The OJHL announced today that Mississauga Chargers netminder Austin Washkurak (photo credit - Gary Keys/OJHL Images) has been named the Gongshow Gear Goaltender-of-the-Month after posting a 5-1-0 record in February with a league high .941 save percentage.
Washkurak was instrumental in leading the Chargers to their first OJHL playoff berth since the 2006-07 season, posting a 2.50 goals against average. His five wins in February included key victories down the stretch against East Division powerhouses Whitby, Cobourg and Wellington. Four times he would make 40+ saves, highlighted by a 46 save, 3-1 victory, over the Cougars on February 15. Topping the save percentage chart in February after stopping 238 shots in only six games played, Washkurak boosted his season total to .911 to finish among the top 10 overall in the league.
"I want to thank the OJHL for selecting me for this award," said the Chargers goalie upon hearing of the honour. "I appreciate the recognition, but we worked hard as a team to make the playoffs. My focus was simple; stop pucks. I am glad I could do this, but we scored when we needed to, to win games."
"Making the playoffs was our goal as a team," continued Washkurak, "but now we want to continue this play into the playoffs and go as far as we can. I would like to thank the coaches, and my teammates most of all, for helping me win this award."
"I am very excited to learn that Ozzy (Austin Washkurak) has won Player-of-the-Month for February," said Chargers Head Coach Joe Washkurak. "Being Ozzy's coach and his father, it's very gratifying that the OJHL has recognized his play this month. I also believe this is a team award as we have beaten some very good teams down the stretch and our players deserve a lot of credit for playing very well in front of him."
"Ozzy has worked very hard over the summer," said the club's bench boss, "and I know had very high expectations of himself and our team. Making the playoffs for the first time in seven years was his and our goal."
Sam Tanguay of the Kingston Voyageurs was runner-up to Washkurak as the OJHL Goaltender-of-the-Month. Tanguay posted a 6-0-0 record with a 1.81 goals against average and a .938 save percentage.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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