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Wild Goal-tender, Robert Nichols named Co-Rooking & Co-Goal-tender of the year at NAHL Banquet

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Wild Goal-tender, Robert Nichols named Co-Rooking & Co-Goal-tender of the year at NAHL Banquet

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May 8, 2012

(Frisco, TX) Wenatchee Wild goal-tender Robert Nichols (Dallas, Texas) received his greatest honors yet Sunday for his stellar 2011-12 season when he was named co-Rookie of the Year and co-Goal-tender of the Year at the NAHL Banquet of Champions.

Nichols shared both awards with Odessa goalie Connor Hellebuyck.

Committed to UConn for the 2013-14 season, Nichols was named to the NAHL All-Rookie 2nd Team and the All-Division West team last week. Nichols went 24-6-4 in 2011-12 and set new NAHL single-season records in goals-against (1.49) and shutouts (10). He also led the league with a save percentage of .938.

Nichols has been recognized for his achievements throughout the 2011-12 season. The NAHL named him goalie of the month in January and March. He went 4-2 with three shutouts in January with a goals-against average of 1.18 and a save percentage of .949. He went 5-1-1 in March with three shutouts, a goals-against average of 1.12 and a save percentage of .942.

Nichols was also honored as one of the NAHL’s three starts of the week on four occasions in 2011-12: March 12 (second star), Feb. 27 (third star), Jan. 17 (first star), Sept. 27 (third star).

Nichols recently allowed himself to reminisce about the past season. One of his favorite memories was when the Wild won five of six games during a 2-week road trip in Alaska early in the season, he said. Included in those wins were three straight shutouts, two of which were against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs.

Of course, Nichols won’t soon forget what transpired at the Town Toyota Center in his last regular-season start on March 30. Playing against a desperate Fresno Monsters squad that was in a must-win situation to secure a playoff spot, Nichols stopped 22-of-22 shots to finish the season with new NAHL single-season bests in goals-against average (1.49) and shutouts (10).

“That was really neat,” Nichols said. “It was obviously a pretty special night.”

The Banquet of Champions was held Sunday at the Frisco Convention Center in Frisco, Texas. Glen Gulutzan, head coach of the Dallas Stars, served as the banquet’s keynote speaker.

Other awards went to: Joe Kalisz (St. Louis, MVP & Forward of the Year), John Rey (Amarillo, Defenseman of the Year), Bill Warren (Port Huron, Coach of the Year), Rob Proffitt (Fairbanks, General Manager of the Year), Alex Globke (Port Huron, Academic Achievement Award), Brooks Behling (Amarillo, Community Service Award) and Jack Prince (Texas, Mark Messier Leadership Award). In addition, the Amarillo Bulls were named the 2011-12 Organization of the Year.

The Banquet of Champions is part of the 2012 Robertson Cup Championship Tournament, which is being held at the Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco, Texas. The tournament semifinals will be played today. St. Louis and Amarillo will square off in one semifinal contest while Texas and Fairbanks will battle in the other game. The winners of those contests will play in the championship game Tuesday.

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