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AHL names award winners for February

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Hershey Bears left wing Chris Conner, Hamilton Bulldogs left wing Daniel Carr and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins goaltender Matt Murray have been selected as the CCM/AHL award winners for February.

Conner, the CCM/AHL Player of the Month, recorded six goals – including three game-winners – and eight assists for 14 points along with a plus-9 rating in 12 games, helping the Bears move into first place in the overall league standings with a 10-1-1-0 record in February. 

Conner put together an eight-game scoring streak during the month, beginning with a two-goal effort in a 3-2 win at Binghamton on Feb. 6. He had a goal and an assist in Hershey’s 4-3 overtime victory over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Feb. 7, and assisted on the winning goal in a 1-0 decision at Albany on Feb. 13. Conner’s shorthanded goal on Feb. 21 at Bridgeport was the difference in a 4-3 Bears win, and he closed out the month with a goal and two assists as Hershey defeated Albany, 4-2, on Feb. 28. 

A ninth-year pro, Conner has registered 16 goals and 24 assists for 40 points in 42 games with Hershey in 2014-15. The native of Westland, Mich., has totaled 123 goals and 195 assists for 318 points in 394 career AHL contests since turning pro in 2006, and has added 22 goals and 28 assists in 178 games in the National Hockey League with Dallas, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Phoenix. Conner signed as a free agent with Washington on July 1, 2014. 

In recognition of his achievement, Conner will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Bears home game.

Also see: Past winners, AHL Player of the Month


Daniel Carr
Carr, the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month, scored a league-leading 10 goals while totaling 12 points in 11 games, and his plus-12 rating for the month was tied for the highest among all AHL skaters in February. 

Carr began the month with back-to-back two-goal games, scoring twice on Feb. 6 vs. Iowa and Feb. 7 at Lake Erie. He opened the scoring in Hamilton’s 7-5 win over Utica on Feb. 16, and had two more goals as the Bulldogs blanked Charlotte, 4-0, on Feb. 27. Carr, who had nine goals in 45 games entering February, finished the month with a goal and an assist vs. Charlotte on Feb. 28. All 10 of Carr’s goals during the month came at even strength, and four times he netted the first goal of the game. 

Signed as a free agent by Montreal last April, Carr has recorded 19 goals and 12 assists for 31 points in 57 games with Hamilton this season, leading the team in both goals and plus/minus rating (+16) and sharing the goal-scoring lead among all AHL rookies. The 23-year-old native of Sherwood Park, Alta., played four seasons at Union College, winning a national championship as a senior in 2013-14 and graduating as the school’s all-time leading Division I scorer with 157 points. 

In recognition of his achievement, Carr will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Bulldogs home game. 

Also see: Past winners, AHL Rookie of the Month

 

Matt MurrayMurray, the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month, allowed only one goal on 110 shots during February, posting a 0.25 goals-against average, a .991 save percentage and three shutouts. 

Murray drew the start vs. Springfield on Feb. 3 and stopped all 28 Falcons shots to backstop the Penguins to a 4-0 victory. In his next outing at Bridgeport on Feb. 8, Murray denied 36 of 37 chances, allowing only a 5-on-3 power-play goal late in the third period as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton won, 3-1. On Feb. 13 vs. Portland, Murray made 23 saves in a 3-0 Penguins victory, and he was perfect again in a 2-0 win over Providence on Feb. 21, stopping all 22 shots he faced. 

After beginning March with a third consecutive shutout – his fifth in his last seven starts – Murray now owns a record of 16-8-2 in 28 appearances for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, leading the AHL in goals-against average (1.65), save percentage (.936) and shutouts (eight). A third-round draft pick by Pittsburgh in 2012, the 20-year-old rookie from Thunder Bay, Ont., played four junior seasons at Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) before making his professional debut with Wilkes-Barre at the end of the 2013-14 campaign. 

In recognition of his achievement, Murray will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Penguins home game. 

Also see: Past winners, AHL Goaltender of the Month