After a great month of December on the ice for Braden Rourke, the league has given him the honor of Defenseman of the Month. Rourke was a point per game player in the month recording eight points in eight games.
Rourke’s month of December could not have gotten off to a better start as he recorded five points in the first weekend at Wichita Falls. In the month’s opening weekend, the defenseman scored four goals and recorded an assist as well. On Saturday of that series, Rourke scored the only hat trick of the season for Corpus Christi. For his performance in Wichita Falls, he earned NAHL South 2nd Star of the Week. Rourke went on to add three more points in the road series against Odessa to earn him an honorable mention for NAHL Stars of the week.
Rourke had the following to say when interviewed by the league for the honor. “I think a key component of my success was my focus on the preparation and training the coaches have us working on leading up to the weekends. Coach always stresses to continue to work on the small things and to increase our effort during the week, which helps us be better prepared for the weekend. Another big part of the success was our overall team. We really came together over the last month and we started to focus on the small details of the game that make the biggest difference in our success as a team.” Rourke went on to talk about his goals by saying, “One of my main goals for the remainder of the season is to work with the coaches and team to continue to get stronger and to develop as we make a push for the playoffs where we can make a run for the Robertson Cup. My long term goal would be to get an opportunity to continue my academics and hockey career at an NCAA Division I school.
When Head Coach Mike Lysyj was asked to talk about his award winning defenseman, he said, “Braden is one of those kids you love to be around. He loves the game, being around the rink and working on his game. He is very committed to learning to play the right way. As an offensive minded defenseman, his game has really matured over the course of the season. He’s recognizing how and when to pick his spots to contribute to our offense. Our entire organization is really happy for Braden being recognized as Defenseman of the Month.”
The Des Moines native not only led defensemen in the league with points but also led the IceRays in points for the month of December. He also recorded a plus-minus of +6 for the month of December. Rourke is the only IceRay to have played in every game this season, and after recording only seven points in his first 23 games, Rourke’s December has got him sitting on fourth on the team in points with fifteen.