Maroons' Ekblad wins conference award

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Darien Ekblad of the Chatham Maroons is the GOJHL Western Conference goaltender of the month for November.

Ekblad had a 5-1-1 record and .922 save percentage last month.

He posted his first career shutout and allowed two goals or fewer in five of seven starts.

The 18-year-old workhorse from Belle River is in his first season with the Maroons.

Ekblad leads the entire Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League with 17 wins and is second in minutes played.

He's second to Strathroy's Dalen Kuchmey in the Western Conference in goals-against average (2.93) and save percentage (.912).

Adam Arseneault of the Lambton Shores Predators is the November forward of the month. He had 15 goals and nine assists in 10 games.

Kurtis Sanders of the Strathroy Rockets is the defenceman of the month with five points in seven games.

As well as Ekblad played in November, he's been even better in December. He's 3-0 with a 2.33 GAA and .926 save percentage this month.

Ekblad is the second Maroon in two months to win an award. Jake Flegel was the conference's best defenceman in October.

Both players were acquired in the off-season by head coach and general manager Bill Bowler. Ekblad came from the Leamington Flyers and Flegel from the Cobourg Cougars.

More Maroons should receive recognition this week when the GOJHL announces the rosters for the all-star game and top prospects game.

Both will be played Sunday, Dec. 30, in Kitchener. The doubleheader has the top prospects game at 1 p.m. and the all-star game at 4 p.m.

The Maroons lead the Western Conference with a 20-7-1-1 record. Their winning percentage of .724 is second only to the Golden Horseshoe-leading St. Catharines Falcons (.776) in the GOJHL.

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