Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that goaltender Joseph Murdaca of the Erie Otters is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the week ending February 19 after posting a 3-0-0-0 record including a shutout victory with a goals-against-average of 0.67 and save percentage of .964.
Murdaca was near perfect last week turning aside 54 of 56 shots faced backstopping Erie to a trio of victories as the Otters established a new franchise record for consecutive wins. On Wednesday night he made 16 saves in a battle for first place atop the Midwest Division standings defeating the London Knights by a 5-1 score. Over the weekend Murdaca got the best of his former team the Mississauga Steelheads in a home-and-home series beginning Friday night on the road with 19 saves in the 4-1 win, and Saturday at home with another 19 save performance as first star recording the 3-0 shutout. The Otters are the OHL’s top team with 87 points courtesy of a 42-10-2-1 record and powered of late by 13-straight wins surpassing the club’s previous high of 11 set during the 2013-14 season.
An 18-year-old from Niagara Falls, ON, Murdaca was acquired by the Otters in December and has won each of his last 11 starts since January 13. He carries an overall record of 11-1-0-1 with the Otters including two shutouts, a goals-against-average of 2.13, and save percentage of .905 in 13 appearances. The sophomore is now the seventh goaltender to receive the league’s weekly award, while this marks the fifth time an Otters player has been recognized following Alex DeBrincat (3) and fellow netminder Troy Timpano.
Two other goaltenders were considered for the award this week as their clubs clinched OHL Playoff berths including Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack and Jeremy Brodeur of the Oshawa Generals. McNiven, a Montreal Canadiens prospect, went 2-0-0-1 with 72 saves and a shutout victory for a goals-against-average of 0.97 and save percentage of .960. Brodeur stopped 82 shots and was a perfect 17/17 across two shootout victories carrying a goals-against-average of 2.77 and save percentage of .932. Up front, Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat of the Otters led the league with seven points including three goals and four assists in three games eclipsing the century mark for points in a season a third straight time.
2016-17 Pioneer Energy OHL Players of the Week:
Feb. 13 – Feb. 19: Joseph Murdaca (Erie Otters)
Feb. 6 – Feb. 12: Spencer Watson (Mississauga Steelheads)
Jan. 30 – Feb. 5: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Jan. 23 – Jan. 29: Jeremy Helvig (Kingston Frontenacs)
Jan. 16 – Jan. 22: Hayden Hodgson (Saginaw Spirit)
Jan. 9 – Jan. 15: Kole Sherwood (Flint Firebirds)
Jan. 2 – Jan. 8: Santino Centorame (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 26 – Jan. 1: Michael McNiven (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 12 – Dec. 18: Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes)
Dec. 5 – Dec. 11: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)
Nov. 28 – Dec. 4: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Nov. 21 – Nov. 27: Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Nov. 14 – Nov. 20: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Nov. 7 – Nov. 13: Jonathan Ang (Peterborough Petes)
Oct. 31 – Nov. 6: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Oct. 24 – Oct. 30: Troy Timpano (Erie Otters)
Oct. 17 – Oct. 23: Max Jones (London Knights)
Oct. 10 – Oct. 16: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Oct. 3 – Oct. 9: Logan Brown (Windsor Spitfires)
Sept. 26 – Oct. 2: Joseph Raaymakers (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 25: Matt Luff (Hamilton Bulldogs)