January 7, 2013
Nico Vecchio scores honors as the 3HL's Player of the month for December. With help from his teammates, Nico has pushed his team into second place as they enter the stretch run for the playoffs.
With strong performances routinely by forwarsds Berardinelli, Diffendal, Hoover and Stockwell plus steady defense by Straub, Shimoloens and Leistner and with Stepke anchoring their efforts in net, the team has been a force in the league, winning 15 of their last 20.
With the standings being so tight, the games leading up to the Showcase in February are crucial. Next up for the Vengeance are the Queen City Steam this weekend followed by a handfull of weekend game sets against Division opponents including Toledo (4), Mihigan Mt. Cats (2) and Cleveland (2), all before the big Showcase event.
The task at hand now is to stay focused and not take anyone for granted. The games are all tight and everyone is trying to position themselves for the best spot possible heading into the stretch run.
3HL Announces Dec Award Winners
The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) has announced its monthly player awards for the month of December. The Combat Hockey NA3HL Forward of the Month is Nico Vecchio from the Three Rivers Vengeance. The Combat Hockey NA3HL Defenseman of the Month is Chayce Coenen from the Alexandria Blizzard. The Brian’s Custom Sports NA3HL Goaltender of the Month is Aaron Davis from the North Iowa Bulls. Only players who are nominated by their respective teams are considered for the NA3HL monthly awards.
Combat Hockey NA3HL Forward of the Month: Nico Vecchio, Three Rivers Vengeance
Slowly and steadily, the Vengeance have moved into 2nd place in the NA3HL’s East Division and are back by the league’s leading scorer and December’s Forward of the Month, Nico Vecchio (5’11/180). The native of North Huntington, Pennsylvania, had a month for the ages as he racked up 20 points (9 goals, 11 assists) in nine games in December as Three Rivers put together a 6-2-1 record during the month. Vecchio, 20, had six multi-point games during the month of December, including a five point game and two four point games. His 51 points currently leads all NA3HL scorers. “Nico has single-handedly carried our team at times and his maturity level is outstanding,” said Vengeance head coach Brian Cersosimo. “He makes everyone around him better and has great vision of the ice. He has great speed along with great hands, which makes him a threat every time he touches the ice.”
Runner-Up: Ian Ecklund, Alexandria Blizzard
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Anthony Caroselli, Quad City Jr. Flames – Jacob Howie, Flint Jr. Generals – Tony Paulson, North Iowa Bulls – Blake Phenow, Granite City Lumberjacks – Jordan Prewitt, Toledo Cherokee – Guy Soulliere, Michigan Mountain Cats.
Previous Winners: September 2012, Matt Stirling, Metro Jets – October 2012, Cameron Dimmitt, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – November 2012, Drew Otto, Granite City Lumberjacks.
Combat Hockey NA3HL Defenseman of the Month: Chayce Coenen, Alexandria Blizzard
Since arriving in Alexandria, defenseman Chayce Coenen, 20, has made an immediate impact with the Blizzard. The Des Moines, Iowa native has burst onto the scene with 16 points (7 goals, 9 assists) with the Blizzard this season, which was bolstered by his incredible month of December. During the month, Coenen (5’11/160) racked up 13 points in 9 games as the Blizzard posted a winning record during the month of 5-4-0. He was also a +7 and now stands at a +15 since joining the Blizzard after a trade from Quad City earlier this season. Coenen registered at least a point in seven of the nine games and had four multi-point games. He also added a game-winning goal. His 19 points to date during the 2012-13 puts him in the Top 7 in league scoring for defensemen. “Chayce has been a real breath of fresh air for us. He loves to jump up in the play and create offense, which really helps our scoring chances,” said Blizzard head coach Jeff Crouse. “He has taken a leadership role with the team, which was something we needed when we traded for him and he can just flat out make plays, and having a defenseman that can do that on a regular basis is a key to our success.”
Runner-Up: Connor Langfield, North Iowa Bulls
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Nick Goetel, Flint Jr. Generals – Clayton Janecke, Quad City Jr. Flames – Ben Mack, Michigan Mountain Cats – Dakoda Manslage, Granite City Lumberjacks – Nikolas Sakellaropoulos, Peoria Mustangs – Michael Straub, Three Rivers Vengeance.
Previous Winners: September 2012, Tyler Opilka, St. Louis Jr. Blues – October 2012, Matt Petersen, Granite City Lumberjacks – November 2012, Kyle Meeh, St. Louis Jr. Blues.
Brian’s Custom Sports NA3HL Goaltender of the Month: Aaron Davis, North Iowa Bulls
With the addition of goaltender Aaron Davis, 20, back in mid-November, the North Iowa Bulls may have staked claim to having one of, if not the best, goaltending tandems in the league. That was proven in December, as the junior hockey veteran Davis (5’7/165) won all four of his starts during the month helping the Bulls to a perfect record of 9-0-0 during the month. The native of Mound, Minnesota, posted two shutouts during the month, had a goals against average of 1.50 and stopped 103 of a total 109 shots for a save percentage of 94.5%. Davis started the month with a 37-save shutout of the Metro Jets, which was followed by another shutout of Minnesota. He also picked up big wins in Alexandria and against Breezy Point during the month. To date, Davis has a 7-1-0 record for the 1st place Bulls. “We are so fortunate to have two really good goaltenders in Aaron Davis and Matt Bartels. Aaron brings a lot of veteran leadership and confidence to the table,” said Bulls head coach Todd Sanden. “He is making the most of his opportunity to play here and his work ethic is second to none. He works as hard as any one I have seen and he always wants to get better.”
Runner-Up: Michael Parda, Peoria Mustangs
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Spencer Craig, Michigan Mountain Cats – Anders Franke, Flint Jr. Generals – Nate Gay, Toledo Cherokee – Scott Murray, Granite City Lumberjacks – Tyler Stepke, Three Rivers Vengeance – Robby Vukelich, Quad City Jr. Flames.
Previous Winners: September 2012, Mikael Broliden, St. Louis Jr. Blues – October 2012, Michael Parda, Peoria Mustangs – November 2012, Alex Nedeljkovic, Metro Jets.
About Combat Hockey
The Official Equipment Supplier of the NAHL, Combat Sports has been extremely successful the past 10 years as the fastest-growing North American baseball/softball bat, hockey stick and lacrosse shaft manufacturing company. Visit Combat online here.
About Brian's Custom Sports
The Official Goaltending Equipment Supplier of the NAHL, Brian's has been a leading Canadian supplier of custom built goal equipment since 1984. The factory is located in Kingsville, Ontario near the Southern tip of Canada with ready access to supplying the North American market. As one of the original and remaining custom goal equipment manufacturers Brian's remains committed to continuing to lead the industry with exceptional design and quality. Visit Brian’s online here.