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Murray Getting Established With Amerks

Rochester Americans v Binghamton Devils November 8, 2019 Photo By Micheline V

By Warren Kozireski–

Two months ago, Buffalo Sabres 2016 fourth-round draft pick Brett Murray was without a contract and virtually without a team. After leaving Penn State in 2018, he rejoined Youngstown in the USHL and was supposed to be back in college this fall with the University of Miami Ohio.

But a coaching staff overhaul changed that plan and he ended up in the Buffalo Sabres Prospect Camp trying to make an impression and earn a contract.

Murray finally came to terms on a one-year AHL deal October 2nd and the Amerks opened their regular season two days later. But it would take the 6’5”, 235 lb. left wing five games of watching from the stands before he finally broke into the line-up.

Fast forward almost four weeks later and he will be tough to remove from the line chart after he has begun his professional career with points in six of his first nine games including two goals and five assists.

“That’s what you want a young guy to do is punch a hole in the line-up,” Rochester interim head coach Gord Dineen said. “He’s done that and really fit in well with Kevin Porter and Andrew Oglivie. They seem to have a lot of chemistry.

“He’s been great along the walls, he uses his size to his advantage and a lot of the time with big guys you have coax them to get their feet moving, but he’s really got his feet moving and is a hard guy to play against.”

Murray, from Bolton, Ontario north of Toronto, has put up solid offensive numbers everywhere except his two partial seasons at Penn State. He racked up 20 points in 27 USHL games during his first stint in Youngstown in 2016-17 and last season exploded with 41 goals and 35 assists in 62 games in his return there. He also spent the 2015-16 junior season with Carleton in the CCHL with 46 points in 48 games.

He scored his first professional goal Oct. 23 versus Hershey and he has now moved his way onto one of the top forward lines in Rochester in a relatively short period of time.

“I feel pretty confident,” Murray said after a Nov. 13 contest. “It’s nice to put anything on the scoresheet other than a minus.

“I just work hard. I got my opportunity in Utica (Oct. 19) for my first game there and I felt good. I think I work hard in practice every day and it’s paying off and I’m going to just keep doing it.”

Morrisville’s Harman NEWHL Rookie of the Week


MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – The Northeast Women’s Hockey League (NEWHL) office announced its weekly award winners for action ending November 17, naming Morrisville freshman goaltender, Sissy Harman (Eden, N.Y.) the Rookie of the Week for her performance across two games for the Mustangs.

Harman collected two wins in NEWHL action over the week’s action, as the Mustangs defeated Cortland 3-2 and followed with a win over Buffalo State, 3-1.

In the win over Cortland, Harman posted a season high 31 stops, 12 alone in the third, to seal the victory for the Mustangs.

She followed with 23 saves in the 3-1 win over Buffalo State, again turning away double digits in the third (10 stops) to seal the victory.

Across the week the freshman posted a 1.50 goals against average behind 53 total stops, a .946 save percentage.

Harman currently ranks fourth overall in the NEWHL in saves with 113 to date on the young season. Morrisville is 3-2-1 so far on the season, 2-1-1 in league play.

A graduate of Eden High and is majoring in nursing at SUNY Morrisville. She is the daughter of Denise Harman of Eden.

Sabres Holiday Angels Program Returns



BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team will partner with Child & Family Services of Buffalo and Spectrum News for the Sabres Holiday Angels program. Sabres Holiday Angels is an adopt-a-family program that allows Sabres fans to support our neighbors in need this holiday season.

“The holidays are a very special time, and we are proud to join the Sabres in bringing the Western New York community together in the spirit of giving to help people in need,” said Kelly Holland, Spectrum News Buffalo news director. “By bringing increased awareness to the program, we hope every family will have joy this holiday season.”

Sabres fans can visit sabres.com/holidayangels to adopt a family to provide gifts to. After registering to adopt, fans will receive information via email with details regarding gifts for the family they have been chosen to support. Information will typically include age, gender, clothing size and interests for each person to assist with shopping efforts.

Fans can also donate individual gifts to the program. The gift can be an item of the donor’s choosing and Child & Family Services will match the gift with a person or family in need. Additionally, fans have the option to bring wrapping paper and wrapping accessories to one of the drop-off locations listed below or donate a gift card by mailing it directly to 844 Delaware Ave., Buffalo NY 14209.

“The holidays are a very special time, and we are proud to join the Sabres in bringing the Western New York community together in the spirit of giving to help people in need,” said Kelly Holland, Spectrum News Buffalo news director. “By bringing increased awareness to the Sabres Holiday Angels program, we want every family to have joy this holiday season.”

“Each holiday season, we see the real difference the overwhelming kindness and generosity of our Western New York community can make for a family facing difficult circumstances,” said Theresa DeLuca, donor and public relations manager at Child & Family Services. “All of us at Child & Family Services are thankful to the Buffalo Sabres and their amazing fans for working with us to help hundreds of children and families we serve make lasting holiday memories.”

Child & Family Services asks that donors leave the gifts unwrapped and note the family’s number on each gift with the labels provided. All gifts are due to the charity by Monday, Dec. 16 and can be dropped off at the following locations:

Child & Family Services Family Support Center: Behind 824 Delaware Ave., Buffalo NY 14209, from Monday, Dec. 9 to Friday, Dec. 13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
KeyBank Center, Sabres Alumni Plaza: 1 Seymour H Knox III Plaza, Buffalo, NY 14203, on Monday, Dec. 16 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fans are asked to contact Theresa DeLuca by phone at (716) 335-7235 or email at tdeluca@cfsbny.org with any questions regarding Sabres Holiday Angels, if they have signed up but can no longer provide gifts or if they need to change their delivery time/location.

USA Youth Olympic Hockey Roster Announced

USA Hockey Announces Youth Olympic Ice Hockey Roster and Staff
Team to compete in 2020 Youth Olympic Games in January
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey announced today the 17-player roster for the U.S. Youth Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team that will compete in the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games from Jan. 9-22, 2020, in Lausanne, Switzerland. The roster includes nine forwards, six defensemen and two goaltenders.

The players represent 10 different states, including five players from Minnesota, three from Michigan and two from Florida.Six teams, including Canada, Denmark, Finland, Russia, Switzerland and United States, will compete in the men’s tournament in games featuring three, 15-minute periods. The preliminary round consists of two groups with three teams each. The top two teams in each group will qualify for the semifinals with bronze and gold-medal games to follow.The U.S. Youth Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team will play preliminary round games on Jan. 18 against Finland and Jan. 19 versus Switzerland.

NOTES: Scott Paluch (Bowling Green, Ohio) will serve as head coach of the 2020 U.S. Youth Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team after guiding Team USA to gold at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games. Paluch will be joined by assistants Guy Gosselin (Grafton, Wis.) and Kevin Reiter (Plymouth, Mich.). Paulch and Gosselin are USA Hockey ADM Regional Managers, and Reiter most recently coached internationally at the 2019 IIHF Men’s World Championship … Kevin McLaughlin (Colorado Springs, Colo.) will serve as general manager of the 2020 U.S. Youth Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team. McLaughlin is the assistant executive director of hockey development for USA Hockey … The staff and players of the 2020 U.S. Youth Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team are subject to the approval of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee … Created by the International Olympic Committee, the Youth Olympic Games bring young athletes from around the world together through elite sports competition and the Olympic values of excellence, respect and friendship. 

Scamurra Among Five NYS-born Players Invited To US Women’s Training Camp

Hayley Scamurra
2019 U.S. Women’s Winter Training Camp Roster Announced
Camp to be held Dec. 9-13 at XL Center in Hartford, Conn. 
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey today announced the 46 players who will participate in the 2019 USA Hockey Women’s Winter Training Camp, which will take place Dec. 9-13 at XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut.

From the pool of players, 23 will be selected to the U.S. Women’s National Team that will face Canada in the first two games of the 2019-20 Rivalry Series, including games on Dec. 14 in Hartford, Connecticut, and Dec. 17 in Moncton, New Brunswick.Highlighting the roster for the Women’s Winter Training Camp are 22 players who helped the U.S. capture the gold medal at the 2019 IIHF Women’s World Championship, including Cayla Barnes(Eastvale, Calif.), Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.), Megan Bozek (Buffalo Grove, Ill.), Hannah Brandt(Vadnais Heights, Minn.), Sydney Brodt (North Oaks, Minn.), Dani Cameranesi (Plymouth, Minn.), Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.), Alex Cavallini (Delafield, Wis.), Jesse Compher (Northbrook, Ill.), Kendall Coyne Schofield (Palos Heights, Ill.), Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.), Kali Flanagan (Hudson, N.H.), Megan Keller (Farmington Hills, Mich.), Amanda Kessel (Madison, Wis.), Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho), Emily Matheson (Buffalo, N.Y.), Annie Pankowski (Laguna Hills, Calif.), Kelly Pannek (Plymouth, Minn.), Maddie Rooney (Andover, Minn.), Melissa Samoskevich (Sandy Hook, Conn.) Hayley Scamurra(Williamsville, N.Y.) and Lee Stecklein (Roseville, Minn.).Other notable players include 2018 Olympic gold medalists Nicole Hensley (Lakewood, Colo.), Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson (Grand Forks, N.D.), Monique Lamoureux-Morando (Grand Forks, N.D.) and Sidney Morin (Minnetonka, Minn.). All total, 21 of the invited athletes have competed on a U.S. Olympic Team.

The players represent 17 states, with Minnesota leading the way with 13 athletes calling the State of Hockey home. Other states represented include New York (5), Illinois (4), Massachusetts (4), California (3), North Dakota (3), Wisconsin (3), Michigan (2), Alaska (1), Colorado (1), Connecticut (1), Idaho (1), Missouri (1), New Hampshire (1), Pennsylvania (1), Rhode Island (1) and Texas (1).Of the 46 athletes invited to the training camp, 21 are active NCAA players, while 25 are postgraduates. A complete roster (24 forwards, 16 defense and 6 goaltenders), staff listing and on-ice schedule can be found here.

NOTES: The annual training camp serves as an opportunity to help the top players prepare for upcoming international events, including the 2019-20 Rivalry Series and the 2020 IIHF Women’s World Championship … The 2019-20 Rivalry Series includes five games. In addition to the opening two games in December, the U.S. and Canada will also meet on Feb. 3 in Victoria, British Columbia; Feb. 5 in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Feb. 8 in Anaheim, California. Tickets for all games are currently on sale and can be purchased here.

RPI Men’s Hockey To Host “Shoot For The Stars” Night


Troy, N.Y. – A unique partnership between Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Athletics and the National Grid Foundation is encouraging local students to aim high with their education. On Friday, November 22, 2019, the partners will honor local children from the Troy City School District, Boys and Girls Club of Troy, and the Lansingburgh Boys and Girls Club at an annual “Shoot for the Stars” event.

The Shoot for the Stars program is designed to motivate students to improve their academic performance, attendance, and school behavior. At select games throughout the season, local elementary and middle school students and a guest are invited to attend Rensselaer Division I men’s and women’s ice hockey games, which includes a pre-game reception and an on-ice puck drop ceremony. A video about the program is here.

National Grid Upstate New York executive – Mr. Bob Shevy; Deputy Mayor of Troy – the Honorable Monica Kurzejeski; Rensselaer Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics – Dr. Lee McElroy, and Rensselaer’s Senior Advancement Officer for Foundation Relations – Deborah Chesky will also be participating in the ceremony.

“The National Grid Foundation is pleased to again team up with Rensselaer on the Shoot for the Stars program,” said Mr. Ed White, President of the National Grid Foundation. “The addition of our Rising Stars award program component (which will take place at the end of the 2019-2020 hockey season), recognizes the most exceptional young students in each grade and will stimulate even greater performance in the classroom. This award, along with inspiration from Rensselaer’s exceptional scholar-athletes, and the reward of a Rensselaer hockey game, will benefit the students of the Greater Troy area immensely.”

The partnership between Rensselaer and National Grid Foundation to implement the “Shoot for the Stars” program began in January, 2014 with children from the Troy City School District. Since the program’s inception, thousands of children have participated. The Foundation is supporting the program this year with a $15,000 investment.

Meghan Ogden, whose nine-year-old son Jordan has also participated in the program for multiple years, said, “He actually wants to come and play hockey for RPI when he gets older, and that’s a goal he has set for himself. He knows that, to be a player at RPI, he also has to be a good student.”

As role models to the young people in the community, Rensselaer scholar-athletes act as mentors to the program participants. This engagement goes beyond sports and piques interest of young students in science, technology, engineering and math fields.

“I really appreciate that they do this program for us. We love it,” said Christie Fronhofer, whose children have participated in the program for several years. “I think it’s great. They do a whole program for the kids and they’re always so gracious.”

Other National Grid Foundation programs include the successful “Hoops for the Stars” program that provides tickets for men’s and women’s basketball games at other colleges and universities to middle school students for their academic achievements.

About National Grid Foundation
The National Grid Foundation was created to enhance the quality of life across its grant making territory. The Foundation’s ongoing challenge is to create opportunities for solutions to educational and environmental issues. Its objective is based on the principle that giving people the tools to build hope is an essential ingredient in the development of individuals, families and communities. Since its inception in December of 1998, the Foundation has provided over $20 million in grants to organizations across New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,900 students and over 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration. To learn more, please visit www.rpi.edu.

US National Sled Team Named Paralympic Team of the Year

World para ice hockey championship gold medal game between USA and Canada in Ostrava, Czech Republic, 4th of May 2019.
U.S. National Sled Team Named Paralympic Team of the Year by U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee
Team captured fourth gold medal in world championship history at the 2019 World Para Ice Hockey Championship
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee announced this evening that the 2018-19 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team, which claimed gold at the World Para Ice Hockey Championship and added a fifth-straight title at the Para Hockey Cup, has been named Paralympic Team of the Year.The honor was accepted by team members Rico Roman (Portland, Ore.) and Brody Roybal (Northlake, Ill.) tonight in Los Angeles at a taping of the Team USA Awards show, which will air on Dec. 22 at 2 p.m. ET on NBC.In the 2018-19 season, the U.S. National Sled Team boasted a 10-1-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record, including an undefeated 4-1-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) mark at the 2019 Para Ice Hockey World Championship in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Team USA came from behind to defeat Canada, 3-2, in overtime in the gold-medal game to capture its fourth gold medal in world championship history.The U.S. National Sled Team opened the 2018-19 season with a perfect 5-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record at the 2018 Para Hockey Cup, where Team USA earned its fifth-straight title in the event. In the tournament’s 12-year history, the U.S. has claimed a record-setting seven titles.The 17-player roster, which included 12 returnees from the the 2018 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team that claimed an unprecedented third-straight gold medal, was comprised of 10 forwards, five defensemen and two goaltenders from 11 different states.The 2019 Team USA Awards, Best of the Year, recognize the outstanding achievements of Team USA athletes, teams and coaches in eight categories: Female Olympic Athlete of the Year, Female Paralympic Athlete of the Year, Male Olympic Athlete of the Year, Male Paralympic Athlete of the Year, Olympic Team of the Year, Paralympic Team of the Year, Olympic Coach of the Year and Paralympic Coach of the Year.Notes: The 2019-20 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team will make its season debut at the 2019 Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup Dec. 1-7 in St. John’s/Paradise Newfoundland … David Hoff (Bottineau, N.D.), who led the United States to the gold medal at the 2019 Para Ice Hockey World Championship in Ostrava, Czech Republic, in his first season as head coach, enters his second season as head coach of the U.S. National Sled Team … For more on the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team, click here.

Vail Named UCHC Goaltender of the Week


ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Junior netminder Mac Vail (East Elmhurst, N.Y./Philadelphia Jr. Flyers (EHL)) of the Manhattanville College men’s ice hockey team was selected as the United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) Goaltender of the Week.

Potsdam’s McCabe Earns NEWHL Goalie of the Week


POTSDAM, N.Y.-SUNY Potsdam senior women’s hockey player Kayla McCabe (Watertown, N.Y./Syracuse Nationals) has been named the Northeast Women’s Hockey League’s Goalie of the Week.

In just her sixth career start, McCabe made a person best 58 saves and carried the Bears to overtime before falling to No. 1 and defending national champ Plattsburgh State 2-1 last Wednesday. McCabe has a .928 save percentage and a 3.50 goals-against-average this season.

UHL & NHLPA Announce 2nd Annual “All-Star Hero” Campaign


…Four selected service members will receive once-in-a-lifetime trip with a guest to St. Louis for 2020 Honda NHL® All-Star Weekend.

TORONTO/HASTINGS, Minn. (Nov. 20, 2019) – The United Heroes League (UHL) and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) have announced the second annual All-Star Hero campaign is underway to recognize military personnel and their families for their services through the players’ NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund.

Beginning today until Dec. 1, 2019, the public is being asked to nominate their military hero through www.UnitedHeroesLeague.org/all-star-hero/. Open to all branches of service, submitted nominations will provide some basic information for either a U.S. or Canadian Forces service member, as well as a narrative as to why they deserve to be selected.

During the holiday season, four service members will be chosen by the UHL. Each selected service member and a guest will receive air travel to St. Louis for the chance to meet and interact with players in the NHLPA All-Star Lounge at the 2020 Honda NHL® All-Star Weekend. Tickets to the NHL All-Star Skills ™ and NHL® All-Star Game will also be provided, along with hotel accommodations, ground transportation and other prizing.

The four All-Star Hero winners will be personally notified by this year’s regional ambassadors – Brent Burns, Jake Gardiner, Torey Krug and Blake Wheeler.

All-Star Hero nominations are open to the following service members:
Currently serving and honorably discharged Veterans from the United States or Canada, as well as immediate family members of those killed in action.
All branches of service, both active duty and reserve components. All ranks, both enlisted and officers/warrant officers.
Service member must have deployed one or more times.
“Working with the four individuals who were each selected last year as an All-Star Hero was an amazing and memorable experience for everyone involved. Together with the United Heroes League, and in support of all the incredible work they do for our Veterans, we are excited for the second year of the initiative,” said Mathieu Schneider, NHLPA Special Assistant to the Executive Director.

“For ten years, the players have been our biggest supporters in advancing our mission of helping military families to stay healthy and active through hockey. Our All-Star Hero initiative with the NHLPA is a great example of the assistance and lifelong memories that the players help us create for our nation’s heroes on a regular basis. I’m very excited for year two of this project, and to have Brent Burns, Blake Wheeler, Torey Krug, and Jake Gardiner involved as ambassadors for their regions. One of the best ways we can thank our military is by recognizing those world class warriors and their kids with help from the world class athletes of pro hockey, and we couldn’t do it without the NHLPA Goals & Dreams program,” said Shane Hudella, President & Founder of United Heroes League.


About the National Hockey League Players’ Association
The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), established in 1967, is a labour organization whose members are the players in the National Hockey League (NHL). The NHLPA works on behalf of the players in varied disciplines such as labour relations, product licensing, marketing, international hockey and community relations, all in furtherance of its efforts to promote its members and the game of hockey. In 1999, NHLPA Goals & Dreams was launched as a way for the players to give something back to the game they love. Over the past 20 years, more than 80,000 deserving children in 34 countries have benefited from the players’ donations of hockey equipment. NHLPA Goals & Dreams has donated more than $25 million to grassroots hockey programs, making it the largest program of its kind. For more information on the NHLPA, please visit www.nhlpa.com.

About United Heroes League
United Heroes League is a 501(c)(3) national non-profit based in Hastings, Minnesota. The charity assists families of all branches of the military by providing free sports equipment, free camps, financial grants to pay for registration fees, and pro sports tickets so the entire family can enjoy a night out at the game. Follow United HeroesLeague on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube

NHL and the NHL Shield are registered trademarks and the NHL All-Star logo and NHL All-Star Skills name and logo are trademarks of the National Hockey League. © NHL. Used with permission. All Rights Reserved.

Niagara’s Naumovski Awarded AHA’s Rookie of the Week


WINTHROP, Mass. – Following a six-point weekend – highlighted by a five-assist game on Saturday – Ryan Naumovski has been named Atlantic Hockey’s Rookie of the Week.

Naumovski played a huge role in Niagara’s success this weekend, tallying six assists. Saturday was his breakout game, as Naumovski had an assist on each of Niagara’s five goals to help the Purple Eagles beat Canisius, 5-3. The freshman also had the primary assist on the opening goal in Friday’s game against the Golden Griffins.

The last player to record at least three assists in a single game was Dylan Mills, who did so in his Niagara debut against AIC last season. Following the performance, Mills was also honored with the conference Rookie of the Week award.

Naumovski’s standout weekend vaulted him into a tie for fifth place nationally for assists by a freshman.

Naumovski and the Purple Eagles are back in action this weekend against Mercyhurst. The teams will be in Erie, Pennsylvania on Friday night before shifting the series back to Dwyer Arena on Saturday. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. Fans interested in attending can purchase tickets through Ticketmaster or contact the Ticket Office at 716-286-TIXX (8499). Following the game, head coach Jason Lammers will also be available for postgame comments and questions.

Army Duo Awarded Weekly AHA Awards


WEST POINT, N.Y. – Following their outstanding performances in Army West Point hockey’s series sweep over Holy Cross, John Zimmerman and Trevin Kozlowski both received recognition by the Atlantic Hockey Association.

Zimmerman picks up Defensive Player of the Week honors, while Kozlowski was named the Goalie of the Week.

Zimmerman, who hails from Arlington, Texas, had a standout weekend as the Black Knights earned their first conference sweep of the season. The junior defender led the team with four points after scoring on the power play and gaining three helpers.

He finished with a plus-3 rating in the two games, blocked four shots, and helped anchor an Army penalty-kill unit that went perfect in nine chances.

Kozlowski had another solid performance in net for the Cadets. He posted the best save percentage and goals against average of any goalie who started two games in the league last weekend, with 0.963 and 1.00 marks, respectively. Kozlowski allowed one goal in each game and has been a key factor in Army’s penalty kill success, which leads the nation at 97.5 percent.

The Black Knights will be home at Tate Rink on Friday (7 p.m.) and Saturday (4 p.m.) versus RIT.

Potsdam’s Green Named SUNYAC Rookie of the Week

POTSDAM, N.Y.-SUNY Potsdam freshman men’s hockey player Connor Green (Newport Richey, Fla./Tampa Bay Juniors) has been named the PrestoSports SUNYAC Rookie of the Week for his play last weekend.

Green made his first collegiate start a big one. The goaltender stopped all 20 shots to earn his first career win and shutout and help the Bears to their first victory of the season on Saturday night. The 1-0 win over Fredonia was just Green’s second collegiate appearance.

Potsdam looks to build some momentum this weekend as they head to Plattsburgh State on Friday and then host No. 5 Hobart College on Saturday. Both games start at 7 p.m.

Luukkonen Named Warrior Hockey/ECHL Goalie of the Week


Netminder records Back-to-Back Shutouts, Part of 3-0-0-0 Week for ‘Clones

Cincinnati, OH- CincinnatiCyclones goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been named the  Warrior Hockey / ECHL Goaltender of the Week for the week of November 11-17. Luukkonen was a perfect 2-0-0-0 on the week, recording a 0.00 goals-against average and a 1.000 save percentage in back-to-back shutouts. He is the first Cyclones goaltender to post back-to-back clean sheets since the team returned to action prior to the 2006-2007 season.  

He started his perfect week on Thursday night, stopping all 22 shots he faced in a 1-0 overtime win against the Allen Americans. He continued to hold the opposition off the board on Saturday night, turning aside all 23 Ft. Wayne Komet offerings in a 5-0 win over their Central Division Rivals. Luukkonen is second in the ECHL with a 1.79  goals-against average and fourth with a .925 save percentage, while posting a 3-2-0-0 record in the process.  

A native of Espoo, FIN, Luukkonen is coming off a successful season with the Sudbury Wolves in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) where he posted a record of 38-11-2, along with a 2.50 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage. He was named OHL Goaltender of the Year for his efforts, and he also earned the Red Tilson Trophy, which is given to the Most Outstanding Player in the League. He is the first European import player to earn that award. 

Drafted by the Buffalo Sabres, National Hockey League (NHL) affiliate of the Cyclones, in the second round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Luukkonen made his North American debut late last season, stopping 32 shots in a 4-2 win over the Belleville Senators on April 14. He has also seen time on the international stage with the Finnish National Team, earning a gold medal in both the 2019 Under-20 World Junior Championships and 2017 Under-18 World Junior Championships, and he helped backstop the Finnish squad to a silver medal in the 2017 U18 WJC.