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 American Hockey League

Hershey's Shepard, Stevenson Win AHL's Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award for 2023-24

April 20, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL) News Release

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. ... The American Hockey League announced today that Hunter Shepard and Clay Stevenson of the Hershey Bears are the recipients of the Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award for the 2023-24 season. Since 1972, the award has been presented to the goaltender(s) on the team which allows the fewest goals per game in the regular season.

To qualify for the award, a goaltender must have appeared in at least 25 of his team's games.

The Bears, who won the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the AHL's regular-season champions with a record of 53-14-0-5 (111 points), allowed a league-low 151 goals in 2023-24, an average of 2.10 per game. This is the second time in the last four years that Hershey's goaltenders have captured the Holmes Award.

A First Team AHL All-Star, Shepard went 27-4-3 in 34 appearances and led the league with a 1.76 goals-against average - the fifth-lowest mark in AHL history - and a .929 save percentage while recording five shutouts. Stevenson, in his first full AHL campaign, went 24-10-2 with a 2.06 GAA and a .922 save percentage and tied an 85-year-old franchise record with seven shutouts.

Shepard and Stevenson will be the fifth pair of teammates to finish a season 1-2 in the league in goals-against average, following Boston's Ross Brooks and Dan Bouchard in 1971-72; Nova Scotia's Dave Elenbaas and Ed Walsh in 1976-77; Sherbrooke's J.C. Bergeron and Andre Racicot in 1989-90; and Hartford's Steve Valiquette and Jason LaBarbera in 2003-04.

The Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award, which was first awarded in 1948 to the goaltender with the best goals-against average in the AHL, is named for Hockey Hall of Famer Harry "Hap" Holmes, a prominent figure in early professional hockey and an outstanding goaltender of his time. Previous winners or co-winners of the award include Gil Mayer (1951, '53, '54, '55, '56), Johnny Bower (1957, '58), Marcel Paille (1961, '62), Gerry Cheevers (1965), Gilles Villemure (1969, '70), Pete Peeters (1979), Pelle Lindbergh (1981), Clint Malarchuk (1983), Vincent Riendeau (1987, '88), Corey Hirsch (1993), Olaf Kolzig (1994), Byron Dafoe (1994), Mike Dunham (1995), Manny Legace (1996), Jean-Sebastien Giguere (1998), Martin Biron (1999), Jason LaBarbera (2005, '07), Cory Schneider (2009), Matt Murray (2015), Tristan Jarry (2017), Casey DeSmith (2017), Garret Sparks (2018), Calvin Pickard (2018), Troy Grosenick (2020), Connor Ingram (2020), Pheonix Copley (2021), Zach Fucale (2021), Alex Lyon (2022) and Dustin Wolf (2023).

In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 32 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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