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The Greater Metro Jr. A Hockey League

GMHL Players of the Month: January 2023

 February 1st, 2023 at 2:35AM  February 1st, 2023 8:37AM

The Greater Metro Junior 'A' Hockey League has announced the 4th Players of the Month' of the year for January of this 2022-2023 hockey season.

The 'Players of the Month' honors is a distinction awarded to the player who is adjudged the best at his position & rookie (2005 born and younger and first year of junior hockey) through each month of the season.

(All stats listed as of January 31st, 2023)

Forward – Ryan Hunter, Bradford Bulls

Previous Winners:

October – Jordan Riviere, Ville-Marie Pirates

November – Ryan Fritz, North York Renegades

December – Dennis Golovatchev, Muskoka Shield

The leading goal scorer in the GMHL Ryan Hunter had a month to be remembered in January. The Bulls captain and GMHL All-Star played in 9 games for the Bulls this month, while helping his team go 7-2-0, he scored 15 Goals, had 19 assists for 39 points and an average of nearly 4 points per game (3.77). He scored 3 Hat Tricks including a 5 goal performance over the North Division contender Pirates in a win for Bradford. On the season Hunter is second in points (103), and assists (57), to go along with his league leading goal total of 46. Hunter also received a call up to the Bulls pro affiliate Columbus of the FPHL. Prior to joining the Bulls, Hunter won a championship in the SIJHL last season with Red Lake where he was also named the top defensive forward in the league.

Defenceman – Etienne Borque, Ville-Marie Pirates

Previous Winners:

October – Jedidja Somersal, North York Renegades

November – Declan Flanagan, Knights of Meaford

December – Kaiden Desjarlais, High Prairie Red Wings

Etienne Borque has widely been regarded as one of the top blue liners in the league by opposing coaches all season. His ability to shut down the opponent’s top line allow flexibility for the coaching staff to play him in any situation. In January however he took his offensive game as a puck mover to the next level. While helping his team go 7-1-0 in January (in the 8 games he played) Borque was able to produce 3 goals, and 15 assists for 18 points in those games. Averaging 2.25 points per game in the month is impressive enough but considering the games he had were against some of the top contending teams in the league is the cherry on top. On the season the 2002 born defenseman has 7 goals and 32 assists for 39 points, 10th league wide and 3rd in the division amongst defenseman. The Amos, Quebec local came to the Pirates last season from the QCHL where he played following time spent with the Forestiers organization.

Goaltender – Oliver Balazs, Bradford Rattlers

Previous Winners:

October – Bradley Roncin, High Prairie Red Wings

November – Oliver Balazs, Bradford Rattlers

December – Maxim Audet, Ville-Marie Pirates


The first two time monthly award winner this season is Hungarian netminder Oliver Balazs from the Bradford Rattlers. Balazs was a perfect 5-0-0 in January with a sparkling .958 Save Percentage (SV%) and a Goals Against Average (GAA). He took home victories over the three teams directly behind the Rattlers in the North standings (Titans, Pirates, and Knights) as well as their South Division city rival the Bradford Bulls in a game that clinched the Rattlers the #1 seed in the upcoming Russell Cup playoffs. He also had a shutout against the Shield, so far Balazs has a season stat line of 18-2-0 with a GAA of 2.21 and a SV% of .932 with 3 shutouts. Leading the Division in Wins, SV%, GAA and Shutouts. Before joining the Rattlers Balzs had been a member of the IIHF Hungarian National Team at the U16 & U17 levels. Balazs has spent the previous three seasons at the top U18 level in Hungary with Vasas SC participating in 59 matches.

Rookie – Sacha Munro, Slave Lake Icedogs

Previous Winners:

October – Philippe Falardeau, Tottenham Thunder/Temiscaming Titans

November – Aidan O’Rourke, Mackenzie Mountaineers

December – Blake Tarala, Durham Roadrunners


There are 123 skaters in the GMHL born 2005 or later, of all those players Sacha Munro is second among them in scoring (for those with eligible “rookie” status). The Slave Lake Ice Dogs forward born in 2006 from Sicamous, BC has scored 13 goals and has 24 assists for 37 points in his 30 games played so far for the Ice Dogs. In January Munro scored 7 goals, including a hat trick performance against Edson, while adding 3 helpers for a point total of 10 in 7 games for the 16 year old forward.

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