(Rochester, NY)... The Rochester Americans announced today that former goaltender Darcy Wakaluk and defenseman Rick Pagnutti will be inducted into the Amerks Hall of Fame on Friday, Mar. 30 prior to the game against the Toronto Marlies at 7:35 p.m. at The Blue Cross Arena. Wakaluk and Pagnutti will become the 51st and 52nd members of the exclusive club as selected by the Rochester Americans Hall of Fame Selection Committee.
The induction ceremony will take place prior to the game while the appearances by Wakaluk and Pagnutti will also be the fifth and final installment of this season's Seneca Casinos Legends Night series. More details on the evening's festivities will be announced at a later date.
Wakaluk, a native of Pincher Creek, Alberta, is just the fourth goaltender to be inducted into the Amerks Hall of Fame in the 56-year history of the franchise, joining Bobby Perreault, Gerry Cheevers and Jacques Cloutier.
In parts of five seasons with the Amerks from 1986-87 to 1990-91, Wakaluk appeared in 181 games while posting a record of 81-57-13 with a 3.36 goals-against average, a .884 save percentage and seven shutouts. His 81 wins rank fifth all-time in franchise history.
In 36 playoff games, Wakaluk finished with an outstanding 21-12 record for the Amerks to go along with a 3.40 goals-against average and a .875 save percentage. During the team's run to the Calder Cup championship in 1987, Wakaluk won both games in which he started while appearing in five games. In 1990, he went 10-6 while helping the Amerks come within two wins of another Calder Cup before falling in the Finals to Springfield. The following spring, Wakaluk went 6-3 in the postseason as the Amerks once again advanced to the Calder Cup Finals before losing to Springfield.
In 1989-90, Wakaluk posted a record of 31-16-4 to set a career-high for wins while also ranking fifth in the AHL with a 3.35 goals-against average. The following season, he shared the Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award, given annually to the AHL's outstanding goaltenders, with teammate David Littman as Wakaluk ranked second among AHL netminders with a 2.99 goals against average.
Aside from his stellar record between the pipes for the Amerks, Wakaluk even contributed offensively and is perhaps best remembered for becoming the first goaltender in North American professional hockey to score a goal by shooting the puck into the net during a game against the Utica Devils on Dec. 5, 1987. Just three days later, Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ron Hextall repeated the feat, becoming the first National Hockey League netminder to score a goal. Wakaluk owns the Amerks franchise record for most career points by a goalie with one goal and 16 assists.
Pagnutti, a native of Sudbury, Ontario, and the No. 1 overall pick in the 1967 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings, spent four seasons with the Amerks from 1972-73 to 1975-76 and appeared in 278 games.
When he left Rochester after the 1975-76 campaign, he was the franchise's all-time highest scoring defenseman with 194 points on 45 goals and 149 assists. Since then, only one Amerks defenseman - Don McSween - has scored more career points in a Rochester uniform than Pagnutti, who notched more than 50 points in three of his four seasons.
Upon arriving in Rochester in 1972, Pagnutti set what would be career-highs in goals (18) and points (55) to rank third on the team in scoring and was named an AHL Second Team All-Star. The following season, he registered 54 points (11+43) and ranked fifth on the team in scoring and third in assists. In 1974-75, he was once again named a Second Team AHL All-Star after collecting 12 goals and 40 assists in 74 games. He also added eight points (3+5) in 12 postseason contests that season.
Just the 12th defenseman to be inducted into the Amerks Hall of Fame, Pagnutti is also one of only seven Rochester blue-liners to be named to multiple AHL All-Star teams. In addition, his 18 goals during the 1972-73 season remains the highest single-season total by a defenseman in franchise history.