The OJHL announced today that Stouffville Spirit forward Christian Finch has been named the Gongshow Gear North-West Conference Player-of-the-Month after recording 17 points in 7 games played throughout the month of November.
The Spirit’s alternate captain carried his stellar play from the first two months of the season into November and vaulted toward the top of the OJHL scoring charts on the strength of five goals and twelve assists during the month. Not only the club’s top scoring player, Finch is counted on to play in virtually all key situations throughout the course of a game, logging extensive minutes played. During his seven games played in November, Finch recorded six multi-point games, including a four point outing (1g, 3a) during a 7-5 victory over Burlington on November 19. Currently tied for the OJHL scoring lead with 55 points, he is sitting on a 12 game point scoring streak that includes the entire month of November. The consummate playmaker, Finch’s totals include a league best 35 assists and fifth best power play assist total with 14 helpers.
Finch was very humble upon hearing of the award, “I'm very honoured to win the Player-of-the-Month award. It's a great feeling to be recognized and see all the hard work I've put in, pay off. It's even more humbling knowing what great talent there is in this league.” He continued by praising his club, “Thus far, our team’s doing very well, especially after losing some key components of what made us a great team last season. Our GM Ken Burrows and Coach (Craig) Donovan have done a great job getting the younger guys to step up and contribute, giving everyone on our team a great chance to succeed. Hopefully we can achieve more than we did last year.”
Spirit Head Coach Craig Donovan praised his star forwards ability and versatility, “Christian Finch has a rare combination of puck handling ability, vision of the ice and lateral movement which make him one of the top playmakers in our league. Last year, we moved him to forward after he had played defence for most of his hockey career and he immediately started to put up impressive offensive numbers. This year, he has continued on a strong pace, leading our team and the league in several categories.” Donovan also extolled Finch’s dedication to the game of hockey, “When Christian first came to our team, he was about 15 pounds heavier than he is today, but he has been highly committed to off-season conditioning which has made him quicker and enabled him to play more minutes at a faster pace. This season, we challenged Christian to improve his defensive play so that he would be able to step right into the Clarkson’s line-up next season and he has responded quite well. Aside from his regular shift, he anchors our power play and often plays in penalty kill situations as well.”
Shane Bennett of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres was runner-up to Finch as the North-West Conference Player-of-the-Month. The second-year native of Grand Island, New York has taken over the club’s scoring lead after posting 19 points in 10 games played for the Jr. Sabres during the month of November.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)