The North American 3 Hockey League (3HL) today announced the Combat Hockey Player of the Month and the Brian’s Custom Sports Goaltender of the Month for October. The honors were awarded to North Iowa Bulls forward Jared Ramstead as the Combat Hockey Player of the Month, and Granite City Lumberjack’s goaltender Matt Grove as the Brian’s Custom Sports Goaltender of the Month.
After going scoreless in his first three games at the NAHL Showcase in Blaine in September, North Iowa’s Jared Ramstead broke out in the month of October earning him the Combat Hockey 3HL Player of the Month award. Ramstead, 19, appeared in eight games during the month and scored at least a point in all but one of those games. During the month of October, North Iowa went 6-3-1 and got their record back to .500. Ramstead went for seven goals and five assists for 12 points during the month.
However, most impressive for the native of Eckville, Alberta was that three of his seven goals during the month were game-winning goals. Ramstead is currently tied for the 3HL lead with four game-winning goals this season. Three of Ramstead’s eight games during the month were mutli-point games. The 5’10, 170 lbs. Ramstead is currently second on the Bulls roster in scoring with 15 points and is currently riding a five-game point streak. “Jared has a great work ethic, speed and is playing at a very high level right now,” remarked North Iowa head coach Todd Sanden. “He has a high hockey I.Q. and creates more time and space for himself, which gives him those extra scoring opportunities. He is responsible with the puck and is scoring goals at important times during our games. I think it helps he is playing with a great set of linemates and playing in all situations. He is a player that has NAHL potential, but he is an import so has to be the right fit.”
Sanden said he really feels like the 3HL experience has been a good one so far for his expansion Bulls. “Our division is very tough. Guys have to be on their game every night and I think the skill level is high. It is going to be a fight all season long and that parody within the league is something that we all enjoy.”
The Brian’s Custom Sports Goaltender of the Month, Matt Grove, 20, from the Granite City Lumberjacks is ranked #1 in goaltending in the 3HL and his play during the month of October is the primary reason why. The Crookston, Minnesota native was phenomenal during the month, posting a 5-1-1 record with two shutouts, a 1.06 goals against average and a 94.2% save percentage. His best hockey of the month came in early and mid-October when he allowed just three goals in a stretch of six games. Currently, the 6’0”, 220 lbs. goaltender is #1 in the 3HL with a 1.42 goals against average. He has helped Granite City capture 1st place in the West Division, currently occupying the top spot with a 11-6-2 record. “Matt really stepped up in October and proved he was worthy of the #1 spot,” said Lumberjacks head coach Brad Willner. “Our players play with a lot confidence when he is in goal. Matt makes the saves he should make when he is in goal. He is good with his position in the net and he can control his rebounds, which is key is this league.”
So far this year has met our every expectation,” continued Willner. “The league is very competitive and has proved to everyone that you can’t take a night off. There is very good balance within all the divisions and conferences. Every game is a battle for us and as competitive as we have ever seen it in our team’s history. The 3HL is very professionally run and we are happy to be a part of it.”
Other 3HL players nominated for the monthly awards were (alphabetical): Matt Bartels, goaltender, North Iowa Bulls – Warren Carter, forward, Flint Jr. Generals - Zach Collins, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats – Schuyler Ferguson, goaltender, Michigan Mountain Cats – Lukas Gavalier, goaltender, Toledo Cherokee – Dillon Kelley, goaltender, Metro Jets – Steve Klisz, forward, Metro Jets – Steve Lecey, defenseman, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – Mike Mikulan, forward, Peoria Mustangs – Dominic Orlando, goaltender, Flint Jr. Generals – Michael Parda, goaltender, Peoria Mustangs – Allen Patten, goaltender, Minnesota Flying Aces – Taylor Portner, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks – James Steele, forward, Toledo Cherokee – Parker Tomczyk, forward, Minnesota Flying Aces.