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Former UND standout Shane Pinto named NHL's Rookie of the Month

The Ottawa Senators center has bounced back strong from a season-ending injury a year ago.

NHL: Washington Capitals at Ottawa Senators
Ottawa Senators center Shane Pinto (57) scored the go-ahead goal against the Washington Capitals in the third period at the Canadian Tire Centre on Oct. 20, 2022.
Marc DesRosiers / USA TODAY Sports

GRAND FORKS — Shane Pinto suffered a season-ending injury last November.

He didn't play a competitive hockey game for 11 months.

But the former UND star has come back quite strong.

Pinto was named the NHL's Rookie of the Month for October after scoring six goals and tallying seven points for the Ottawa Senators. He's the NHL's leading rookie goal-scorer.

"The whole summer, I worked really hard," Pinto said. "Just to have the start I had, it's pretty awesome. A lot of credit goes to my teammates. They're making these plays. I'm just somehow finding the net."

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Pinto learned of his honor while on a road trip in Tampa, Fla. His father and grandfather were there on that trip.

"It's definitely special news, especially after everything he went through last year," his father, Frank, said. "He puts a lot of time and work into it. It's pretty emotional from that standpoint. I'm quite proud."

Pinto scored goals in five-straight games during October, finishing just two shy of Alexander Ovechkin's post-2005 Lockout record of scoring in seven-straight games as a rookie.

Pinto's goals came against Toronto, Boston, Washington, Arizona and Dallas. He also scored against Florida.

Pinto played two seasons at UND, tallying 31 goals and 60 points in 61 games. As a sophomore, he was the unanimous choice for National Collegiate Hockey Conference Player of the Year. He also won the league's Forward of the Year and Defensive Forward of the Year honor.

The Senators selected Pinto with the first pick of the second round in 2019.

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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