Waterloo defenseman set new Tier 1 era scoring mark
The United States Hockey League today announced that Brandon Montour of the Waterloo Black Hawks has been named both the 2013-14 USHL Defenseman of the Year and USHL Player of the Year as determined by a vote of League coaches and general managers.
Montour played all 60 regular season games for the Black Hawks and totaled 62 points (14g, 48a) to lead all USHL defensemen in scoring and finish ninth overall in the League. It was the most points by a defenseman in the USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present), surpassing the 60 points (13g, 47a) by Colby Cohen of the Lincoln Stars in 2006-07, and was just five points shy of the USHL all-time record of 67 points scored by Mike Ross of the Rochester Mustangs in the 1986-87 season.
Montour dished out 48 assists, the second-most in the USHL this season and the most in the Tier 1 era for defenseman. He put together an 18-game point streak during the season, amassing 27 points (4g, 23a) and leading Waterloo to a 16-1-1 record over that span. It was the third-longest scoring streak in the Tier 1 era and longest by a defenseman.
His 14 goals were the second-most this season by a defenseman and the Black Hawks posted a 13-0-0 record in games that he netted a goal, including three contests in which he scored the game-winner. After dishing out two assists in his USHL debut on September 21st, a 3-2 win against the Chicago Steel, Montour scored a pair of goals in just his third game in the League, a 6-3 victory over the Youngstown Phantoms on October 5th.
The defenseman produced 26 points (7g, 19a) on the power play, third-most in the League, helping Waterloo to record the USHL’s top power play percentage (25.2%). He also ranked sixth in the USHL with a plus-35 rating as he finished even-or-better in 50 of the 60 regular season contests.
He helped lead a defensive unit for Waterloo that gave up the third-fewest goals in the USHL this season (153) and the second-fewest for a Black Hawks team ever (151 goals in 2007-08).
“What Brandon did on both ends of the ice this season was phenomenal and a big part of the magical year for the Waterloo Black Hawks,” said Skip Prince, USHL President and Commissioner. “He may have come into the USHL a little under the radar, but he made everyone take notice this season with his tremendous abilities and talent. Congratulations to him on this dual honor and for standing out in a league full of stars.”
Montour came to the Waterloo Black Hawks after the team selected him in the 18th round (267th overall) of the 2013 USHL Draft. The Ohsweken, Ontario native celebrated his 20th birthday shortly after the regular season and has already put up 14 points (5g, 9a) through nine playoff games, including a hat trick in his first playoff appearance. That total has tied for the most points by a defenseman in the Tier 1 era, a mark set by Mitch Witek when he tallied 14 points (4g, 10a) in 15 games for Waterloo during the 2012 Clark Cup Playoffs.
Montour will continue his hockey career next season at the University of Massachusetts. He is also a top prospect for the upcoming 2014 NHL Draft as he was listed at #92 among North American skaters in the final rankings by NHL Central Scouting.
He is just the third defenseman in League history to be named USHL Player of the Year, following Scott Swanson of the Omaha Lancers in 1994-95 and Eric Rud of the Des Moines Buccaneers in 1992-93. It is the fourth time that a member of the Waterloo Black Hawks has earned the USHL Player of the Year, joining Taylor Cammarata (2012-13), Jason Blake (1993-94), and Peter Ferraro (1991-92).
Montour is also the fourth member of the Waterloo Black Hawks to be recognized as the USHL Defenseman of the Year, joining Blake Kessel (2007-08), Doug Schmidt (1996-97), and John Gruden (1989-90).
USHL stats - Brandon Montour
Video - Brandon Montour season highlights
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 12th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2013-14. A record 32 players were chosen in the 2013 NHL Draft and more than 300 players on team rosters last season have committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com or visit the League’s social media platforms, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/ushlhockey), twitter (www.twitter.com/ushl), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ushlinteractive). Fans can also watch USHL action all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (ushl.fasthockey.com).
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