Former Elmira Sugar Kings goalie Dan Morrison was named November’s rookie of the month by the Atlantic Hockey Association.
Playing for the Canisius College Griffins, Morrison posted a 3-1-1 record during November with a 1.77 goals against average and .939 save percentage.
The London, Ontario native opened the month by making 32 stops in the Griffins’ 4-1 victory over American International College. He followed that up with his first collegiate shutout in a 6-0 win over Connecticut.
Morrison, who was league MVP when he played for the Kings, said it was nice to get the rookie of the month honours.
“I had a good month,” he said. “I got in some games and got some wins and everything seemed to go my way.”
Morrison is currently in fourth in the league in both goals against average (2.58) and save percentage (.917).
Last season, Morrison backstopped Elmira to victory in the Cherrey Cup, posting a record of 24-4-6 during the year. He led the league and set team records with a goals-against average of 2.21 and a save percentage of .938.
“Dan has come in and really established himself as a guy that can play right away,” said Canisius head coach Dave Smith, himself a former Sugar King. “He’s earned his time in the net, that’s for sure.”
Smith said Morrison had to go through the same transition as all new college athletes – balancing academics, sports and social life – but his on-ice performance has been solid.
“He’s definitely not a finished product yet but he knows that and he has good self-evaluation. I think he’ll continue to improve.”
Morrison said the main difference in playing at the collegiate level is the amount of preparation that goes into each game.
“We only play a certain amount of games, so every game is more important. Every game is well prepared for, that’s for sure.”
The marketing student is headed home for Christmas after a pair of games against Mercyhurst College.
“We’re trying to keep going and end the year with a sweep at Mercyhurst. And then hopefully end up two or three in the league and anything can happen in the playoffs.”