AHL names monthly award winners for November

Photos: Scott Thomas, Jessica Harsen, Iowa Wild

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Syracuse Crunch forward Cory Conacher, Ontario Reign forward Sheldon Rempal and Iowa Wild goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen have been selected as the league’s award winners for November.

Conacher, the CCM/AHL Player of the Month, tallied eight goals and 15 assists for a league-leading 23 points in 11 games during November.

Conacher’s prolific month included seven consecutive multiple-point games as the Crunch went 9-0-2-0 for November. He matched a career high with four points (two goals, two assists) in a 6-1 win over Belleville on Nov. 3, and scored the tying goal in the final second of regulation at Rochester on Nov. 9. Conacher netted the game-winning goal in victories over Hershey on Nov. 11 and at Utica on Nov. 16, and notched a goal and two assists in each end of a home-and-home sweep of Binghamton on Nov. 21 and 23.

An eighth-year pro from Burlington, Ont., Conacher ranks second in the AHL with 27 points (10 goals, 17 assists) in just 15 games with the Crunch, including a current 11-game scoring streak. Conacher was the AHL’s MVP and Rookie of the Year en route to winning a Calder Cup title in 2011-12, and has totaled 101 goals and 154 assists for 255 points in 255 career regular-season AHL games. The two-time AHL All-Star has also appeared in one NHL game with Tampa Bay this season, and has 28 goals and 46 assists for 74 points in 189 career NHL contests.

Rempal, the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month, registered four goals and eight assists for 12 points in nine games played for Ontario in November.

Rempal began the month with a two-goal game on Nov. 1, including the game-winner late in the third period to send Ontario to a 5-3 win over Texas. He recorded two assists each in back-to-back wins over Stockton on Nov. 11 and Grand Rapids on Nov. 16, and his goal at San Diego on Nov. 21 sparked a comeback from 3-0 down and helped the Reign to a 4-3 victory. Rempal then tallied a goal and two assists vs. Tucson on Nov. 25, helping Ontario erase a four-goal third-period deficit in a 7-6 overtime win. Rempal was recalled by the Los Angeles Kings on Nov. 26 and finished the month by skating in three NHL games.

Signed as a free agent by the Kings on Mar. 30, 2018, Rempal is tied for second among AHL rookies in scoring with 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in 14 games for Ontario this season. The 23-year-old native of Calgary, Alta., made his NHL debut with Los Angeles on Oct. 16 and has appeared in seven games with the Kings this season. Rempal played two seasons at Clarkson University, earning First Team All-ECAC honors in 2017-18.

Kahkonen, the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month, allowed only 10 goals on 248 shots in eight starts during November, going 5-0-3 with a 1.21 goals-against average, a .960 save percentage and three shutouts.

Kahkonen’s month included three consecutive shutouts and a franchise-record stretch of 222:22 without surrendering a goal. After making 29 saves in a 2-1 shootout victory at Rockford on Nov. 3, Kahkonen blanked Rockford on Nov. 7 (28 saves) and Milwaukee twice on Nov. 14 (20 saves) and Nov. 16 (38 saves). He stopped 31 of 33 shots in a shootout loss at Milwaukee on Nov. 21, and was the game’s first star – his fifth first-star selection of the month – with 34 saves in a 3-2 win at Manitoba on Nov. 24.

A fourth-round pick by the Minnesota Wild in the 2014 NHL Draft, Kahkonen has a record of 6-1-3 in 10 appearances with Iowa this season and leads the AHL in goals-against average (1.45), save percentage (.950) and shutouts (3, tied). The 22-year-old native of Helsinki, Finland, played the last three seasons in the Finnish Elite League and won a gold medal with Finland at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Each monthly award winner will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming home game in recognition of his achievement.