The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced its monthly player awards for the month of March. The Easton Hockey NAHL Forward of the Month is Razmuz Waxin-Engback from the Odessa Jackalopes. The Easton Hockey NAHL Defenseman of the Month is Ian Scheid from the Austin Bruins. The Vaughn NAHL Goaltender of the Month is Chase Munroe from the Michigan Warriors. Only players who are nominated by their respective teams are considered for the NAHL monthly awards.
Easton Hockey NAHL Forward of the Month: Razmuz Waxin-Engback, Odessa Jackalopes
It had been a tough season for the Odessa Jackalopes, but thanks to a 6-4 record during the month of March and playing some of their best hockey of the season, the team ended the year on a good note. Forward Razmuz Waxin-Engback, 20, played a big role in the team’s success during the month as the native of Sodertalje, Sweden, led all NAHL scorers with 17 points during the month. That included seven goals and 10 assists for the 5’11/203 lbs. veteran forward. Waxin-Engback registered at least a point in all 10 games during the month of March, ending the season on a 10-game point streak. That included South Division Star of the Week honors back on March 23rd when Waxin-Engback recorded seven points in three games during the week. Waxin-Engback recorded multi-point games in five of the 10 outings and had one game-winning goal. His 54 points and 24 goals both ranked 2nd on the team this season and he led the Jackalopes with three game-winning goals this season. Waxin-Engback, who played in the NAPHL during the 2012-13 season prior to arriving in the NAHL, finished his NAHL career with 74 points in 114 career NAHL regular season games. “Razmuz has been our MVP all year and was very consistent during the month of March. He has worked hard all season long and everything came together during the month. He has one of the best shots I have seen at this level and plays very well at both ends of the ice. I think he has an exciting professional career ahead of him,” said Odessa head coach Greg Gatto.
Waxin-Engback said that his experience playing for Odessa in the NAHL is one he will remember forever. “The NAHL was a great league for me to develop in. I grew a lot as a player. You have to adapt quickly to the speed, physicality and everything that comes along with being on your own. I think the league also has some great coaching and I would not have developed to where I am today without the help of coach Greg Gatto and the staff. I think in March we as team gained a lot of confidence and played to our true potential. I think my month would not have been possible without the great play of my two linemates Kenny Hausinger and Corey Hoffman,” said Waxin-Engback.
Runner-Up: Aaron Miller, Minnesota Wilderness
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Willie Brown, Bismarck Bobcats – Matt Jones, Keystone Ice Miners – Dan Kucerovy, Janesville Jets – Adam Lovick, Coulee Region Chill – Wes Michaud, Corpus Christi IceRays – Nikita Milekhin, Minnesota Magicians – Luke Novak, Amarillo Bulls – Brad Pung, Soo Eagles – Brian Rigali, Springfield Jr. Blues – Matt Rudin, Kenai River Brown Bears – Bjorn Sigurdarson, Aberdeen Wings – Sebastian Vidmar, Lone Star Brahmas – August Von Ungern-Sternberg, Wenatchee Wild – Johnny Walker, Minot Minotauros
Easton Hockey NAHL Defenseman of the Month: Ian Scheid, Austin Bruins
A big part of the Austin Bruins run to clinch the Central Division title was their 7-1 record during the month of March and thanks to the play of players like defenseman Ian Scheid. The 19-year-old native of Coon Rapid, Minnesota, had a great month, posting 10 points in the eight games during March. Scheid (5’11/185) was second on the team in scoring during the month, which included a goal and nine assists along with a +8 rating. Scheid registered at least a point in all but one of the eight games he played during the month. He finished the regular season on a seven-game point streak, which included him being named the NAHL’s Central Division Star of the Week on March 30th. During that seven game stretch, Scheid recorded all 10 of his points during the month. For the regular season, Scheid led all Bruins defensemen in scoring this season with 35 points in 55 games played. He also played on the Central Division team at the 2015 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament. “Ian has been a huge part of our defense and I think we relied on him almost too much to begin the season. However, right around the middle of season, he really put a renewed focus on being better defensively and that has translated into offensive success as well. His vision and playmaking ability has consistently good all season long and he makes the players around him better,” said Austin head coach Chris Tok.
As for Scheid, he said that his focus right now remains on the impending Robertson Cup Playoffs. “I think our goal for March was to get to a point where we were playing our best hockey of the season. Everyone was working well together and that comes with experience and making sure that everyone is on the same page. I really tried to focus on being better defensively and that led to more chance for me to jump up in the play and get involved offensively. I think my focus for the remainder of the season is to help us win a National Championship and then see what happens,” said Scheid.
Runner-Up: Brogan Rafferty, Coulee Region Chill
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jeff Alderfer, Janesville Jets - Tyler Andrews, Kenai River Brown Bears – Sam Becker, Minnesota Magicians – Ivan Chukarov, Minnesota Wilderness – Niko Coffman, Keystone Ice Miners – Luke Davison, Minot Minotauros – Travis Howe, Corpus Christi IceRays – Chris Jones, Wenatchee Wild – Patrick Koch, Soo Eagles – Tanner Okeson, Aberdeen Wings – Tanner Salsberry, Bismarck Bobcats – Jesper Synellius, Amarillo Bulls
Vaughn NAHL Goaltender of the Month: Chase Munroe, Michigan Warriors
The Michigan Warriors improbable run to clinching the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division would not have been possible without the play of their goaltenders, in particular, veteran Chase Munroe. The 20-year-old goaltender from Naperville, Illinois, was a big part of the Warriors going 8-1 during the month of March and securing the 4th and final seed in the North Division playoffs by one point with one more win on the final day of the regular season. Munroe (6’3/205) played in four games during the month, including the final three of the regular season, posting a perfect 4-0 record. During the month, he faced 148 shots and made 142 saves, allowing just six goals in the four games. That was good for a 1.44 goals against average and a 95.9% save percentage during March. Three of his four wins came on the road, which included two wins in the Soo against the Eagles during the final weekend of the regular season. It capped off a wild regular season for Munroe, who started the year in Wichita Falls, made a stop in Fairbanks and eventually ended up in Michigan when the Warriors ran into injury problems with their goaltending. Munroe is in his second season in the NAHL and played in the NAPHL for two seasons prior, both with the Indiana Jr. Ice. “The turning point for Chase was when our other goalie, Ryan Wischow, went down with an injury. Chase knew then he was going to be the guy. He always worked hard in practice and you could tell he was yearning for a shot to get in there and prove something. He had been in some tough situations this year, so I think it was a matter of him gaining his confidence back. Once that happened, the momentum he gave our team with his play snowballed and we managed to pull out a playoff spot,” said Michigan head coach Moe Mantha.
For Munroe, his performance during the month was something that he knew he had inside him, but just needed the right situation to show what he could do. “I felt like with the position the team was in, we had nothing to lose. We were all on board to just let it go and leave nothing on the ice during the month. It hasn’t been the ideal year for me, but I have gotten mentally stronger and that is a big part of the battle of playing goalie and having success in the NAHL. I didn’t worry so much about the outcome, but just wanted to have fun out there and be there for my teammates. We have some momentum right now and we will see where that takes us in the playoffs, but I think anything is possible with the way we have been playing,” said Munroe.
Runner-Up: Alex Blankenburg, Keystone Ice Miners
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Vaughan Ahrens, Minnesota Magicians – Ryan Anderson, Minnesota Wilderness – Chad Catt, Soo Eagles – Evan Hauser, Kenai River Brown Bears – Matt Jurusik, Janesville Jets – Luke Kania, Aberdeen Wings – Anton Martinsson, Amarillo Bulls – Dryden McKay, Springfield Jr. Blues – Zach Quinn, Wenatchee Wild – Hunter Shepard, Bismarck Bobcats – Atte Tolvanen, Minot Minotauros
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