Masternak named Goaltender of Month

Timmins Rock netminder Tyler Masternak has been named the NOJHL’s Goaltender of the Month for December

Thomas Perry
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In addition, Rock blue-liner Josh Anderson has received honourable mention after the league selected Espanola Express D-man Mattias Salem as its Defenceman of the Month for December.

Masternak (1,147:00, 15-2-1-1, 5, 1.88, .927) — who ranks second to only rookie teammate Vance Meyer (840:00, 11-3-0-0, 4, 1.50, .930) in terms of goals-against average and third behind Blind River Beavers backstop Jackson Hjelle (1,236:00, 14-5-0-2, 3, 2.18, .937) and Meyer on the saves percentage list — earned the starting nod on four occasions in December, winning them all and allowing just six goals against.

The 19-year-old Oshawa also posted his NOJHL-leading fifth shutout of the season in his final start of 2019.

In three seasons in the NOJHL, Masternak — who broke into the league with the Powassan Voodoos, but was acquired by the Rock midway through his first campaign — has posted a career-record 13 shutouts.

December saw Masternak produce a stingy 1.47 goals-against average along with a save percentage of .949.

Honourable mention went to Hjelle and Hearst Lumberjacks netminder Laim Oxner (1,415:00, 17-7-0-0, 1, 2.50, .914).

Previous monthly recipients have included:

• September — Owen Say, Voodoos;

• October — Say, Voodoos;

• November — Hjelle, Beavers.

Suiting up in eight outings for the Express in December, the 20-year-old Salem (34, 11-32-43, 26), from Brampton, racked up a dozen points on a pair of tallies and 10 helpers.

Four of those games were multi-point affairs for the blue-liner, including picking up his fourth and fifth three-point nights of the season for Espanola.

Salem presently tops all NOJHL defencemen in offensive production.

Honourable mention went to Beavers blue-liner Nathan Balkwill, (37, 4-33-37, 69) and Anderson (32, 8-23-31, 38).

Previous monthly recipients have included:

• September — Balkwill, Beavers;

• October — Anderson, Rock;

• November — Brice French, (29, 6-15-21, 42) Soo Eagles.

Meanwhile, Beavers forward Devon Savignac (31, 19-9-28, 16) has been selected as the NOJHL’s Player of the Month for December.

As one of the youngest players in the league this season, the 16-year-old forward from Sudbury had points in all six games he played last month, picking up nine in total.

Savignac also scored in five of those outings, including registering the game-winning marker on three occasions.

He’ll enter play in the New Year riding a nine-game point streak.

Honourable mention went to Beavers forward Caleb Serre, (37, 34-45-79, 25) and Voodoos forward Gregory Trudeau-Paquet, (33, 23-35-58, 38).

Previous monthly recipients have included:

• September — Serre, Beavers;

• October — Serre, Beavers;

• November — Serre, Beavers.

The NOJHL’s Rookie of the Month for December is Cochrane Crunch forward Matthew Minichiello (35, 14-19-33, 42).

The 18-year-old from Toronto had seven points for the Crunch to conclude the 2019 portion of their schedule.

Minichiello had three goals and four assists to produce at just over a point-per-game pace in December.

His 33 total points ties him for the NOJHL scoring lead among rookies.

Honourable mention went to Rayside-Balfour Canadians forward Matthew Belanger, (36, 19-11-30, 28) and Lumberjacks forward David Gobeil (34, 9-21-30, 14).

Previous monthly recipients have included:

• September — Minichiello, Crunch;

• October — Nicholas DeGrazia, Canadians;

• November — Jacob Kovacs, Soo Thunderbirds.

— With files from NOJHL Network