December monthly award winners announced

Photos: Ross Dettman, KDP Studios

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Chicago Wolves forward Kenny Agostino, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Jake Guentzel and Providence Bruins goaltender Zane McIntyre have been selected as the league’s award winners for December.

Agostino, the CCM/AHL Player of the Month, skated in 14 games for Chicago during December and totaled seven goals and 18 assists for 25 points – the most by an AHL player in a calendar month in nearly seven years – as well as a plus-10 rating as the Wolves went 9-2-2-1.

Agostino registered a point in 13 of his 14 games played in December, beginning with a goal in a 4-1 win at Rockford on Dec. 2. He dished out four assists in a 6-5 overtime loss at Grand Rapids on Dec. 7 – a game in which the Wolves rallied twice from two-goal deficits to earn a point – and he had a goal and an assist in a 5-2 victory at Milwaukee on Dec. 10. Agostino recorded three assists in one period during an 8-4 win over Milwaukee on Dec. 22, and notched a goal and an assist in Chicago’s 6-2 win at Rockford on Dec. 28. Agostino closed out the month by tying a franchise record for goals in a game (4) and setting an AHL season high for points (5) as the Wolves downed Iowa, 5-2, on New Year’s Eve.

Agostino is the first player to record 25 points in a month since Hershey teammates Keith Aucoin (35) and Alexandre Giroux (31) both accomplished the feat in January 2010.

A third-year pro from Morristown, N.J., Agostino leads the AHL with 29 assists and 43 points in 34 games for Chicago. His team’s leading scorer in both 2014-15 (Adirondack) and 2015-16 (Stockton), Agostino now has 52 goals and 91 assists for 143 points in 166 career AHL games. Pittsburgh’s fifth-round selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Agostino played four seasons at Yale University and won a national championship in 2013. He has one goal and one assist in 10 career NHL games, all with Calgary. He joined the St. Louis Blues organization as a free agent on July 2, 2016.

Guentzel, the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month, scored 11 goals and added six assists for 17 points in 10 games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton during December, helping the Penguins rise to the top of the league standings.

Returning from his first NHL recall to Pittsburgh, Guentzel posted three consecutive multi-point games in his first AHL action of the month, notching a goal and an assist each on Dec. 9 and Dec. 10 vs. Hershey and Dec. 11 at Bridgeport. He then had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win over Rochester on Dec. 16 and netted another goal in a 4-2 victory over Springfield on Dec. 17. Coming out of the Christmas break, Guentzel tallied two goals and an assist as the Penguins rallied for a 5-4 win in Binghamton on Dec. 26 and notched a hat trick in a 5-3 win over Springfield a night later, giving him five goals on five consecutive shots over a span of 46:52 of game time.

A 22-year-old from Woodbury, Minn., Guentzel leads the AHL with 18 goals and is tied for second in both points (34) and plus/minus rating (+17) in 26 games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He also has three goals and one assist in five games with Pittsburgh, including a two-goal NHL debut on Nov. 21. A third-round draft pick by Pittsburgh in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Guentzel played three seasons at the University of Nebraska-Omaha before making his pro debut with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last spring, when he notched two goals and four assists for six points in 11 regular-season games along with five goals and nine assists for 14 points in 10 Calder Cup Playoff contests.

McIntyre, the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month, was a perfect 9-0-0 in nine appearances during December, sporting a 1.65 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage while stopping 269 of 284 shots.

McIntyre allowed two goals or fewer in eight of his nine starts last month, despite facing at least 30 shots seven times. After returning to Providence on Dec. 1 from an extended stay in Boston, McIntyre opened the month with a 31-save performance in a 6-2 win vs. Binghamton on Dec. 2, and he matched a career high with 38 saves in a 2-1 overtime victory over Springfield on Dec. 4. McIntyre stopped 31 of 32 shots and all three shootout attempts to earn a 2-1 victory over Hartford on Dec. 11, and he made 35 saves as Providence defeated Utica, 3-1, on Dec. 21. McIntyre closed out the month with 29 saves as the Bruins went to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and beat the league-leading Penguins, 5-2, on Dec. 30.

A 24-year-old native of Thief River Falls, Minn., McIntyre is 10-0-0 in 12 appearances for Providence this season and leads the AHL with a 1.41 goals-against average and a .951 save percentage. McIntyre, a sixth-round pick by Boston in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, also made his NHL debut earlier this season and appeared in three games with the parent Bruins. The University of North Dakota product has played 43 AHL games over his first two pro seasons, going 24-8-7 with a 2.32 GAA and a .914 save percentage.

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