Mancari named Player of the Month

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Portland Pirates right wing Mark Mancari has been named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Month for January. In 15 games, Mancari scored 13 goals, dished out eight assists and posted a plus-10 rating as the Pirates continued their chase for the Atlantic Division title.

Mancari was held scoreless in his first and last games of the month but fashioned a 13-game scoring streak in between, matching the longest run in the AHL this season. He posted three consecutive three-point games over the weekend of Jan. 21-23, and became the first AHL player in nearly two years to notch back-to-back hat tricks when he scored three goals on Jan. 22 vs. Providence and three more on Jan. 23 at Worcester. Included in Mancari’s month were two power-play goals, one shorthanded goal and one game-winner.

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

Mancari leads the AHL with 27 goals and ranks third with 53 points in 45 games for Portland this season, his sixth in the Buffalo Sabres organization since turning pro in 2005. The 25-year-old native of London, Ont., has totaled 146 goals and 204 assists for 350 points in 407 career AHL games with Portland and Rochester and has added six points in 19 NHL games with the Sabres, including one assist in three games this season.

Other nominees for Reebok/AHL Player of the Month include Abbotsford right wing Jon Rheault, Binghamton center Corey Locke, Bridgeport left wing Justin DiBenedetto, Chicago left wing Nigel Dawes, Connecticut center Evgeny Grachev, Hamilton center Ben Maxwell, Lake Erie center Mark Olver, Manchester center Marc-Andre Cliche, Manitoba defenseman Nolan Baumgartner, Milwaukee center Blake Geoffrion, Providence right wing Jordan Caron, Rochester defenseman Clay Wilson, Rockford center Mathis Olimb, San Antonio center Andrew Ebbett, Syracuse left wing Patrick Maroon, Texas forward Greg Rallo, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton center Ryan Craig and Worcester right wing Dan DaSilva.