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 February. The honors were awarded to Metro Jets forward Mike MacKinnon as the Combat Hockey Player of the Month and Granite City Lumberjacks goaltender Matt Grove as the Brian’s Custom Sports Goaltender of the Month.
MacKinnon, 19, was dominant during the month of February, recording 19 points (7 goals, 12 assists) in 11 games played. Nine of those points came at the 3HL East Showcase in Troy, Michigan, which is ironically MacKinnon’s hometown. MacKinnon’s best game of the month came back on February 19th when he had a six-point game in a 6-3 win against the Michigan Mountain Cats. He also recorded six points during a weekend sweep of Pittsburgh during the final weekend in February. He also recorded two game-winning goals during the month. MacKinnon (6’1/195) is tied for the team lead in points with 67, and he ranks 2nd in the 3HL in both points and assists this season.
“Mike and his entire line have been great all month long,” said Jets head coach Jason Cirrone. “He produces, puts up big numbers and scores the big goals. I think he definitely has the ability to play at the next level. Mike is smart and understands the game. He has goals and is focused on accomplishing them.”
Matt Grove, 21, has dominated between the pipes this season and February was no exception. This month marks the third time this season that Grove has been honored as Brian’s Goaltender of the Month (October 2011, November 2011). The Crookston, Minnesota native won all four games he started in during the month of February and stopped a combined 85 of 90 shots during the month, good for a 94.4% save percentage and a goals against average of just 1.25. Grove leads the 3HL in wins (28), shutouts (5), goals against average (1.55) and is second in save percentage (92.8%).
“Matt has so consistent all season long,” said Lumberjacks head coach Brad Willner. “He deserves a lot of credit for our team’s success this season and heading into the playoffs, the guys are playing with a lot of confidence knowing he is behind them.”
Other 3HL players nominated for the monthly awards were (alphabetical): Mike Baker, forward, Toledo Cherokee - Eric Behrend, forward, North Iowa Bulls – Lukas Gavalier, goaltender, Toledo Cherokee – Matt Hughes, goaltender, Battle Creek Jr. Revolution – Liam Johnston, forward, Minnesota Flying Aces – Dillon Kelley, goaltender, Metro Jets – James Koonce, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats – Andy Lay, forward, Flint Jr. Generals – Luke McCarthy, forward, Quad City Jr. Flames – Mike Meadows, goaltender, Quad City Jr. Flames – Michael Mikulan, forward, Peoria Mustangs – Joe Olen, goaltender, Chicago Hitmen – Dominic Orlando, goaltender, Flint Jr. Generals – Michael Parda, goaltender, Peoria Mustangs – Joey Rebedew, goaltender, Queen City Steam – Zac Sikich, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks – Tyler Stepke, goaltender, Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins – Nico Vecchio, forward, Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins – Collin Warner, forward, Chicago Hitmen – Eric Woodward, forward, Queen City Steam.