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NA3HL announces monthly player awards for December

January 6, 2014

Matt Kroska named the NA3HL Forward of the Month, Nick Rizzo named the NA3HL Defenseman of the Month and Chris Amsden named the NA3HL Goaltender of the Month.

The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) has announced its monthly player awards for the month of December.  The Easton Hockey NA3HL Forward of the Month is Matt Kroska from the North Iowa Bulls The Easton Hockey NA3HL Defenseman of the Month is Nick Rizzo from the Topeka Capitals.  The Brian’s Custom Sports NA3HL Goaltender of the Month is Chris Amsden, from the North Iowa Bulls.  Only players who are nominated by their respective teams are considered for the NA3HL monthly awards.

Easton Hockey NA3HL Forward of the Month: Matt Kroska, North Iowa Bulls

Veteran Bulls forward Matt Kroska, 20, had a tremendous month of December that earned him Forward of the Month honors and vaulted him towards the top of the NA3HL’s scoring race. The native of Elko, Minnesota played in nine games during the month of December and totaled 21 points, which included seven goals and 14 assists. He as also a +16 during those nine games, while the Bulls put together an 8-1 record. Kroska (5’10/180) registered multi-point games in seven of the nine outings, which included a five-point game and two, three-point games. Kroska registered a point in all nine games during the month, which has added to his current 19-game point streak. His 48 assists and +49 rating both lead the NA3HL and his 64 points rank second. “Matt did the right thing in identifying North Iowa as a place that he could develop, improve, thrive and have a great junior hockey experience,” said Bulls head coach Todd Sanden. “He worked hard and realized his dream of playing NCAA hockey as he if off to St. Olaf next season. He does things the right way on and off the ice and it is paid off for him.”

Runner-Up: Hardjis Kupaks, Topeka Capitals

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Andrew Bond, Cincinnati Swords – Jace Childs, Twin City Steel – Tom Diffendal, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Nick Gnagni, Flint Junior Generals – Zack Johnson, Wisconsin Whalers – Andrew Kovicich, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Brett Love, Granite City Lumberjacks – Max Vance, Michigan Mountain Cats


Easton Hockey NA3HL Defenseman of the Month: Nick Rizzo, Topeka Capitals

The Topeka Capitals had a great month of December, going 7-1 in their eight games. 19-year-old defenseman Nick Rizzo has been an outstanding addition on the blueline for the Capitals, which paid off in the month of December worth of the Defenseman of the Month honor. The native of Leavenworth, Kansas was not only solid defensively, leading the team with a +18 rating during the month, but he was also outstanding on the offensive end as he registered 13 points (5 goals, 8 assists) in the eight games. Rizzo (6’1/215) registered at least a point in seven of the eight games and had four multi-point games. He registered a career-best four point game in a 7-4 win over Sugar Land back on December 28th. Rizzo leads all Capitals defensemen in scoring and ranks 4th in the NA3HL in scoring for all defensemen with 26 points in 25 games played. “Nick is our team leader on and off the ice and he leads by example,” said Capitals head coach Anthony Bohn. “He is one of the steadiest defenseman I have seen at this level and we are happy to see him recognized.  He has a lot of strength and toughness, he stands up for his teammates and is a tough guy to play against.”

Runner-Up: Adam Roeder, St. Louis Jr. Blues

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Dan Addie, Wisconsin Whalers – Austin Buchholz, Michigan Mountain Cats – Devin Fracassi, Cincinnati Swords – Caleb Gannelli, Flint Junior Generals – Mitchell Gwost, Granite City Lumberjacks – Isaac Hale, Twin City Steel – Ron Lindgren, North Iowa Bulls – Michael Straub, Pittsburgh Vengeance


Brian’s Custom Sports NA3HL Goaltender of the Month: Chris Amsden, North Iowa Bulls

It is rare to see a month like North Iowa’s Chris Amsden put together in December, but when it happens it is hard not to recognize just how good it was. The 19-year-old from St. Peter, Minnesota was perfect during the month, going 8-0. He also allowed just 13 goals in nine appearances during the month, which earned him a 1.56 goals against average. Amsden (6’4/180) stopped 202 out of a possible 215 shots on goal during the month, which equaled a 94% save percentage in December. Amsden also posted two shutouts in December. One came on December 7th against Twin City and the other came against Minnesota on December 20th. Amsden leads in the NA3HL in shutouts with four and ranks 2nd in the NA3HL in wins (15), goals against average (1.65) and save percentage (93.6%). “We have set a team goal to allow a minimal certain number of goals per game and Chris has played a huge part in accomplishing that for us. He has done everything we have asked of him,” said Bulls head coach Todd Sanden. “It is tough to come in a replace a starter who won multiple Championships, but Chris has done that and then some. He never takes a night off and is playing at a very high level right now.”

Runner-Up: Billy Hindle, St. Louis Jr. Blues

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Walker Bass, Michigan Mountain Cats – Anders Franke, Flint Junior Generals – Jude Hull, Topeka Capitals – Jason Kumpfmiller, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Alec Rounds, Cincinnati Swords – David Volkmann, Wisconsin Whalers – Austin Wilson, Granite City Lumberjacks


About Easton

Easton Hockey continues to rank atop the industry in sticks and gloves and is growing faster in skates than any other company. It also offers a comprehensive collection of protective gear including helmets and pants. To learn more, go to

About Brian's Custom Sports

The Official Goaltending Equipment Supplier of the NAHL, Brian's has been a leading Canadian supplier of custom-built goal equipment since 1984. As one of the original and remaining custom goal equipment manufacturers Brian's remains committed to continuing to lead the industry with exceptional design and quality.  Visit Brian’s online at


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