Locke began the month with an impressive showing in a home-and-home series with Lake Erie, dishing out three assists and regulation and scoring a goal in the shootout during a 5-4 loss on Apr. 4 then potting both Bulldogs goals in a 2-1 win on Apr. 5. Locke then had a career night on Apr. 9, recording his first regular-season hat trick and tying a franchise record with six points to lead Hamilton to an 8-3 win over Rochester at Copps Coliseum. He added two goals and an assist in a 4-1 win over Lake Erie on Apr. 12 and assisted on the Bulldogs’ only goal in a season-ending loss to Syracuse on Apr. 13.
Locke finished his fourth pro season with career highs in goals (30), assists (42) and points (72) while skating in 78 games for Hamilton in 2007-08. He is the Bulldogs’ all-time leader with 85 goals, 144 assists and 229 points in 313 career games, and also made his NHL debut with Montreal this season, appearing in one contest. The 25-year-old native of Newmarket, Ont., represented Hamilton at his second AHL All-Star Classic in 2008.
Other nominees for CCM/AHL Player of the Month include Albany center Nicolas Blanchard, Bridgeport right wing Blake Comeau, Chicago center Jason Krog, Grand Rapids center Evan McGrath, Houston right wing Joel Ward, Lake Erie center T.J. Hensick, Lowell center Ivan Khomutov, Manchester left wing Matt Moulson, Manitoba right wing Colby Genoway, Milwaukee center Matt Ellison, Peoria left wing Jean-Guy Trudel, Philadelphia defenseman Denis Gauthier, Portland center Andrew Ebbett, Providence left wing Pascal Pelletier, Quad City right wing David Van der Gulik, Rochester right wing Mark Mancari, Rockford center Petri Kontiola, San Antonio left wing David Spina, Syracuse center Derick Brassard, Toronto left wing Jiri Tlusty and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton center Dave Gove.