Throwback Thursday: Sean Monahan
Second year success is nothing new for Sean Monahan.
In his sophomore season with Ottawa 67’s, the Brampton native scored 33 goals and recorded 45 assists, ranking him 15th in OHL scoring and third on the team behind Tyler Toffoli and Shane Prince. This season with the NHL’s Calgary Flames, he has 27 goals and 24 assists once again ranking third on his team, trailing only his current line mates Jiri Hudler and Johnny “Hockey” Gaudreau.
Monahan is as big a part of the Flames playoff push today as he was part of the 67’s playoff success during the 2011-12 season.
He started off the OHL playoffs that year by scoring four goals against the Belleville Bulls in the first round, a series won by the 67’s in six games. The next two rounds featured dominant centres Mark Schiefele (Barrie Colts) and Ryan Strome (Niagara IceDogs), both of whom Sean would literally faceoff against every night. The 67’s powered past Schiefele’s Colts in an exhausting seven game series before Strome’s IceDogs stopped Ottawa on their way to the OHL Championship in five games. That was an unfortunate loss for Monahan and the 67’s franchise, which was about to lose Tyler Toffoli and Shane Prince to their future NHL clubs and enter into a rebuilding period.
Monahan recorded 15 points in 18 playoff games that year, his last post-season appearance.
Now with Calgary, Sean is leading the way as the team’s number one centre. He takes on elite talent across the league every game night and succeeds, always deflecting credit to his line mates and the rest of the team.
“I think it’s what’s in this dressing room,” says Monahan. “I think we’ve got good leadership starting with Gio (Mark Giordano). That kind of gets us going. And obviously we have a bunch of veteran guys that can step up and we’ve got a lot of young guys too who are looking to make an impact. So I think that’s why we’re doing well and we believe in each other..
Recently, the Flames lost their captain, Mark Giordano, to a season-ending injury. Since then, Monahan’s line has had to step up and fill the offensive void. Flames head coach Bob Hartley has seen the intensity increase.
“Jiri’s (Hudler) leading the pack and the two kids are following,” said Hartley. “They’re moving so well, they’re creative. They’re playing the right way. It’s as simple as this. They’re not cheating. That’s why we’re winning games.”
The Calgary Flames are lacking players with NHL playoff experience, but the “big game” experience that Monahan has had on the road to the playoffs has been great preparation for him.
“The big thing for me, I think, is playing in overtime situations,” Monahan said. “If you can do a good job in that type of environment, I think you feel comfortable whenever. Obviously, there’s a lot of pressure and everyone is excited in overtime, so I think if you can calm down in those situations, it kind of helps you out through any other situation.”
Sean also credits his current success to the hockey education he received with the Ottawa 67’s. His two playoff appearances with the team in 2011 and 2012 provided him with the skills and hockey sense needed to succeed in the NHL post season.
Cheer on your Ottawa 67’s tomorrow and Sunday night for the final regular season home games as they push towards the playoffs.
First round home game playoff tickets are also available via capitaltickets.ca