Monarchs’ Jones top rookie for December

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Manchester Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones has been named the Reebok/AHL Rookie of the Month for December. Jones made nine appearances on the month and went 7-1-0 with a 1.99 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage to help the Monarchs maintain first place in the Atlantic Division.

Jones’s month was highlighted by his performance vs. Worcester on Dec. 10, when he stopped 45 of 46 shots in a 4-1 victory; his 22 saves over the final 20 minutes tied an AHL high for third-period saves this season. Even in his only loss of the month – a 4-2 setback to Portland on Dec. 12 – Jones recorded 39 saves, and he rebounded with 36 stops in a 2-1 overtime win at Portland on Dec. 18 to begin a five-game winning streak that would carry into the new year.

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

Jones, a 20-year-old native of North Vancouver, B.C., currently ranks second in the AHL in goals-against average (1.60) and save percentage (.948) while posting a 13-2-0 record and two shutouts in 18 games for Manchester. He was the Western Hockey League’s goaltender of the year in 2009-10 and was named the top goaltender at the 2010 Memorial Cup tournament, where he led Calgary to the championship game. Jones also won a silver medal with Canada at the 2010 World Junior Championships. Signed as a free agent by Los Angeles on Oct. 2, 2008, Jones was 108-28-9 over four junior seasons with Calgary.

Other nominees for Reebok/AHL Rookie of the Month include Abbotsford right wing Greg Nemisz, Binghamton left wing Colin Greening, Bridgeport right wing Rhett Rakhshani, Chicago center Ryan Garbutt, Connecticut right wing Mats Zuccarello, Grand Rapids defenseman Brendan Smith, Hamilton defenseman Brendon Nash, Manitoba goaltender Eddie Lack, Peoria center Phil McRae, Portland right wing Corey Tropp, Rochester center Scott Timmins, Rockford left wing Peter LeBlanc, San Antonio defenseman Michael Stone, Springfield left wing Matt Calvert, Texas right wing Sean Backman and Worcester defenseman Matt Irwin.