Monthly award winners for March named

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Charlotte Checkers left wing Zach Boychuk, Providence Bruins center Alexander Khokhlachev and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins goaltender Peter Mannino have been selected as the league’s award winners for March.

Boychuk, the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for March, tallied nine goals and 13 assists for 22 points in 16 games during a busy month that saw the Checkers climb from 14th place (nine points out of a playoff spot) to eighth place (four points up) in the Western Conference standings.

Boychuk notched at least one point in 12 of his 16 games played in March, and the Checkers went 12-0-0-0 in those contests. He recorded his third hat trick of the season on Mar. 2, scoring three times in the third period of a 6-3 win at Hershey, and assisted on the game-winning goal in the final minute of Charlotte’s 3-2 win at Norfolk on Mar. 4. Boychuk assisted on two game-tying goals in regulation to help the Checkers to a 5-4 shootout win at San Antonio on Mar. 7, and combined for seven points in a two-game visit to Iowa, including a career-best five-point effort in a 7-0 win on Mar. 26. Boychuk closed out the month by helping Charlotte to a pair of crucial victories over Oklahoma City, with an assist in a 3-2 shootout win on Mar. 29 and a goal and an assist in a 5-4 shootout win on Mar. 30.

Boychuk now ranks third in the AHL in scoring with 67 points in 62 games for Charlotte this season, and is tied for the league lead with 32 goals. A first-round draft choice (14th overall) by Carolina in 2008, Boychuk has also appeared in nine NHL games with the Hurricanes in 2013-14, registering one goal and three assists. A 24-year-old native of Airdrie, Alta., Boychuk has totaled 113 goals and 143 assists for 256 points in 289 career AHL games with Charlotte and the Albany River Rats, while also notching nine goals and 15 assists for 24 points in 94 career NHL contests with Carolina, Nashville and Pittsburgh.

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

Also see: Past winners, AHL Player of the Month

Alexander KhokhlachevIn 12 games, Khokhlachev, the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month for March, recorded five goals and 12 assists for 17 points as the Bruins maintained their position in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

After beginning the month with a goal in Providence’s 3-2 shootout victory at Springfield on Mar. 1, Khokhlachev earned CCM/AHL Player of the Week honors by racking up 10 points in three games, establishing AHL season highs with five assists and six points in a 9-3 victory over Adirondack on Mar. 9. He dished out two assists vs. Worcester on Mar. 14 for his fourth consecutive multiple-point game, and scored the decisive overtime goal as the Bruins defeated Hartford, 3-2, on Mar. 16. Khokhlachev assisted on the game-winner in a 2-1 victory over Worcester on Mar. 23, and notched two more assists in a 6-5 win at Portland on Mar. 28.

A second-round draft choice (40th overall) by the Boston Bruins in 2011, Khokhlachev has tallied 19 goals and 34 assists for 53 points along with a plus-9 rating in 58 games for Providence this season, and ranks third among all AHL rookies in both assists and points. Khokhlachev, a 20-year-old native of Moscow, Russia, totaled 193 points in 152 games over three junior seasons with Windsor of the Ontario Hockey League, and made his North American pro debut with Providence at the end of the 2012-13 season.

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

Also see: Past winners, AHL Rookie of the Month

Peter ManninoMannino, the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month for March, made 10 starts for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton during the month and allowed two goals or fewer in each, stopping 211 of 222 shots while compiling a 7-2-1 record with a 1.09 goals-against average, a .950 save percentage and two shutouts.

Mannino began the month with 19 saves in a 2-1 win at Albany on Mar. 1. Following a shootout loss at Utica on Mar. 7 in which he allowed just one goal in regulation and one goal on five shootout attempts, Mannino put together a four-game winning streak, with a home-and-home sweep of Hamilton on Mar. 8 and Mar. 14 followed by consecutive shutouts of Norfolk (Mar. 15) and Syracuse (Mar. 21). Mannino was on the losing end of a pair of 2-1 decisions before closing out March with back-to-back wins at Norfolk on Mar. 28-29.

Mannino has appeared in 14 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2013-14 and owns a record of 8-3-1 with a 1.58 GAA, a .933 save percentage and two shutouts. The sixth-year pro from Farmington Hills, Mich., has played 173 games with Wilkes-Barre, Manchester, Portland, St. John’s, Chicago and Bridgeport and is 89-55-9 (2.72, .907) with six shutouts over his AHL career. Mannino has appeared in six career games in the NHL with the New York Islanders, Atlanta and Winnipeg.

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

Also see: Past winners, AHL Goaltender of the Month