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Jeff Deslauriers

Jeff Deslauriers' impressive showing with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the AHL continued this past week as he notched his first shutout of the season.

Deslauriers stopped all 17 shots he faced as the Baby Pens routed the Albany River Rats by a score of 6-0.

The game before last night's shutout victory was perhaps even more impressive although he allowed a pair of goals in a 3-2 shootout victory over Bridgeport on November 15.

In that game, Deslauriers stopped 24 of 26 shots including 16 saves in a second period that saw his Penguins squad outshot by a 17-2 margin.

“I certainly wasn’t proud of the way we played,” said Penguins head coach Todd Richards after the game. "I wasn’t proud of the effort. I wasn’t proud of the decisions. The only guy I was proud of was our goaltender (Deslauriers) because he was great. Without him, it’s a 5-0 game going into the third and the game’s over with. He made some spectacular saves."

Two of the saves he made were of the miraculous variety. He went from post-to-post to block a Jeff Tambellini one-timer and then somehow came back across to deny Kevin Mitchell of the rebound.

"We were undisciplined. That’s why they had a lot of opportunities," Deslauriers remarked. "But the D-men and the forwards were there for me. They blocked a lot of shots."

In the shootout, Erik Christensen and Rob Schremp scored to stake Deslauriers to a 2-0 lead in the showdown that would not be relinquished.

"For a goalie, that’s a big boost in a shootout," he said. "Then when you have a 2-0 lead, you know that the guys are counting on you to make the stop for the win."

Devan Dubnyk

With only one loss his in first eight games, Devan Dubnyk is off to a very good start this season for the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL.

But for the 2004 Oilers first-round pick, there was a game several weeks ago that stood out among all the others.

The game was being played on pink ice as the Thunder honoured breast cancer awareness. Dubnyk dedicated the game to his mother Barb, a survivor of breast cancer.

In fact, it was just the morning of that game where Barb told Devan she received a clean bill of health and was now cancer free for five years following surgery and treatment.

"It was the worst I ever felt in my life," Dubnyk told the Stockton Record about finding out his mom had cancer back when he was only 15. "I didn't know a lot about cancer. I believed people with cancer died. All I was thinking was 'I'm going to lose my mom,'"

Dubnyk gained inspiration seeing his mom continue to carry a positive attitude despite being debiliated by the chemotherapy treatments.

"I'll never forget how amazing she was when she was going through that process," he said. "Anyone who's been through it knows it's almost unbearable how sick they feel. She wouldn't let herself be sick in front of us. Two days, max, she'd be on the couch, then she'd be up fixing dinner and taking care of the house. She didn't want us taking care of her. She wanted to take care of us."

That night, the Thunder defeated Long Beach 3-2. Pink ice and all.

Glenn Fisher

In his senior season at the University of Denver, Glenn Fisher is putting up career numbers at just the right time.

With a 1.81 goals-against average and leading the WCHA with a .941 save percentage, Fisher has been nearly unbeatable this season at 5-2-0.

In his last four starts, he has a 3-1-0 record with a 0.75 GAA and .975 save percentage.

Named co-recipient of the Red Baron defensive player of the week by the WCHA yesterday, Fisher has notched a shutout in each of his last two games.

His most recent shutout was a 31-save effort as his Denver Pioneers blanked Michigan Tech 1-0 this past Friday.

"He's playing the best that I've ever seen him play. No question about it," said Denver coach George Gwozdecky. "He showed me again why he is top-notch. He is playing with confidence and poise and really making it difficult on the opposition. Especially in the second and third periods, he gave us a chance to win the game. We made a lot of mistakes in front of him and he was terrific."

"The last couple games the 'D' and the team as a whole has done a good job of letting me see the pucks," Fisher said. "The goalie always is in the zone when he can see the puck. They've been doing a good job on the rebounds and clearing it out whenever there is one. It has been a big team effort these last two weekends.

"Guys are sacrificing their bodies to get to shots and block the shots. It's tough for teams to get it on net right now, and if they are getting them on net I'm getting great vision."

Bryan Pitton

It's been a bit of an up-and-down season already for 2006 Oilers draft choice Bryan Pitton.

"Bryan Pitton got off to a great start. He's stumbled a little bit lately but Pete Peeters went down to work with him and we'll hopefully get him turned around," said Oilers Vice President of Hockey Operations Kevin Prendergast earlier this month.

Pitton's season started off well, winning each of his first three games and only two losses in his first eight but then things started to unravel a bit.

He came away without a victory in each of his next six starts before rebounding to win a couple of games in early November.

More recently, Pitton put in a solid performance this past week in wins over Mississauga (25 saves) and Peterborough (20 saves).

Overall, he has a record of 9-10-2 with a 3.73 goals-against average and .878 save percentage in 22 games played.

Noteworthy

Left winger Jean-Francois Jacques had a solid debut for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, notching an assist in his first game. He also won a fight with Albany's Mitch Love convincingly in the third period.
 
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