The Granite City Lumberjacks are sitting atop of the West Division thanks to a 7-2 record in the month of October. Forward Tanner Skaja, 19, led the Lumberjacks with 16 points (6 goals, 10 assists) in nine games played during the month. The local native of St. Cloud, Minnesota, had four multi-point games during the month. He was named the West Division Star of the Week back on October 7th for his eight points in two games performance. Skaja (6’0/180) also had multi-point games in wins over Twin City, Wisconsin and North Iowa. He was also a +7 during the month. Skaja ranks 2nd on the team in scoring with 18 points in 14 games played. “Tanner has a big offensive upside and is developing into a very good, well-rounded player. He is improving defensively as well and once all that comes together he is going to be someone that is very successful at the next level. It is good to see a local kid really making the most of the opportunity,” said Granite City head coach Brad Willner.
Runner-Up: Joe Burgmeier, North Iowa Bulls
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): David Becker, Twin City Steel – Cody Black, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Andrew Bond, Cincinnati Swords – Joe Costello, Breezy Point North Stars – Trent Dillinger, Gillette Wild – Grant Dukus, Point Mallard Ducks – Ryan Dunner, Texas Jr. Brahmas – Cody Estrel, Toledo Cherokee – Marshall Gevers, Peoria Mustangs – Tommy Heinzman, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Peter Henderson, Wisconsin Whalers – Ryan James, Sugar Land Imperials – Robert Kalata, Great Falls Americans – Gunnar Mogck, Bozeman Icedogs – Alex Sauer, Topeka Capitals – Tom Schmidt, Alexandria Blizzard – Luke Sunde, Southern Tier Xpress – Taylor Trapp, La Crosse Freeze – Michael Tratar, West Michigan Wolves – Pearce Vance, Metro Jets
The North Iowa Bulls caught fire in October, going 9-2 and defenseman Joe Kleven, 19, was part of a team defense that limited the opposition to just 11 goals in the 11 games. The native of Prior Lake, Minnesota, also contributed on the offensive side as Kleven had 14 points (1 goal, 13 assists) in just 10 games and was also an astounding +13. Kleven (6’3/225) registered at least a points in every game he played in during the month. He also record three multi-point games in wins over Breezy Point, Twin City and Granite City. For the season, Kleven leads all Bulls defensemen in scoring with 15 points in 13 games played. “Joe is a big defenseman also who has a lot of speed. He has valuable junior experience and is a proven leader. Joe really works hard every time he touches the ice and is a good veteran presence for the Bulls,” said North Iowa head coach Todd Sanden.
Runner-Up: Gavin Mindt, Alexandria Blizzard
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Mathias Ahman, Twin City Steel – Alex Anderson, Wisconsin Whalers – Chris Brown, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Jack Cleaver, Gillette Wild – Andrew Cooley, Topeka Capitals – Gavin Cummings, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Mike Difranco, West Michigan Wolves – Adam Goudelock, Cincinnati Swords – Travis Hall, Dallas Jr. Stars – David Horsmann, Granite City Lumberjacks – Devin Kelly, Metro Jets – Michael Kliment, Great Falls Americans – Frank Muscarella, Sugar Land Imperials – Jake Nicks, Bozeman Icedogs – Tim Weisgerber, Southern Tier Xpress
It was another perfect month for the Great Falls Americans, who remained the only undefeated team in the league with an 8-0 record in October. It all starts with defense for the Americans and a large part of that success is goaltender Evan Hauser. The 20-year-old native of St. Paul, Minnesota, was outstanding during the month as he faced a total of 189 shots in the five games he played in and made 184 saves, good for a 97.4% save percentage. Hauser (6’2/180) posted a perfect 5-0 record during October and was named the Frontier Division Star of the Week on October 28th. Perhaps the most amazing stat for Hauser during the month was that even though the Americans went undefeated, Hauser faced an average of 37.8 shots per game in that time span. Hauser is tied for the NA3HL lead in wins and ranks 2nd in both goals against average and save percentage. “The first thing that comes to my mind is the consistency Evan has shown. He is motivated because it is his final year of junior hockey and he wants to play at the next level. He is a big part of our success to date. Defense is important to us and it all begins with him,” said Great Falls head coach Jeff Heimel.
Runner-Up: David Johnson, North Iowa Bulls
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Colton Anderson, Sugar Land Imperials – Brian Baker, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Evan Bisek, Alexandria Blizzard – Alex Feese, Gillette Wild – Jesse Garcia, Granite City Lumberjacks – Billy Hindle, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Brett Malkmus, Topeka Capitals – Evan Moyse, Wisconsin Whalers – Quinton Reynolds, Texas Jr. Brahmas – Denijs Romanovskis, Bozeman Icedogs – Jake Stephan, Metro Jets – Hunter Vorva, West Michigan Wolves
During the month of September, Peoria forward Chance Homerin, 18, led the Mustangs to 1st place in the Central Division and was the league’s second leading scorer with 10 points. The native of Pekin, Illinois totaled four goals and six assists during the month. Two goals came on the power play and two came while shorthanded. Homerin (6’0/180) registered points in seven out of his eight games played during the month and was named the Central Division Star of the Week on September 9th. “At the start of the season, you need your veteran players to be your best players and that’s exactly what Chance was for us in September. Chance was our best player during the month and he really thrives because of his work ethic. He plays in all situations and that gives him a great chance to be successful and grow as a player,” said Peoria head coach Tyler Renette.
Runner-Up (tie): Jake Cox, Point Mallard Ducks & Nils Markgren, Pittsburgh Vengeance
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Kendall Bolen-Porter, Helena Bighorns – Andrew Bond, Cincinnati Swords – Joe Costello, Breezy Point North Stars – Brandon Desrosiers, Southern Tier Xpress – Tommy Heinzman, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Tristan Henrichs, Billings Bulls – Josig Rochon, Dallas Jr. Stars – Alex Sauer, Topeka Capitals – Adam Schoenfeld, Wisconsin Whalers – Cam Schwartz, Toledo Cherokee – Jared Sprink, Granite City Lumberjacks – Michael Tratar, West Michigan Wolves
Fourth year veteran defenseman Michael Straub, 20, put together a great month of September as he was second in the league in scoring for all defensemen with eight points (5 goals, 3 assists) in eight games played. His five goals is not only tops for all NA3HL defensemen, but ranks tied for 2nd in the NA3HL. He is also tied for the league lead with three power play goals. Straub (6’1/205) was also a +2 during the month of September. He registered at least a point in six of the eight games during the month and the Elizabeth, Pennsylvania native also had two multi-point games. “Michael is our captain and as a returning veteran he has displayed great leadership. He is very good at both ends of the rink and has really boosted his level of play,” said Pittsburgh head coach Dave Dorsey.
Runner-Up (tie): Nick Trefry, Helena Bighorns & David Chavis, Metro Jets
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): David Bogart, Toledo Cherokee – Chris Brown, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Ian Eshbaugh, Billings Bulls – Tim Foley, West Michigan Wolves – Tobias Gabrielsen, Granite City Lumberjacks – Noah Gilreath, Point Mallard Ducks – Seyia Hayta, Breezy Point North Stars – Will Holton, Wisconsin Whalers – Alec Hooper, Southern Tier Xpress – Brett Mory, Cincinnati Swords – Colin O’Connor, Topeka Capitals – Marc Peters, Peoria Mustangs – Kody Wagner, Dallas Jr. Stars
It was a busy month for Toledo goaltender Aaron Callan, 18, in September. He led the league in games played, minutes played, wins, shots faced and saves. The South Lyon, Michigan native totaled 150 saves during the month while posting a very nice 94.9% save percentage and 1.42 goals against average. Four of the six games that Callan (5’11/165) played in during the month were on the road. He was named the East Division Star of the Week back on September 17th. In his first four games during the month, Callan only allowed two goals. “Aaron played really well during the month. He was big reason we started undefeated. He has been our best player so far this year. He competes all the time, not just in games. He controls his rebounds very well and he is giving our team a chance to win and coming up with a big save when needed,” said Toledo head coach Kenny Miller.
Runner-Up (tie): Sam Goetsch, Granite City Lumberjacks & Grant Martens, Helena Bighorns
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tyler Geloneck, Souther Tier Xpress – Billy Hindle, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Chris Johansen, Wisconsin Whalers – Brandon Kruger, Cincinnati Swords - Ross Lipic, Peoria Mustangs – Brett Malkmus, Topeka Capitals – Dakota McDonald, Breezy Point North Stars – Cooper Seedot, Point Mallard Ducks – Cole Semchak, Billings Bulls – Jacob Stack, Pittsburgh Vengeance - Chance Turner, Dallas Jr. Stars – Hunter Vorva, West Michigan Wolves