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(photo: Lee Calkins)

The ECHL  announced that Matt Register of the Ontario Reign is the CCM Hockey ECHL Defenseman of the Year for 2013-14 as determined in a vote of ECHL coaches, broadcasters, media relations directors and media members.

The ECHL Defenseman of the Year award is presented annually to the defensive player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-around ability in the position.

Sam Ftorek of Kalamazoo finished second, followed by Wheeling’s Mike Ratchuk, Elgin Reid of Kalamazoo and Orlando’s Blake Kessel.

Register, who was named to the All-ECHL First Team last week, finished the season tied for second among ECHL defensemen with 14 goals and 44 points while his three game-winning goals were tied for fourth. His 30 assists were tied for sixth among blueliners and his +21 rating was second on the Reign.

This marks the first time that any Reign player has received an end of season award. Register is also the first Ontario player to have been named to the ALL-ECHL First Team.

In his second season with the Reign, Register has been a consistent performer and earned 70% of his offensive production while the team played full strength. In his junior career, Register received the AJHL Most Outstanding Defenseman and Most Points by a Defenseman for the 2009-2010 season, as well as being named to the AJHL All-Star Team for the same year.

A West Coast girl, born and raised in the Bay Area in the most non-traditional Hockey Market you could imagine for a long time... When the Sharks came to town it changed the Bay Area hockey landscape forever. Her first love will always be the Red Wings but she has embraced the Sharks since their debut in 1991. She has a passion for minor league grind-it-out-in the-corners hockey. Her heart broke when the ECHL Bulls folded , but luckily the Stockton Thunder are still close enough for her to get her gritty-hockey fix. Besides watching hockey, she is an American Tribal Style belly-dancer and trolls the blue-line, playing defence in a local rec hockey league... A somehow strange but balanced juxtaposition.


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