekend as the Lakers swept the first round series for the first time since 1996.

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