McDonald grabs weekly award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Oklahoma City Barons right wing Colin McDonald has been named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Apr. 10, 2011. McDonald scored six goals and added two assists for eight points in three games, helping the Barons reach the Calder Cup Playoffs while dramatically earning the AHL’s goal-scoring title in the process.

The Barons entered the weekend clinging to a one-point lead for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference and facing three tough road games against division foes. On Friday, McDonald boosted Oklahoma City to a critical 7-2 win in San Antonio with his first career four-goal game, leading the way with 10 shots on goal as well. The next night, McDonald’s second-period goal helped the Barons to a 2-0 win at Texas, officially clinching a postseason berth. And in Sunday’s regular-season finale in Houston, McDonald capped a three-point night by scoring his 42nd goal of the year with 2:32 remaining in the third period, breaking a tie with Hamilton’s Nigel Dawes and earning outright the Willie Marshall Award as the AHL’s top goal scorer for 2010-11.

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

A second-round draft pick by Edmonton in 2003, McDonald had a remarkable career year for Oklahoma City, scoring 42 goals and adding 16 assists for 58 points while playing all 80 games. The native of Hartford, Conn., entered his fourth AHL season with 34 goals and 68 points total in 226 AHL games, but he finished 2010-11 ranked first in the AHL in goals and power-play goals (19) and third in shots (259).

Other nominees for Reebok/AHL Player of the Week include Adirondack forward Matt Read, Binghamton right wing Ryan Keller, Bridgeport forward Tyler McNeely, Charlotte center Zac Dalpe, Chicago left wing Fredrik Pettersson, Connecticut left wing Andrew Yogan, Hamilton goaltender Drew MacIntyre, Houston left wing Robbie Earl, Lake Erie right wing Matthew Ford, Manchester center Justin Azevedo, Manitoba defenseman Yann Sauve, Milwaukee left wing Cory Conacher, Norfolk center Mattias Ritola, Peoria left wing Nicholas Drazenovic, Portland center Paul Byron, Rochester center Chris Taylor, Rockford right wing Jeff Taffe, San Antonio right wing Matt Watkins, Syracuse center Peter Holland, Texas center Travis Morin and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton right wing Nick Petersen.

Also see: Past winners, AHL Player of the Week