The South Carolina Stingrays, celebrating 20 seasons of hockey in the Lowcountry and proud ECHL affiliate of the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League (NHL), announced today that goaltender Ryan Zapolski has been loaned to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League (AHL).
In a corresponding move, the team has signed goaltender Jeff Jakaitis. In keeping with club policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Jakaitis, 29, was named the ECHL Goaltender of the Year last season after going 17-6-2, finishing second in the ECHL with a 2.03 goals-against average and leading the league with a .930 save percentage in 26 appearances with the Gwinnett Gladiators. The Rochester, Minnesota, native also led the ECHL with five shutouts and tied a league record with three consecutive shutouts from December 17-28, all against the Stingrays. Currently in his sixth professional season, Jakaitis saw American Hockey League action with the Portland Pirates and Worcester Sharks appearing in 10 total games from 2008-11. Prior to turning pro, he skated three seasons at Lake Superior State University.
Zapolski, 26, leads the ECHL with a 1.57 goals-against average and a .945 save percentage in 14 appearances this season and stands fourth among league goaltenders with 10 wins. Since joining the Stingrays on November 9, the Erie, Pennsylvania, native is 8-4-0 with a 1.49 GAA, .948 save percentage and is 6-0-0 in his last six appearances. The reigning ECHL Goaltender of the Week (November 26-December 2), Zapolski started the 2012-13 season with the Gwinnet Gladiators earning a 2-0-0 record, a 2.00 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.
Prior to turning pro, Zapolski skated four seasons at Mercyhurst College dressing in 109 games going 48-43-11 with eight shutouts, a 2.77 goals-against average and a save percentage of .920.