Monthly award winners for October named

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Travis Morin of the Texas Stars, Nikita Kucherov of the Syracuse Crunch and John Gibson of the Norfolk Admirals have been chosen as the league’s award winners for the month of October.

Morin, the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for October, notched a point in each of his nine games played during the month and leads the AHL in goals (8, tied), assists (11) and points (19).

Morin began the his seventh professional season with a four-point night – tying his AHL career high – to help the Stars to a 4-1 win over Chicago on Oct. 5. He scored two goals, including one on a penalty shot, and added an assist in a 6-0 victory over San Antonio on Oct. 19, and recorded a goal and three assists for another four-point effort in a 9-3 decision over Abbotsford on Oct. 20. Morin, who had five multiple-point games on the month, also compiled a plus-9 rating, tied for second in the AHL.

Morin, who has now tallied a point in 16 consecutive regular-season contests (12g, 18a) going back to last year, has figured in the scoring of more than half of the Stars’ 36 goals this season. The native of Brooklyn Park, Minn., has skated in 293 career AHL games with Texas and Hershey, totaling 75 goals and 152 assists for 227 points, and he is the Stars franchise’s all-time leading scorer with 226 points in a Texas uniform. Drafted by Washington in 2004, Morin signed with the Dallas Stars on July 12, 2010.

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

Also see: Past winners, AHL Player of the Month

Kucherov, the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month for October, began his professional career with eight goals and seven assists for 15 points in eight games, ranking second in the entire AHL in scoring.

Kucherov’s first four career points all came in the Crunch’s home opener against Rochester on Oct. 12 and included a hat trick in a 5-1 victory. He had a goal and an assist each in both ends of a home-and-home series with Binghamton Oct. 18-19, and he netted Syracuse’s only regulation goal in a 2-1 shootout win at Utica on Oct. 25. Kucherov wrapped up the month with another four-point performance, registering two goals and two assists in a 4-1 victory at Albany on Oct. 30.

A second-round draft pick by Tampa Bay in 2011, Kucherov played junior hockey last season in the QMJHL, totaling 29 goals and 34 assists for 63 points in just 33 games between Quebec and Rouyn-Noranda. The native of Maykop, Russia, represented his country in the World Junior Championships, winning a silver medal in 2012 and bronze in 2013.

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

Also see: Past winners, AHL Rookie of the Month

Gibson, the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month for October, was 3-1-2 in six starts during October and allowed just nine goals on 193 shots, good for a 1.44 goals-against average and a .953 save percentage.

Gibson made his first professional start on Oct. 6 and stopped 36 shots in a 4-3 shootout loss at Bridgeport. He earned his first pro victory on Oct. 18 with 31 saves and a 4-for-4 shootout effort in a 2-1 win over Albany on Oct. 18, and notched his first shutout on Oct. 25 with 38 stops in a 3-0 win at Adirondack. Gibson finished the month with 26 saves as Norfolk defeated Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 2-1, on Oct. 26, handing the Penguins their first regulation loss of the season.

Among goaltenders with more than two appearances this season, Gibson ranks first in the AHL in GAA and save percentage, and Norfolk currently leads the league in team defense, allowing 2.00 goals per game.

A second-round draft pick by Anaheim in 2011, Gibson was named the most valuable player of the 2013 World Junior Championships last winter after backstopping the United States to the gold medal. The 20-year-old native of Pittsburgh, Pa., spent two seasons with Kitchener of the Ontario Hockey League (2011-13) and made his professional debut with Norfolk last season, playing two periods of relief on Apr. 19 at Syracuse.

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

Also see: Past winners, AHL Goaltender of the Month