The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) has announced its monthly player awards for the month of February. The Easton Hockey NA3HL Forward of the Month is Nick Ford from the Texas Jr. Brahmas. The Easton Hockey NA3HL Defenseman of the Month is Justin Provencher from the Point Mallard Ducks. The Vaughn NA3HL Goaltender of the Month is Justin Ball from the Nashville Jr. Predators. Only players who are nominated by their respective teams are considered for the NA3HL monthly awards and games from March 1st and 2nd were included in the statistics.
Easton Hockey NA3HL Forward of the Month: Nick Ford, Texas Jr. Brahmas
Nick Ford’s addition to the Texas line-up in February paid immediate dividends for the club. The 19-year-old native of Chicago, Illinois, totaled 18 points during the games considered in February and early March, which included seven goals and 11 assists. Ford (6’0/185) joined the club at the trading deadline in February and immediately lit it up. During the six games he played at the end of the regular season, Ford recorded at least three points in all of the games but one. He had two four-point games during the month and was also a +13. Ford spent the majority of the season playing in the NAHL for the Lone Star Brahmas. "Nick has seamlessly slotted himself into the lineup for us late in the season and has had a big impact. He's a fantastic player that not only can put up points, but also makes players around him better. Not all good players are capable of doing that, but Nick has, and it's had a ripple effect through out our lineup. He has good patience and poise with the puck, to go along with excellent vision on the ice, and if given a chance he doesn't hesitate to get pucks to the net. It's been a pleasure to have him in our lineup and expect him to be a leader for us in the playoffs,” said Texas head coach Al Rooney.
Runner-Up: Johnny Botna, Helena Bighorns
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jordan Carey, Breezy Point North Stars – Bo Gronseth, Alexandria Blizzard – Bryan Hovanec, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Chong Hyun Lee, La Crosse Freeze – Lucas Lomax, Great Falls Americans – Ryan Martin, Wisconsin Whalers – Andy McGlynn, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Cooper McLean, Metro Jets – Gunnar Mogck, Bozeman Icedogs – Michael Orke, Granite City Lumberjacks - Johnny Panvica, North Iowa Bulls - Dominic Pisanti, Toledo Cherokee – Kyle Reilly, Gillette Wild – Tom Reilly, Twin City Steel – Brad Reitter, Point Mallard Ducks – Jon Severson, Nashville Jr. Predators – Luke Sunde, Southern Tier Xpress – Aaron Torres, Dallas Jr. Stars – Dakota Ulmer, West Michigan Wolves
Easton Hockey NA3HL Defenseman of the Month: Justin Provencher, Point Mallard Ducks
Playing in 11 games during the month of February, Point Mallard defenseman Justin Provencher, 19, turned in a solid performance as he tied for the team league in scoring during the month with 13 points, which included a team-high seven goals and also six assists. The native of Sudbury, Massachusetts, also was a +10 during the month and three of his seven goals were game-winners. Provencher (6’1/195) scored at least a point in 10 of the 11 games played during the month of February. He had two multi-point games, including a three-point outing in a 4-3 win over Dallas on February 20th. For the season, Provencher finished 2nd on the team in scoring for all defensemen with 36 points in 41 NA3HL regular season games. “Justin has been playing some great hockey since the Christmas break. He is an excellent two-way player and he takes a lot of pride in playing that role. Justin is a strong, gritty and talented hockey player that is ready to make the jump to the next level,” said Point Mallard head coach Craig Bushy.
Runner-Up: Nick Nitta, Texas Jr. Brahmas
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Adam Arifi, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Brandon Baker, Dallas Jr. Stars - Tobias Gabrielsen, Southern Tier Xpress – Matis Gelazis, Nashville Jr. Predators – Seyia Hayta, Breezy Point North Stars – Kyle Keeder, West Michigan Wolves – Tyler Mros, Granite City Lumberjacks – Sam Naegele, North Iowa Bulls – Jake Nicks, Bozeman Icedogs – Kyler Omey, Toledo Cherokee – Tyler Reble, Gillette Wild – Nick Trefry, Helena Bighorns – Caleb Vosters, Wisconsin Whalers – Brogan Walters, St. Louis Jr. Blues
Vaughn NA3HL Goaltender of the Month: Justin Ball, Nashville Jr. Predators
Nashville goalie Justin Ball, 18, was nearly flawless during the month of February for the 1st place Jr. Predators. The native of Dallas, Texas allowed just four goals in four starts during the month and was a perfect 4-0. Three of his four wins came on the road and he also posted one shutout. Ball (6’5/220) started the month with a 19-save shutout over Texas on February 7th. He allowed just a single goal in wins over Topeka and Point Mallard in back-to-back games. For the month, he stopped 71 of a possible 75 shots. Ball also played in the 2015 NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament for the South Division team. For the season, he has a remarkable 17-1-1 record with a 1.44 goals against average, which led all NA3HL goalies during the 2014-15 regular season. “Justin has been a solid goalie since day one. His biggest strength is his ability to play the puck with excellent control. His work ethic on and off of the ice has paid off with a league leading goals against average. We look forward to watching his career take off in the years to come,” said Nashville head coach Karlis Zirnis.
Runner-Up: Hunter Vorva, West Michigan Wolves
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Glen Bates, Toledo Cherokee – Roman Bengert, Point Mallard Ducks – Cody Gibson, Southern Tier Xpress – Jaxson Gosnell, Breezy Point North Stars - Billy Hindle, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Chris Johnson, Wisconsin Whalers – David Johnson, North Iowa Bulls – Sean Kelley, Gillette Wild – Chris Mallon, Dallas Jr. Stars – Grant Martens, Helena Bighorns – Jordan Moran, Great Falls Americans – Denijs Romanovskis, Bozeman Icedogs – Jacob Stack, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Andrew Wagner, La Crosse Freeze
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 www.eastonhockey.com
Vaughn is the official Goaltending Equipment Partner to the NAHL and serves as the Preferred Goaltending Equipment Supplier of the NA3HL and NAPHL. Founded in 1982, Vaughn became one of the first major hockey production companies to use multiple foam layers in equipment. As strictly a goalie equipment company, the main focus for Vaughn is the innovation and quality of their product. Visit Vaughn online at: www.vaughnhockey.com