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Palmieri named top rookie for March

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Syracuse Crunch right wing Kyle Palmieri has been named the Reebok/AHL Rookie of the Month for March. Palmieri scored 12 goals including five game-winners, and added three assists and a plus-8 rating in 13 games to help the Crunch to a 10-3-0-0 record with him in the lineup.

Palmieri tallied all 15 of his points during an eight-game scoring streak to end the month, a stretch that began when he scored the only goal in a 1-0 decision over Toronto on Mar. 18. He notched his second hat trick of the season and set a career high with four points during the Crunch’s 6-2 win over Charlotte on Mar. 19, and scored twice in the third period of Syracuse’s 5-2 victory at Hershey on Mar. 20. Palmieri recorded two goals and an assist as the Crunch beat Rochester, 6-4, on Mar. 26, and had another two-goal performance in a 4-3 win at Toronto on Mar. 30.

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

Selected by Anaheim in the first round (26th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Palmieri now leads all AHL rookies with 26 goals and is tied for fifth with 46 points in 56 games for Syracuse this season, and was the Crunch’s representative at the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross. The 20-year-old native of Smithtown, N.Y., has also picked up one goal in 10 NHL games with the Ducks this year, and skated for the United States at the last two World Junior Championships, capturing a gold medal in 2010 and a bronze in 2011.

Other nominees for Reebok/AHL Rookie of the Month include Binghamton defenseman Patrick Wiercioch, Bridgeport right wing Rhett Rakhshani, Chicago forward Tim Miller, Connecticut defenseman Blake Parlett, Houston center Casey Wellman, Lake Erie defenseman Cameron Gaunce, Manchester right wing Brandon Kozun, Manitoba defenseman Yann Sauve, Milwaukee goaltender Jeremy Smith, Norfolk defenseman Mark Barberio, Portland center Luke Adam, Rochester left wing A.J. Jenks, Rockford right wing Ben Smith, San Antonio defenseman Chris Summers, Texas right wing Sean Backman, Toronto goaltender Ben Scrivens and Worcester right wing Tommy Wingels.