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March monthly award winners announced

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass.
… The American Hockey League announced today that defensemen Justin Fletcher of the Peoria Rivermen and Johnny Boychuk of the Providence Bruins have been named the co-winners of the CCM/AHL Player of the Month award for March. In 14 games each last month, Fletcher recorded three goals, 12 assists and a plus-8 rating for the Rivermen, while Boychuk contributed five goals, eight assists and a plus-12 for the Bruins.

In recognition of their achievement, Fletcher and Boychuk will each be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming home game.

Fletcher nearly doubled his offensive output from the previous five months of the season by posting 15 points in March. His play at both ends of the ice helped Peoria to a 10-2-1-1 mark for the month and lifted the Rivermen into a postseason position heading into April. Fletcher had at least one point in 12 of the club’s 14 games, including three separate four-game scoring streaks.

A second-year pro out of St. Cloud State University, Fletcher has eight goals, 23 assists and a team-best plus-17 rating in 63 games with Peoria this season. He split his rookie season between Norfolk and Rockford, totaling 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in 59 games, after making his pro debut with Springfield at the end of the 2006-07 campaign.

boychukBoychuk scored a goal and tied a career high with nine shots at Hershey on Mar. 1, then matched another career best with three assists at Toronto on Mar. 4. He scored the tying goal in a 2-1 victory in Rochester on Mar. 8, and led the way with two goals – including the tiebreaking goal in the third period – and an assist in a 5-3 win over Hartford on Mar. 22. He netted another game-winning goal as part of a two-point night at Manchester on Mar. 27, and finished the month on a four-game point streak (3-4-7).

Boychuk leads all AHL defensemen with 20 goals, 43 assists and 63 points in 73 games for Providence this season, and is second on the team with a plus-21 rating. A second-round draft choice by Colorado in 2002, Boychuk has totaled 47 goals and 117 assists for 164 points in 367 career AHL games.

Other nominees for CCM/AHL Player of the Month include Binghamton left wing Greg Mauldin, Bridgeport left wing Jon Sim, Chicago defenseman Clay Wilson, Grand Rapids right wing Darren Haydar, Hamilton right wing Mike Glumac, Hartford left wing Patrick Rissmiller, Houston center Corey Locke, Iowa center Petteri Wirtanen, Lake Erie center Philippe Dupuis, Lowell right wing Nicklas Bergfors, Manitoba center Jason Krog, Milwaukee center Mike Santorelli, Norfolk center Zenon Konopka, Philadelphia center Jared Ross, Portland left wing Colin Murphy, Quad City defenseman Anders Eriksson, Rochester right wing Michal Repik, Rockford left wing Pete MacArthur, San Antonio center Joel Perrault, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton left wing Janne Pesonen and Worcester goaltender Thomas Greiss.


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maxwell08b_200.jpgSPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Hamilton Bulldogs center Ben Maxwell has been named the Reebok Edge/AHL Rookie of the Month for March. Maxwell led all AHL rookies with 13 points last month, picking up six goals and seven assists in 15 games.

Maxwell scored a goal in Hamilton’s 3-2 overtime win at Syracuse on Mar. 3 and followed that up with the game-winning goal in the third period of a 2-0 victory over Toronto on Mar. 6. He picked up an assist in five straight games from Mar. 8-17 and assisted on both Bulldogs goals at Milwaukee on Mar. 22, then notched his first career hat trick to pace Hamilton’s 6-1 victory over San Antonio on Mar. 24, earning first-star honors in the process.

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

A second-round draft choice by Montreal in 2006, Maxwell ranks third in the AHL in rookie scoring with 53 points (21 goals, 32 assists) in 68 games for Hamilton this season. He also made his NHL debut with the Canadiens, skating in seven contests earlier this year. Maxwell, who turned 21 on Monday, played four seasons of junior hockey at Kootenay (WHL).

Other nominees for Reebok Edge/AHL Rookie of the Month include Bridgeport defenseman Andrew MacDonald, Chicago right wing Spencer Machacek, Grand Rapids right wing Francis Pare, Hartford right wing Dale Weise, Houston right wing Matt Beaudoin, Iowa left wing Matt Beleskey, Lake Erie center T.J. Galiardi, Lowell goaltender Jeff Frazee, Manitoba defenseman Travis Ramsey, Milwaukee goaltender Mark Dekanich, Philadelphia center Rob Sirianni, Portland center Tim Kennedy, Providence right wing Mikko Lehtonen, Quad City goaltender Leland Irving, Rochester right wing Michal Repik, Rockford left wing Pete MacArthur, San Antonio left wing Brett MacLean, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton right wing Nick Johnson and Worcester center Andrew Desjardins.


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bernierSPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Jonathan Bernier of the Manchester Monarchs has been named the Reebok X-Pulse/AHL Goaltender of the Month for March. Bernier appeared in 12 of the Monarchs’ 13 games during the month, going 6-5-1 with a 1.97 goals-against average, a .927 save percentage and two shutouts.

Bernier began the month with five consecutive victories, allowing a total of six goals in those starts. He posted a 24-save shutout in a 1-0 overtime win vs. Hartford on Mar. 6, and was named the game’s third star after stopping 27 of 29 shots in a 3-1 loss to Lowell on Mar. 13. Bernier helped keep the AHL’s top offense at bay with 37 saves, allowing only two power-play goals, in a 3-2 shootout loss to Hershey on Mar. 22, and turned aside all 18 Lowell shots in a 3-0 victory on Mar. 24.

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

Bernier has made 48 appearances for Manchester this season, going 20-22-4 with a 2.45 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage. He is also tied for the lead among AHL rookies with four shutouts. Los Angeles’s first-round pick (11th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, the 20-year-old native of Laval, Que., made his pro debut with the Kings last season, playing in four NHL games.

Other nominees for Reebok X-Pulse/AHL Goaltender of the Month include Binghamton’s Jeff Glass, Bridgeport’s Nathan Lawson, Chicago’s Ondrej Pavelec, Grand Rapids’ Jimmy Howard, Hamilton’s Marc Denis, Hartford’s Miika Wiikman, Houston’s Nolan Schaefer, Iowa’s David LeNeveu, Lake Erie’s Tyler Weiman, Lowell’s Jeff Frazee, Manitoba’s Cory Schneider, Milwaukee’s Mark Dekanich, Philadelphia’s Scott Munroe, Portland’s Jhonas Enroth, Providence’s Tuukka Rask, Quad City’s Leland Irving, Rochester’s Mike Brodeur, Rockford’s Antti Niemi, San Antonio’s Al Montoya and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s John Curry.