As the calendar turned to a new year, many familiar names led the way in the Senators' system. It's hard to believe that it was only last month when Team Canada rallied to beat Russia 4-3 in the World Junior Championship gold medal game. Lost in the celebrations was how the winning goal started off: with a beautiful stretch pass by Jacob Bernard-Docker.
Back at the University of North Dakota, Bernard-Docker's college teammates continued their winning ways. One of their final victories of the month came thanks to a Jonny Tychonick goal, his first career NCAA game-winner. His 4 goals this season have come on just 10 shots.
Not to be outdone, Shane Pinto scored 7 points in 7 games with North Dakota after returning from the World Juniors. Although Team USA finished a disappointing 6th place, Pinto was a bright spot for the Americans. He was second in team scoring with 7 points in 5 games.
Masked Men / Crease Report
With Marcus Hogberg in Ottawa, Joey Daccord has taken full advantage of his opportunity in Belleville. He's put up a 10-3-2 record with a team-leading .918SV% over the past 2 months, propelling Belleville to 1st place in the North Division.
Daccord's counterpart in Belleville, Filip Gustavsson, had the best month of his AHL career in January. He notched his first AHL shutout while posting a 4-0-1 record and a .942 SV%.
Meanwhile, Kevin Mandolese was named the QMJHL goaltender of the month for December. He recorded 4 wins, including his first shutout of the season, en route to a .930 SV%. Mandolese continued his outstanding play in January, posting a 7-1 record and an identical .930 SV%.
Headin' Out On The 401
After an up-and-down start to the season, Belleville has been climbing the ladder in the AHL's North Division. They claimed the top spot heading into the All-Star break at the end of the month thanks to contributions from many prospects.
At this point you've come to expect Josh Norris' name in the Farm Report, and he lived up to his reputation with another phenomenal month. Norris had 13 points in 11 games and rode a 13-game point streak that ended midway through January. Even though he missed 2 games and the All Star festivities due to an illness, he sits first in the AHL rookie scoring race.
Speaking of streaks, Logan Brown had points in 8 straight when the month came to an end after putting up 16 points in 13 games - plus a shootout winner.
With 11 assists in 13 games, Erik Brannstrom recorded a remarkably consistent stat line during his first full month in the AHL this season. Embracing an offensive role from the blueline, 5 of Brannstrom's assists came on the power play.
The book on Alex Formenton has always been about his blazing speed, but we finally got to put a number on that during the AHL All-Star Skills Competition. He won the event running away with a time of 13.356 - good for third best in league history. A late addition to the event due to Norris' illness, Formenton had 15 points in 13 games, including his first pro hat trick.
Whenever a team goes on a winning streak like Belleville did, you can often look past the top two lines to find some unsung production. That was the case for Parker Kelly who got into a bit of a groove for the first time in his rookie pro season. He had a 5 game point streak and finished with a season-high 6 points in January.
How about this finish by Rudolfs Balcers during the AHL All-Star Game? Thing of beauty.
That's a wrap on the first Farm Report of 2020! Stay tuned for the next monthly Farm Report and be sure to reach out if there's something you'd like to see featured.
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