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NA3HL announces Divisional Stars of the Week

October 7, 2014

(from top left to bottom right): Honors this week go to Franky Melton of St. Louis, Cody Black of Pittsburgh, Ralfs Karelis of Billings, Rudolfs Kalvitis of Nashville and Tanner Skaja of Granite City.

The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton for the week ending October 5, 2014.  The divisional stars of the week is an award given each week of the regular season to the top performing players in each of the five divisions of the NA3HL as nominated by their head coaches.

Central Division Star of the Week: Franky Melton, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues

17-year-old forward Franky Melton played well last weekend as St. Louis split their weekend road series in La Crosse. The 5’7/165 lbs. native of St. Louis, MO totaled six points in two games, which included four goals, two assists and a +5 rating. On Saturday, Melton had a hat-trick, including the game-winning goal and two assists in a 7-3 win. On Saturday, Melton scored again in a 4-2 loss.  For the season, Melton is 2nd on the Jr. Blues in scoring with 10 points in just six games played. “Franky had a solid weekend on the offensive end and scored some real nice goals. His line played a big part in our production,” said Jr. Blues head coach Chris Flaugher.

2nd Star: Nathan Viberg, F, Wisconsin Whalers

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alex Anderson, F, Wisconsin Whalers – Cameron Brown, F, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Josh Somers, F, West Michigan Wolves – Taylor Trapp, F, La Crosse Freeze – Michael Tratar, F, West Michigan Wolves

East Division Star of the Week: Cody Black, forward, Pittsburgh Vengeance

Pittsburgh veteran forward Cody Black, 20, helped the Vengeance take three of four points over the weekend in a series with Cleveland. On Saturday, the forward from Wexford, PA, had two goals, including the game-winner and two assists in a 5-0 shutout of the Jr. Lumberjacks. On Sunday, Black (5’8/165) scored the lone goal in a 2-1 shootout loss.  He also scored in the shootout. For the season, Black is tied for the team lead in scoring with 14 points. “Cody continues to get better every week and his work ethic is the reason why. His compete level is a great example for the young guys on our team,” said Pittsburgh head coach Dave Dorsey.

2nd Star: Adam Goudelock, D, Cincinnati Swords

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brian Baker, G, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Tyler Klutch, F, Cincinnati Swords – Alec Rounds, G, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – Austin Turner, F, Toledo Cherokee

Frontier Division Star of the Week: Ralfs Karelis, defense, Billings Bulls

Billings defenseman Ralfs Karelis, 19, had his breakout weekend of the 2014-15 season as the Bulls split a pair of weekend games. The native of Ventspils, Latvia had four points in the two games, which included two goals, two assists and a +2 rating. On Friday, Karelis (6’3/180) had a goal and two assists in a 6-1 home win over the Bozeman Icedogs. On Saturday, Karelis scored in a 5-3 loss at Helena. All four of Karelis’ points to date came during last weekend’s action. "Ralfs is a very consistent, two way defenseman, that is skilled, and expected to contribute offensively and defensively.  He is a big part of the Bulls blueline," said Billings head coach Joe Deptula.

2nd Star: Lance Knudson, G, Yellowstone Quake

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Evan Hauser, G, Great Falls Americans – Lauren Massie, G, Great Falls Americans – Matt Mohar, F, Helena Bighorns

South Division Star of the Week: Rudolfs Kalvitis, defense, Nashville Jr. Predators

Nashville stayed undefeated on the season with three wins last weekend over Sugar Land. 20-year-old defenseman Rudolfs Kalvitis, who is a native of Riga, Latvia, played in two of those games, posting five points. On Friday, Kalvitis (6’1/173) had a goal and an assist in an 8-3 win. On Saturday, he chimed in with two more goals and an assist. Two of his goals came on the power play as did two of his assists. For the season, Kalvitis leads all Nashville defensemen in points with eight in just five games played. "Rudy has done an excellent job buying into our system along with the whole team, which has helped us to an undefeated start this season. He is well liked in the dressing room, has really stepped up and been a leader on and off the ice,” said Nashville head coach Karlis Zirnis.

2nd Star: Jake Champaign, F, Point Mallard Ducks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Justin Dunn, F, Point Mallard Ducks – Matt Jung, F, Sugar Land Imperials – Jacob Lainesse, F, Nashville Jr. Predators – Chris Mallon, G, Dallas Jr. Stars – Trey Opack, F, Topeka Capitals – Jacob Pelton, G, Topeka Capitals – Tyler Valentin, F, Dallas Jr. Stars – Matt Winkle, F, Sugar Land Imperials

West Division Star of the Week: Tanner Skaja, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks

Another one of the unbeaten teams in the NA3HL is the Granite City Lumberjacks and last weekend they picked up two more wins in home victories over Minnesota and Twin City. 19-year-old forward Tanner Skaja had a breakout weekend, scoring eight points in the two wins, which included three goals, five assists and a +8 rating. On Friday, the native of St. Cloud, MN scored seven of his eight weekend points, including the game-winning goal in a 9-1 win over the Minnesota Flying Aces. On Saturday, Skaja (6’0/180) added another goal in a 4-3 win over Twin City. For the season, Skaja has 10 points in just six games played. “Tanner had a breakout weekend and got the monkey off his back.  He has turned it on as of late and it is nice to see local guys having success,” said Granite City head coach Brad Willner.

2nd Star: Bo Gronseth, F, Alexandria Blizzard

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jordan Carey, F, Breezy Point North Stars – Jared Erickson, F, Twin City Steel – Travis Kothenbeutel, F, Granite City Lumberjacks – Joe Licata, G, Breezy Point North Stars – Tom Schmidt, F, Alexandria Blizzard – Kyle Wagner, F, Twin City Steel

 
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