Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the top OHL Performers of the Month for March, 2012, including forward Tobias Rieder of the Kitchener Rangers, defenceman Dougie Hamilton of the Niagara IceDogs, rookie Radek Faksa of the Kitchener Rangers, and goaltender Michael Houser of the London Knights.
OHL Player of the Month – Tobias Rieder, Kitchener Rangers
Tobias Rieder of the Kitchener Rangers led the OHL with 29 points in 13 March games tying for the league-lead with 14 goals while adding 15 assists and earning a plus-minus rating of plus-8. He finished the month with a total of nine multi-point games which included multi-point efforts in four of the Rangers’ five first round playoff games against the Owen Sound Attack. Rieder also scored the game-winner in three of the Rangers’ four first round wins including the series-winning goal in Game 5 on March 30 when he was named first star of the 4-2 win scoring twice with two assists.
Rieder, a 19-year-old from Landshut, Germany, is playing in his second OHL season with the Rangers. The Edmonton Oilers prospect was selected in the fourth round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and finished tied for ninth in league scoring this season with 85 points in 60 games scoring 42 goals and 43 assists.
OHL Defenceman of the Month – Dougie Hamilton, Niagara IceDogs
Dougie Hamilton of the Niagara IceDogs claims the monthly award for the fourth time this season once again leading all defencemen in scoring with 17 points in 14 games. He scored twice and added 15 assists helping the IceDogs earn the franchise’s first Central Division title before defeating the Oshawa Generals in the opening round of the 2012 Playoffs in six games. Hamilton recorded seven multi-point games in March including four multi-point efforts in the first five playoff games ending the month with a two-assist performance March 31 as part of the 5-3 win over the Generals in Game 5 of the series.
Hamilton, an 18-year-old from Toronto, ON, is playing in his third OHL season with the IceDogs. Last season Hamilton. Selected ninth overall by the Boston Bruins in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Hamilton led all OHL defencemen with 72 points in 50 games this season.
Kal Tire OHL Rookie of the Month – Radek Faksa, Kitchener Rangers
Radek Faksa of the Kitchener Rangers claims Kal Tire OHL Rookie of the Month honours for the third time this season after leading all rookies with 14 points in 13 games including three points in four playoff games. He scored a total of seven goals and seven assists in March picking up at least one point in seven of the Rangers’ final nine regular season games helping them secure third seed in the OHL’s Western Conference highlighted by a career-high four-point game March 10 with two goals and two assists as third star of a 6-4 win over the Erie Otters.
Faksa, an 18-year-old native of the Czech Republic, is among the top OHL players eligible for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. He finished the regular season first among rookies in scoring with 66 points in 62 games scoring 29 goals and 37 assists.
Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month – Michael Houser, London Knights
Michael Houser backstopped the London Knights to their fifth Hamilton Spectator Trophy as the OHL’s top team in the regular season and tied the league’s single season goaltending record for wins with 46. In March he posted a goals-against-average of 1.55 and save percentage of .948 in 11 games with a record of 8-3-0-0 including four playoff victories and one shutout victory. Historical win number 46 came on March 16 when he made 30 saves in a 3-2 win over the Sarnia Sting to match the mark set in 2009 by Windsor Spitfires goaltender Andrew Engelage. Houser then earned his first career playoff shutout in Game 1 of the Knights’ best-of-seven series against the Windsor Spitfires on March 23 with 21 saves as second star of the 3-0 victory.
Houser, a 19-year-old from Wexford, PA, is playing in his third OHL season with the Knights. He finished the regular season with a 46-15-0-1 record and six shutout victories with a goals-against-average of 2.47 and save percentage of .925.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)