Rookie netminder earns second league honor
The Cincinnati Cyclones, in conjunction with the ECHL, announced goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was named the Warrior Hockey/ECHL Goaltender of the Month for November. The rookie sensation posted a record of 6-2-1-0 along with a 1.88 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage.
Hailing from Espoo, Finland, Luukkonen allowed more than two goals on just three occasions, and stopped 22 or more shots in seven of his nine contests. His month was highlighted by back-to-back shutouts on Nov. 14 and 16, stopping all 22 shots he faced in a 1-0 win over the Allen Americans, before steering aside all 23 shots he faced in a 5-0 win over the Ft. Wayne Komets two nights later. He was named the Warrior Hockey/ECHL Goaltender of the Week for his efforts.
Drafted by the Buffalo Sabres (Cincinnati's National Hockey League affiliate) in the second round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Luukkonen ranks third in the ECHL in GAA and is fifth in save percentage.
Luukkonen is coming off a successful season with the Sudbury Wolves in the Ontario Hockey League, where he posted a record of 38-11-2, along with a 2.50 GAA and a .920 save percentage. He was named OHL Goaltender of the Year for his efforts, and he also earned the Red Tilson Trophy, which is given to the Most Outstanding Player in the OHL. He is the first European import player to earn that award.
Luukkonen made his North American debut late last season, stopping 32 shots in a 4-2 win over the Belleville Senators on April 14. He has also seen time on the international stage with the Finnish National Team, earning a gold medal in both the 2019 Under-20 World Junior Championships and 2017 Under-18 World Junior Championships. He helped backstop the Finnish squad to a silver medal in the 2017 U18 WJC. Luukkonen has also suited up on the Finnish club level for the HPK program from 2014-18, winning a Jr. A SM-liiga Championship in 2017.