A Bull, an Almtuna and a Ranger walk into an ice rink…
Okay, confession time. Almtuna is actually a small village in Uppsala, Sweden, which makes it impossible for it to walk into an ice rink, but, for the purposes of this joke…forget it, let’s move on to something that makes sense, like January’s Triple Crown!
1). Brendan Gaunce, Belleville Bulls, OHL
After a strong month of November that saw Gaunce register 10 points (5-5-10) in nine games, the Canucks 2012 first-round selection turned the dial up a notch higher in January. Gaunce, who made the switch from center to left wing earlier in the month, was dominate, picking up 12 points (7-5-12) in 11 games, which included a pair of four-point nights and was named First Star of the game in not one, not two, but three separate games. If you’re wondering how the native of Markham, Ontario, is playing defensively, he was a stellar plus-8 in the month. Gaunce now has 35 points (19-16-35) in 39 games this season for Belleville, who currently sit in second place in the OHL’s Eastern Conference with 60 points (28-13-3-3). This marks the second straight month the 6-foot-3 forward has topped CDC’s Triple Crown.
2). Ludwig Blomstrand, Almtuna, Allsvenskan
Blomstrand has been nothing short of sensational since going from Djurgarden to Almtuna back in November. The Canucks 2011 fourth-round selection ripped it up this past month with eight points (6-2-8) in only seven games. Blomstrand didn’t grab a point in 14 games with Djurgarden; however, in 18 games with Almtuna, the 6-foot-2, 218-pounder has tallied 14 points (11-3-14), while playing primarily on the team’s first line.
3). Evan McEneny, Kitchener Rangers, OHL
McEneny has a solid November and then followed that up with a mediocre December, however, in January the Hamilton, Ontario, native rebounded with 10 points (2-8-10) in 13 games. McEneny had a five-game point streak from the 10th to the 20th and was dominate defensively, finishing with a positive plus/minus rating in eight games to finish the month a staggering plus-12. The 6-foot-2, 211-pound defenseman now has 24 points (5-19-24) in 46 games for the Rangers, who sit in fourth place in the OHL’s Western Conference with 64 points (29-14-1-5).
Honourable Mention: Joe Cannata, Chicago Wolves, AHL
Cannata only started one game for the Wolves prior to January, but, with injuries to Eddie Lack and Matt Climie, the 23-year-old appeared in four games last month, finishing with a 2-2 record and a stellar 1.62 GAA with a .941 SV%. The Wakefield, Massachusetts, native now has a 3-2 record on the season with a 1.70 GAA and a .932 SV%. In six career AHL appearances, Cannata has never allowed more than two goals.
-Alex Grenier, the Canucks 2011 third-round selection, joined the Canucks’ ECHL affiliate, the Kalamazoo Wings, earlier in the month after starting the season with EC Red Bull Salzburg in Austria. Grenier picked up points in seven-of-nine games in January finishing with seven assists, 17 penalty minutes and was plus-7.
-Wings rookie Alex Mallet heated up this past month with eight points (3-5-8) in 12 games along with 17 penalty minutes and 27 shots on goal.
-After posting two points in two games with the Sudbury Wolves to start January, Frank Corrado was dealt to the Kitchener Rangers, where he grabbed five points in nine games on the month. The Canucks 2011 fifth-round selection has 32 points (6-26-32) in 50 games in the OHL this season.
-Nicklas Jensen finished the month with five points (3-2-5) in nine games with AIK in the Swedish Elite League. The Canucks 2011 first-round selection is currently eighth in the SEL in goals (15), fourth in power-play goals (6) and fourth in game-winning goals (5).
-After missing training camp and the first two months of the season, goaltender, David Honzik seems to have found his groove again. Honzik appeared in 10 games for his last-place Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the QMJHL last month, going 1-7-1 with a 3.45 GAA.
-Joseph Labate registered four points in seven games for the University of Wisconsin Badgers last month, giving him 10 points (4-6-10) in 23 games this season.
-Colgate defensemen, Jeremy Price grabbed four points (1-3-4) in six games in January, bringing his season total to 14 points (5-9-14) in 24 games.
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