SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Lake Erie Monsters left wing Andrew Agozzino, Manchester Monarchs left wing Michael Mersch and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins goaltender Matt Murray have been selected as the CCM/AHL award winners for March.
Agozzino, the CCM/AHL Player of the Month, recorded eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points in 13 games during the month, including a 12-game scoring streak that established a new franchise record.
Agozzino had a goal and two assists in Lake Erie’s 4-3 overtime win over Chicago on Mar. 6, his first of six multiple-point games on the month, and his goal on Mar. 8 was the only offense in a 1-0 victory to sweep the two-game set with the Wolves. Agozzino recorded a pair of assists to help the Monsters past San Antonio, 4-0, on Mar. 13, and he registered his first career hat trick as part of a four-point performance as Lake Erie defeated Charlotte, 5-1, on Mar. 29. Agozzino closed out the month by scoring in regulation and then assisting on the overtime winner in a 2-1 victory over Milwaukee on Mar. 31.
Sparked by Agozzino’s offense, Lake Erie went 7-4-1-1 in March and closed to within three points of eighth place in the Western Conference.
A third-year pro, Agozzino has scored a career-high 23 goals and added 29 assists for 52 points in 65 games with Lake Erie this season. He also made his NHL debut earlier this season, earning an assist in his only appearance with Colorado on Nov. 22. Agozzino, an AHL All-Star as a rookie in 2013, has totaled 60 goals and 93 assists for 153 points in 218 career AHL games and is the Monsters franchise career leader in all three offensive categories. The 24-year-old native of Kleinburg, Ont., was originally signed as a free agent by the Avalanche on Mar. 22, 2013.
In recognition of his achievement, Agozzino will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Monsters home game.
Also see: Past winners, AHL Player of the Month
Mersch, the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month, tallied six goals and eight assists for 14 points and registered a plus-8 rating in 13 games as Manchester moved into the top spot in the overall league standings.
Mersch, who had two multiple-point games all season entering March, accomplished it three times during the month, beginning with a three-assist performance in Manchester’s 5-3 win over Hartford on Mar. 8. He had two assists in a 5-4 overtime loss at St. John’s on Mar. 13, and snapped an 11-game drought with a goal to help the Monarchs rally past Providence, 5-2, on Mar. 20. Mersch set up the game-winning goal in a 2-1 overtime victory vs. St. John’s on Mar. 21 before tying an AHL season-high with five points – including the first hat trick of his pro career – in a 6-3 win at Hershey on Mar. 27. Mersch finished the month with five goals and seven points in his last three games after scoring in a 3-1 win at Lehigh Valley on Mar. 29.
A fourth-round pick by Los Angeles in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Mersch has notched 17 goals and 20 assists for 37 points with a plus-13 rating while skating in all 67 games with Manchester this season. The 22-year-old native of Park Ridge, Ill., played four seasons at the University of Wisconsin and was a Second Team All-American and First Team All-Big Ten as a senior in 2013-14.
In recognition of his achievement, Mersch will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Monarchs home game.
Also see: Past winners, AHL Rookie of the Month
Murray, the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month, was 7-1-1 in nine appearances during a record-breaking month of March, posting a 1.21 goals-against average, a .955 save percentage and three shutouts.
Murray began the month with a pursuit of history, blanking Bridgeport on Mar. 1 and Manchester on Mar. 7 for his third and fourth consecutive shutouts. Early in the second period at Springfield on Mar. 8, Murray established a new AHL record for longest shutout streak, and extended it to 304:11 before finally allowing a goal late in the 4-1 victory. Murray made 26 saves in a 3-1 win over Hershey on Mar. 14 to run his personal winning streak to nine games, and his 32-save effort at Lehigh Valley on Mar. 22 was his 10th shutout of the season, breaking a 72-year-old record for shutouts by an AHL rookie.
In 36 appearances for the Penguins this season, Murray is 22-9-3 and leads the AHL in goals-against average (1.59), save percentage (.940) and shutouts (10). 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.