Otters’ Joseph Murdaca named Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that goaltender Joseph Murdaca of the Erie Otters is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the week ending February 19 after posting a 3-0-0-0 record including a shutout victory with a goals-against-average of 0.67 and save percentage of .964.

Murdaca was near perfect last week turning aside 54 of 56 shots faced backstopping Erie to a trio of victories as the Otters established a new franchise record for consecutive wins.  On Wednesday night he made 16 saves in a battle for first place atop the Midwest Division standings defeating the London Knights by a 5-1 score.  Over the weekend Murdaca got the best of his former team the Mississauga Steelheads in a home-and-home series beginning Friday night on the road with 19 saves in the 4-1 win, and Saturday at home with another 19 save performance as first star recording the 3-0 shutout.  The Otters are the OHL’s top team with 87 points courtesy of a 42-10-2-1 record and powered of late by 13-straight wins surpassing the club’s previous high of 11 set during the 2013-14 season.

An 18-year-old from Niagara Falls, ON, Murdaca was acquired by the Otters in December and has won each of his last 11 starts since January 13.  He carries an overall record of 11-1-0-1 with the Otters including two shutouts, a goals-against-average of 2.13, and save percentage of .905 in 13 appearances.  The sophomore is now the seventh goaltender to receive the league’s weekly award, while this marks the fifth time an Otters player has been recognized following Alex DeBrincat (3) and fellow netminder Troy Timpano.

Watch video highlights of Murdaca and the Otters against the Knights, and Friday and Saturday against the Steelheads.

Two other goaltenders were considered for the award this week as their clubs clinched OHL Playoff berths including Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack and Jeremy Brodeur of the Oshawa Generals.  McNiven, a Montreal Canadiens prospect, went 2-0-0-1 with 72 saves and a shutout victory for a goals-against-average of 0.97 and save percentage of .960.  Brodeur stopped 82 shots and was a perfect 17/17 across two shootout victories carrying a goals-against-average of 2.77 and save percentage of .932.  Up front, Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat of the Otters led the league with seven points including three goals and four assists in three games eclipsing the century mark for points in a season a third straight time.

2016-17 Pioneer Energy OHL Players of the Week:

Feb. 13 – Feb. 19: Joseph Murdaca (Erie Otters)
Feb. 6 – Feb. 12: Spencer Watson (Mississauga Steelheads)
Jan. 30 – Feb. 5: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Jan. 23 – Jan. 29: Jeremy Helvig (Kingston Frontenacs)
Jan. 16 – Jan. 22: Hayden Hodgson (Saginaw Spirit)
Jan. 9 – Jan. 15: Kole Sherwood (Flint Firebirds)
Jan. 2 – Jan. 8: Santino Centorame (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 26 – Jan. 1: Michael McNiven (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 12 – Dec. 18: Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes)
Dec. 5 – Dec. 11: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)
Nov. 28 – Dec. 4: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Nov. 21 – Nov. 27: Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Nov. 14 – Nov. 20: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Nov. 7 – Nov. 13: Jonathan Ang (Peterborough Petes)
Oct. 31 – Nov. 6: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Oct. 24 – Oct. 30: Troy Timpano (Erie Otters)
Oct. 17 – Oct. 23: Max Jones (London Knights)
Oct. 10 – Oct. 16: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Oct. 3 – Oct. 9: Logan Brown (Windsor Spitfires)
Sept. 26 – Oct. 2: Joseph Raaymakers (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 25: Matt Luff (Hamilton Bulldogs)

Otters’ Alex DeBrincat named Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the week ending February 5 after recording 11 points in three games scoring six times with five assists and a plus-minus rating of plus-1.

Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

DeBrincat earns the award for the third time this season following a trio of multi-point performances on the club’s East Division road trip that helped the Otters extend their winning-streak to eight and claim sole possession of first place in the overall standings with a 37-10-2-1 record.  DeBrincat became the Otters all-time leader in career goals scored on Thursday night with two tallies as part of a 5-4 win over the Peterborough Petes where he earned second star honours.  His 40th of the season in that contest helped erase a 4-2 third period deficit and surpassed Brad Boyes for the franchise’s goal-scoring lead with 142 set in his 171st career game.  DeBrincat’s week wrapped up with two straight first star efforts including Saturday night with two goals and three assists as part of an 8-4 win over the Ottawa 67’s, then Sunday afternoon with two goals and two assists in a 6-1 win over the Kingston Frontenacs.

A 19-year-old from Farmington Hills, Michigan, DeBrincat leads the OHL in scoring with 92 points in 45 games including 44 goals and 48 assists holding a 10-point lead over teammate Taylor Raddysh.  The third-year forward is on pace to become just the second player in OHL history to record three consecutive 50-goal seasons and would join Dale McCourt of the Hamilton/St. Catharines Fincups who accomplished the feat from 1974-77.  DeBrincat was chosen by the Blackhawks in the second round of the 2016 NHL Draft.

Watch video highlights of DeBrincat and the Otters against the Petes, 67’s, and Frontenacs.

Also considered for the award this week was fellow Otter and Arizona Coyotes prospect Dylan Strome who scored twice with seven assists for nine points in three games, and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Kole Sherwood of the Flint Firebirds who scored three goals and three assists for six points in two games.  In goal, Jeremy Brodeur of the Oshawa Generals made 71 saves while posting a 2-0-0-0 record including a shutout victory with a goals-against-average of 1.00 and save percentage of .973.

2016-17 Pioneer Energy OHL Players of the Week:

Jan. 30 – Feb. 5: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Jan. 23 – Jan. 29: Jeremy Helvig (Kingston Frontenacs)
Jan. 16 – Jan. 22: Hayden Hodgson (Saginaw Spirit)
Jan. 9 – Jan. 15: Kole Sherwood (Flint Firebirds)
Jan. 2 – Jan. 8: Santino Centorame (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 26 – Jan. 1: Michael McNiven (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 12 – Dec. 18: Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes)
Dec. 5 – Dec. 11: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)
Nov. 28 – Dec. 4: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Nov. 21 – Nov. 27: Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Nov. 14 – Nov. 20: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Nov. 7 – Nov. 13: Jonathan Ang (Peterborough Petes)
Oct. 31 – Nov. 6: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Oct. 24 – Oct. 30: Troy Timpano (Erie Otters)
Oct. 17 – Oct. 23: Max Jones (London Knights)
Oct. 10 – Oct. 16: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Oct. 3 – Oct. 9: Logan Brown (Windsor Spitfires)
Sept. 26 – Oct. 2: Joseph Raaymakers (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 25: Matt Luff (Hamilton Bulldogs)