It was quite a past couple of days for former North American Hockey League (NAHL) and Texas Tornado goaltenders Ben Bishop and Dan Sullivan, as both received some prestigous honors in their respective leagues the past few days.
Ben Bishop, who plays for the Peoria Rivermen in the American Hockey League, may have been a late addition to the 2012 AHL all-star game, but he had no problem showing he belonged with the league's best. Bishop stopped all four skaters he faced in the shootout Monday and was named the game's most valuable player as the Western Conference came back to beat the Eastern Conference 8-7.
The 6'7 former Texas Tornado and current Peoria Rivermen goaltender was a late addition to the all-star game last week after Lake Erie goaltender Cedrick Desjardins suffered an injury. But he was easily a match for some of the league's most dangerous snipers.
In the shootout, Bishop denied Syracuse's Kyle Palmieri and Norfolk's Cory Conacher, who share the league lead with 25 goals each. He also stopped Hershey's Keith Aucoin, who with Binghamton's Corey Locke has now played in a record six AHL all-star games, and Colin McDonald of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Bishop played for the Tornado during the 2004-05 season, in which he led the team to the second of their three straight Robertson Cup National Championships. In that season, he led the NAHL win wins (35), was second in goals against average (1.93) and was third in save percentage (92.0%).
Another Tornado alumni, University of Maine sophomore goaltender Dan Sullivan, (York, Pa.) was named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. In addition, Maine was named Hockey East Team of the Week after its sweep of #2 Boston University at Agganis Arena in Boston. It is the second week in a row that Maine has won Team of the Week honors.
Sullivan went 2-0-0 on the weekend with a 1.50 goals against average and a .957 save percentage. He made 28 saves on Friday night in Maine's 4-2 win over the Terriers. On Saturday, he stopped a career-high 38 shots as the Black Bears defeated Boston University 3-1. Many of his saves on the week were spectacular and game-saving stops.
Sullivan is 13-5-3 on the season with a 2.84 gaols against average and a .903 save percentage. He has been a key part of Maine's success as the Black Bears have won 11 of their last 15 games.
Sullivan played in the NAHL for the Texas Tornado during the 2009-10 season, a season in which he was also selected to play at the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament. He led the league in minutes played, games played, shots faced, saves and managed to rank in the Top 10 in both save percentage and wins for a Tornado team that finished three games under .500.