- Created: February 2, 2014 - 10:46 am
- Written by Paul Branecky
In his first AHL games played since the 2005-06 season, Ward, the Hurricanes’ No. 1 goalie for the past seven seasons, went 1-1-0 with a 2.02 goals-against average and .937 save percentage. He began his Checkers tenure by making 35 saves in Friday’s 1-0 loss to the Lake Erie Monsters and then stopped 24 of 27 shots to pick up the 5-3 win in Saturday’s rematch.
Ward became the ninth goalie to play a game for the Checkers this season, marking the highest total in the AHL and extending a franchise record that the team set by using a paltry five last season. He rejoins fellow netminders Anton Khudobin and Justin Peters, who have also played for the Checkers this season, as part of Carolina’s three-headed tandem.
A veteran of 450 NHL games, Ward is the Hurricanes’ all-time leader in most goaltending statistics, including games played, wins (220) and shutouts (21). Injuries have limited him to 19 NHL games this season, with his Checkers stint marking his first action since Dec. 31.
The Checkers, winners of eight of their last 10 games, continue their four-game road trip with games in Abbotsford this Tuesday and Wednesday. Mike Murphy and John M use, who took turns backing up Ward in Lake Erie, are available for those games.