AHL announces award winners for March

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Bakersfield Condors forwards Tyler Benson and Cooper Marody, Texas Stars forward Riley Damiani and Henderson Silver Knights goaltender Logan Thompson have been selected as the league’s award winners for March.

Benson and Marody, co-winners of the CCM/AHL Player of the Month, each tallied 19 points in 14 games for Bakersfield last month and are now two of the top scorers in the AHL for 2020-21.

Benson found the scoresheet in 12 of his 14 games in March, including four points in a 5-3 win over Ontario on Mar. 6. He had five multiple-point efforts and finished with six goals, 13 assists and a plus-10 rating during the month.

With points in each of his first 11 contests during March, Marody extended his scoring streak to 14 games and took over the league scoring lead. He notched hat tricks on Mar. 6 vs. Ontario and on Mar. 13 vs. San Jose, and had a four-point night with two goals and two assists at Ontario on Mar. 7. Marody totaled 11 goals and eight assists for 19 points along with a plus-13 rating for the month.

Benson, 23, ranks third in the AHL with 16 assists and is tied for second with 23 points in 19 games this season. A second-round pick by Edmonton in the 2016 NHL Draft, Benson played in the AHL All-Star Classic in 2020 and was voted a Second Team AHL All-Star as a rookie in 2018-19. He has 31 goals and 97 assists for 128 points in 139 career AHL contests, as well as one assist in seven NHL games with the Oilers.

Marody, 24, leads the AHL in goals (14) and points (24) in 21 games for the Condors this season, and is first among league forwards in plus/minus rating (+15). Originally a sixth-round choice by Philadelphia in the 2015 NHL Draft, Marody participated in the AHL All-Star Classic as a rookie in 2019 and has totaled 39 goals and 69 assists for 108 points in 112 AHL games with Bakersfield. He was acquired by Edmonton via trade on Mar. 21, 2018, and has skated in six career NHL games with the Oilers.

Damiani, the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month, registered four goals and 11 assists for 15 points in 10 games for Texas last month, including a stretch of five consecutive multi-point games.

Damiani helped the Stars to a sweep of their three-game visit to Tucson to begin the month, notching an assist each on Mar. 3 and Mar. 5 before netting the game-winning goal and another assist on Mar. 6. He recorded his first pro hat trick on Mar. 13, scoring all three Texas goals in a loss to Colorado, then registered four straight outings with two assists apiece to move one point off the league lead in scoring.

A fifth-round selection by Dallas in the 2018 NHL Draft, Damiani ranks first among all AHL rookies and tied for second overall with 23 points (six goals, 17 assists) in 17 games for Texas this season. The 21-year-old native of Mississauga, Ont., played four years of junior hockey with Kitchener (OHL), leading the team in scoring and serving as captain in 2019-20.

Thompson, the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month for the second consecutive month, was 6-1-0 in seven starts during March, allowing a total of 13 goals on 261 shots (1.86, .950).

Thompson began March with back-to-back wins at Colorado, making 34 saves in a 4-2 victory on Mar. 5 and stopping 28 of 29 shots in a 4-1 win on Mar. 6. He turned aside 39 shots in a 5-2 decision over San Jose on Mar. 20 before earning his first AHL shutout with 38 saves against the Barracuda on Mar. 21. Thompson made 42 stops in a 4-3 win over Colorado on Mar. 27, and closed out the month with a season-high 44 saves as Henderson defeated Tucson, 3-1, on Mar. 31.

Thompson, 24, is the first back-to-back winner of the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month award since Michael Hutchinson in November and December of 2017. He is 10-2-0 in his 12 appearances for Henderson this season and ranks first in the league in save percentage (.947), second in goals-against average (1.84), fourth in saves (395) and fifth in minutes played (717). Thompson signed an entry-level contract with the Vegas Golden Knights on July 13, 2020.

Each monthly award winner will receive an etched crystal award from CCM in recognition of his achievement.