Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the Top OHL Performers of the Month for regular season games played in March 2017, including Owen Sound Attack teammates Petrus Palmu and Santino Centorame along with Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds goaltender Matthew Villalta.
OHL Player of the Month – Petrus Palmu (Owen Sound Attack):
Owen Sound Attack winger Petrus Palmu is the OHL Player of the Month for March after leading all players with 20 points including seven goals and 13 assists in nine games to go with a plus/minus rating of plus-13. The Finnish forward had points in all nine contests, including seven multi-point efforts headlined by a four-point performance, netting four assists in a 6-4 road win over the Niagara IceDogs on March 9th. Palmu finished the 2016-17 season with goals in six straight outings, including a two-goal, one assist showing as the Attack defeated the Sarnia Sting 9-3 on March 12th. The 19-year-old rounded out the month with a goal and two assists in Owen Sound’s 8-5 win in Guelph on Sunday as the Attack secured third place in the Western Conference.
A native of Joensuu, Finland, Palmu closed out his third OHL season with 98 points, the most by an Attack player since Bobby Ryan’s 102 in 2006-07. Palmu’s 98 points including 40 goals and 58 assists place him fourth in league scoring as the Attack finished second in the Midwest Division with a franchise-best record of 49-15-2-2. Owen Sound’s first round (22nd overall) CHL Import Draft selection in 2014, Palmu has not been drafted to the NHL but attended Training Camp with the Montreal Canadiens last fall. He represented Finland at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.
OHL Defenceman of the Month – Santino Centorame (Owen Sound Attack):
For the second time this season, Owen Sound Attack captain Santino Centorame is the OHL’s Defenceman of the Month, leading all rearguards with 15 points including two goals and 13 assists in nine contests. Centorame surpassed Chris Bigras as Owen Sound’s all-time franchise scoring leader among defencemen during the productive month of March, recording points in eight of his nine outings. The 20-year-old recorded three assists in a 6-4 win over the Niagara IceDogs on March 9th. He earned first star honours twice, first on March 16th with a goal and two assists in Owen Sound’s 6-1 victory in Windsor to set a new franchise mark for wins in a season. He posted two assists a game later to earn first star recognition and help the Attack defeat the Kitchener Rangers 7-2 on March 18th.
A native of Mississauga, Ont., Centorame finishes his fourth and final OHL season second in league scoring among defencemen with 73 points including seven goals and a 66 assists to go with a plus/minus rating of plus-37. He ends his OHL regular season career with 29 goals, 133 assists and 162 points in 265 games between Owen Sound and London to go with a plus/minus rating of plus-55. Originally London’s fourth round (88th overall) pick in 2012, Centorame attended Training Camp with the St. Louis Blues last fall.
Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month & OHL Rookie of the Month – Matthew Villalta (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds):
After an outstanding month of March, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds rookie Matthew Villalta is the first dual-award winner of the 2016-17 season. The 17-year-old is the Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month and the OHL Rookie of the Month after leading all netminders with a 1.34 goals-against average and .957 save percentage along with a 5-1-0-0 record with one shutout over six games. Villalta’s month started with a bang as he turned in a 37-save performance to record his first OHL shutout in a 6-0 win over the Guelph Storm on March 3rd. He made 27 saves two nights later in a 2-1 road win over the Kitchener Rangers. Villalta made a season-high 40 saves as the Hounds defeated the Rangers 6-1 at home on March 10th. He closed out the month with a 27-save effort in a 3-1 win over the Saginaw Spirit on March 17th. He received star of the game recognition four times, including a pair of first star designations.
A native of Godfrey, Ont., Villalta finished his rookie season with an impressive 25-3-0-0 record to go with a 2.41 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. He becomes the OHL’s first 17-year-old rookie to win 25 games in a season since 2006-07 and sets a new Greyhounds single-season record for lowest goals-against average as his 2.41 mark surpasses the prior benchmark of 2.44 set by Kyle Gajewski in 2007-08. Villalta enjoyed a 16-game winning streak from Sept. 24th to Feb. 10th, marking the longest winning streak by an OHL goaltender since Niagara’s Mark Visentin won 17 straight during the 2011-12 season. Signed as a free agent by the Greyhounds out of Training Camp last fall, Villalta is eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft.
2016-17 OHL Performers of the Month:
Player of the Month:
March – Petrus Palmu (Owen Sound Attack)
February – Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
January – Adam Mascherin (Kitchener Rangers)
December – Zach Gallant (Peterborough Petes)
November – Alex DeBrincat/Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters)
October – Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters)
Defenceman of the Month:
March – Santino Centorame (Owen Sound Attack)
February – Darren Raddysh (Erie Otters)
January – Santino Centorame (Owen Sound Attack)
December – Stephen Desrocher (Kingston Frontenacs)
November – Darren Raddysh (Erie Otters)
October – Mathieu Henderson (Flint Firebirds)
Rookie of the Month:
March – Matthew Villalta (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
February – Adam Ruzicka (Sarnia Sting)
January – Allan McShane (Oshawa Generals)
December – Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm)
November – Linus Nyman (Kingston Frontenacs)
October – Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm)
Vaughn Goaltender of the Month:
March – Matthew Villalta (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
February – Michael McNiven (Owen Sound Attack)
January – Jacob Ingham (Mississauga Steelheads)
December – Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires
November – Tyler Parsons (London Knights)
October – Troy Timpano (Erie Otters)