The OJHL announced today that Buffalo Jr. Sabres netminder Parker Gahagen (photo credit - Jay Johnston/OJHL Images) has been named the Gongshow Gear Goaltender-of-the-Month for November after posting a 5-1-1 record with an impressive 1.41 goals against average.
The second-year veteran netminder, who was also named as runner-up for the award in September, led the Jr. Sabres on a run that would see them jump into first place in the West Division standings, while also making their first appearance on the CJHL Top 20 rankings, currently sitting 10th overall in the entire country. Gahagen’s impressive record during the month saw him post three shutouts, to bolster his league-leading total of seven that is more than double his nearest competitor, including 182 saves and a .948 save percentage in November. More impressively, all three of Gahagen’s shutouts were recorded versus conference contenders in Oakville, Georgetown and Milton. He also currently leads all OJHL goaltenders with 20 victories on the season.
Gahagen was thrilled with the honour and thanked those who helped him along the way, “First, I would like to thank the OJHL. It is an honour to be selected as Goalie-of-the-Month out of all the great goaltenders in our league. I am appreciative to have not only my achievements, but the team's achievements, recognized and honoured through this award. I am blessed to have a talented team and coaching staff surrounding me, specifically Coach Peca and my Goalie Coach Brian Willison, who's been with me from the beginning. My team sharpens and consistently challenges each other to play to the best of our abilities. I am confident that our team will continue to excel to the end of the year.”
General Manager and Head Coach Michael Peca extolled his netminders importance to the club, "Parker is going to be an exceptional goaltender at every level he plays at. He has the perfect combination of attitude, drive and demeanour. He our hardest working player everyday so it's no surprise to see the level of success he's had this season. There is no doubt our team is where it is so far due to Parker's commitment to this team."
Victor Adamo of the Trenton Golden Hawks was runner-up to Gahagen as the OJHL Goaltender-of-the-Month. Adamo posted a 5-1-0 record with a 1.67 goals against average and .930 save percentage throughout the month of November for the league-leading Golden Hawks.
Born on May 17, 1993, Parker Gahagen grew up playing his minor hockey in the Buffalo suburb of Amherst, New York. Scouts would begin to take notice of him during an illustrious high school hockey career that saw him break records while earning numerous accolades along the way.
Playing both varsity hockey and baseball for the Williamsville North High School Spartans, Gahagen would excel at both sports between 2007-11. He was a two year captain of the baseball team, batting over .500 during his final season to be named an ECIC Division I All-Star. Twice named MVP of the hockey team, he received Honorable Mention for the All-State Team in 2008-09 and by his senior year in 2010-11, he was captain of the team and one of the best high school players in New York State.
His final season of high school would see Gahagen break the state career shutout record, finishing his career with 19 shutouts, which still remains tied for the best ever. The award filled season included 1st Team All-State and Division I Player of the Year honours, while also being named to the All-Tournament Team at the State Championship after leading the Spartans to a 3-2 victory over Saratoga Springs to complete an undefeated 24-0-2 season and capture the school’s first State Hockey Championship since 2006. Following the season, the Honor Roll student and New York State Scholar, who also volunteered his time at numerous charities within the community, was honoured at the Amherst Avenue of Athletes.
Last season, Gahagen made the jump to junior hockey, joining the nearby Buffalo Jr. Sabres and has consistently improved his play during a season and a half in the OJHL. Taking over the starters role on the club by mid-Fall last year, he led the Sabres to a 3rd place finish in the West Division with a record of 21-11-3, including two shutouts, a 3.14 goals against average and a .905 save percentage. Already this season, Gahagen has almost matched his win total from last year and more than tripled his shutout total. You can expect that bigger and better things are yet to come from this up-and-coming goaltender.