P-BRUINS HAND OUT TEAM AWARDS
Defenseman Johnny Boychuk Tops List with Three Honors
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins, in their 17th season in the American Hockey League, announced their end of the season team awards, including the Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year and 3 Stars honors.
The AHL's Eddie Shore Award winner and First Team All-Star Johnny Boychuk led the group with three awards, receiving the MetLife Most Valuable Player and Dunkin' Donuts Best Defenseman honors, both voted on by his teammates, and the Shaw's Leading Scorer Award. Boychuk paces the P-Bruins and all AHL defensemen with 64 points in 76 games, also leading the league's blue-liners in goals (20), assists (44) and game-winning goals (5). The first-year Bruin, who appeared in one National Hockey League contest for the parent Boston Bruins in December, ranks second in the league with 283 shots. The awards have piled up for the Canadian All-Star starter this season, having already been named the league's CCM/AHL Co-Player of the Month for March, Providence's October Player of the Month and a Reebok/AHL Player of the Week in October. Boychuk's career-year has him standing alone in the P-Bruins record book as he now ranks first-all-time for points in a single-season by a Providence defenseman, eclipsing the 62 totaled previously by Jeff Serowik (1994-95) and Brandon Smith (1998-99).
The only other award voted on by members of the P-Bruins locker room was the Martone Group Rookie of the Year, given to Brad Marchand. The first-year forward has appeared in 76 games, ranking second among all AHL freshmen in points with 56 and third with 39 assists. Marchand, who also has 17 goals and a plus-10 rating to his credit, leads all league rookies with 229 shots. He was the Reebok Edge/AHL Rookie of the Month and Providence's Player of the Month for January after totaling 16 points (5g, 11a) in 13 games.
Goalie Tuukka Rask captured the team's U.S. Army 3 Stars Award after garnering 15 totals stars in his 56 games to lead the club. The second-year net-minder is tied for first in the AHL with 32 wins, leads the league with seven shootout victories, ranks third in minutes (3,280) and fifth in saves (1,468). Overall, Rask is 32-20-4 with four shutouts, a 2.51 goals-against-average and a .915 save percent. Of his 15 stars, he leads Providence with eight top star nods and six second star selections. Rask was also named the P-Bruins Player of the Month for March after going 6-2-3 with a 2.39 GAA in 11 games. Providence's Rookie of the Year in 2007-08, Rask has made one NHL appearance for Boston this season, shutting out the New York Rangers with 35 saves on January 31.
Jeff Penner earned two awards, including the Servicemaster Plus/Minus Award and the Pawtucket Credit Union Community Service Award. Penner is first on the P-Bruins and third among all AHL rookies with a plus-22 rating. The first-year defenseman is the only Providence player to have appeared in all 77 games this season and he ranks second among P-Bruins blue-liners in goals (10), assists (18) and points (28). In March, Penner was named the team's representative for the American Specialty/AHL Man of the Year award, given to one player from each AHL club for his outstanding contributions to his local community and charitable organizations during the season. Off the ice, the first-year pro has been a fixture in the Rhode Island community at several public appearances. Penner takes it upon himself to make frequent independent visits to Hasbro Children's Hospital and has also partnered with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rhode Island, where he has become a role model for a young boy, who he visits with weekly.
Second-year P-Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid was the fans' recipient of the Hendricks Memorial Fan Appreciation Award, given to the team's fan favorite. McQuaid has appeared in all but one game this season and has set career-highs in all offensive categories, including goals (4), assists (11) and points (15). The alternate captain was last year's Community Service Award winner.
Tickets are on sale now for the 2008-09 Calder Cup Playoffs for Games 1 and 2 of the best-of-seven Atlantic Division Semifinals series. Game 1 of the series will be played at the Dunkin' Donuts Center on Wednesday, April 15 at 7:05 p.m. and Game 2 will also be played at The Dunk on Friday, April 17 at 7:05 p.m. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the P-Bruins ticket office at (401) 273-5000 or log on to the team website at providencebruins.com. Tickets may be purchased in person by visiting the Dunkin' Donuts Center Box Office or all TicketMaster outlets.