San Jose native Vernon keeps honors coming, tabbed NAHL Goaltender of the Month
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced its monthly player awards for the month of December and the Vaughn NAHL Goaltender of the Month is Matt Vernon from the Aberdeen Wings.
Only players who are nominated by their respective teams are considered for the NAHL monthly awards.
It was a perfect month for the Wings and Vernon as the 20-year-old native of San Jose posted a 6-0-0 record during the month and helped the Wings increase their lead atop the Central Division with a perfect 8-0 record in December.
Vernon allowed just six goals in six games during the month, which included 173 saves on 179 total shots, good for a 1.00 goals-against average and a .966 save percentage. He also had two shutouts in December, a 29-save shutout against the Minnesota Wilderness on Dec. 7 and a 33-save shutout against the Minot Minotauros on Dec. 13.
For the season, Vernon leads all NAHL goalies in wins with 19, ranks third in save percentage with a .933 mark, and is eighth in goals-against average at 2.15.
“Matt came into this season a very determined player,” said Aberdeen coach Scott Langer. “His preparation and work ethic are at a very high level. Matt is the ultimate teammate, as well as a true leader, on and off the ice. His past month of play is a product of his determination to achieve his long-term hockey goals.”
“I think a big part of our team’s success lately has been attention to details in areas like the penalty kill and blocking shots that has really tightened things up defensively and given the goaltenders even more confidence playing for our guys,” added Vernon. “I think when we can keep scores low and win games, everyone feels good about what is going on. I think I’ve learned to make sure I am doing the simple day-to-day things in order to grow and remain successful in this league. Things like eating the right kind of diet, staying hydrated, putting in the work off the ice, having good practices, paying attention to details – all that weighs into the performance in the game and having a good year.
“We are excited because we have a team that can win the division and compete for a Robertson Cup. I think personally I just want to keep winning games. I wanted to get to 30 wins this season and after the first half of the season, I think 35-plus wins may be possible.”
(Jan. 3, 2019)