McDonald Named Player of the Week, Bardreau Rookie of the Month

Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Colin McDonald is leading by example for Lehigh Valley. Photo: Amanda Statland
The American Hockey League announced this afternoon that Lehigh Valley Phantoms forward and team captain Colin McDonald has been named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the week ending January 31st.

McDonald finished the week with 10 points (six goals, four assists) in four games last week, including a five-point night (hat trick, two assists) in a 6-3 win over Binghamton on Wednesday. Entering last week's games, McDonald had tallied just three goals and four assists through 23 games - a season that started with a lengthy injury absence - prior to last week's offensive explosion.

"I was struggling to score goals all year, but I knew it was going to come at some point," McDonald said of sticking with it through the lack of production. "Obviously you don't expect it to come in one week, but I just knew that eventually they would start going in. Confidence has a lot to do with it. I'm getting more chances and I just feel really confident out there right now."

McDonald has elevated his game at the right time, helping the Phantoms to a season-high five-game win streak heading into the All-Star break. Lehigh Valley resumes the final 30 games of the regular season with two road contests this weekend, starting Friday night in Bridgeport before another Saturday night in Hershey at the Giant Center against the rival Bears.

Would you like to see my coverage of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms while they're on the road continue? Please lend a helping hand to keep me providing live coverage of the team while they're on the road this season by making a generous donation to my GoFundMe page.

Bardreau is AHL's top rookie for January. Photo: Nina Weiss/The Home News
The AHL also announced today the monthly award winners for player of the month, rookie of the month and goaltender of the month for the month of January. With six goals, six assists and a plus 11 rating in 12 games, forward Cole Bardreau took home rookie of the month honors.

"He's playing a real complete game, it's not just the points," head coach Scott Gordon said of Bardreau's game. "He's competing hard in the offensive zone, out-working the opposition, finishing checks, winning face-offs."

Bardreau has really stepped up his game with the absence of Tim Brent, who had surgery and is expected to miss several weeks. Gordon specifically mentioned Bardreau as a guy who has come in and made a statement that he wants to fill that void down the middle.

After being a healthy scratch on January 9th in Albany, Bardreau has taken the advice from the coaching staff and it's certainly paying off.

"I've been trying change my game," Bardreau said. "Instead of being a perimeter player just getting to the net and collecting the garbage."


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