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NAHL announces monthly player awards for March

April 5, 2022

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced its monthly player awards for the month of March.  The Forward of the Month is Ryan O’Neill from the St. Cloud Norsemen. The Defenseman of the Month is Vincent Corcoran from the Wichita Falls Warriors. The Goaltender of the Month is Matthew Smith from the Minnesota Wilderness. Only players who are nominated by their respective teams are considered for the NAHL monthly awards.


Bauer Hockey NAHL Forward of the Month: Ryan O’Neill, St. Cloud Norsemen

St. Cloud Norsemen forward Ryan O’Neill, 21, continued his impressive season in the month of March, helping the Norsemen capture the NAHL’s Central Division regular season title. The 5’10/175 lbs. native of Roseville, MN, played in 10 games during the month and recorded 20 points (5 goals, 15 assists). O’Neill, who is committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for St. Thomas next season, recorded at least a point in all 10 games played during the month and had incredible eight multi-point games. For the season, O’Neill is currently tied for the NAHL’s scoring lead with 74 points (30 goals, 44 assists) in 53 games played. “Ryan is having a very good year. He has worked hard, and it has paid dividends. I know he wants team success as well and is driven to help us win games,” said Norsemen head coach Corey Millen.

“I think just over the past couple months I feel we as a team have grown closer and have a lot of confidence in one another. My goals for the rest of the season are to help my team win the Robertson Cup and continue to help my teammates get noticed by NCAA schools because we have a lot of talent on this roster. After the season I hope to help St. Thomas do well next season and be a part of something great,” said O’Neill.

Runner-Up: Brendan Gibbons, Maine Nordiques

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ryan Bottrill, Maryland Black Bears – Adisen Brueck, Wichita Falls Warriors – Michael Casey, Jr., Corpus Christi IceRays – Dayne Hoyord, Odessa Jackalopes – Colby Joseph, Minot Minotauros – Cy LeClerc, Janesville Jets – Alexander Malinowski, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Matt McQuade, Lone Star Brahmas – Paul Minnehan, Northeast Generals – Zach Murray, Johnstown Tomahawks – Sutter Muzzatti, Austin Bruins – Cade Neilson, Aberdeen Wings – Carter Rapalje, North Iowa Bulls – Nicholas Rexine, Minnesota Wilderness – Nick Sajevic, Chippewa Steel – Tristan Shewchuk, Springfield Jr. Blues – Boris Skalos, Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks – Ryan Taylor, Bismarck Bobcats – Michael Young, New Jersey Titans


Bauer Hockey NAHL Defenseman of the Month: Vincent Corcoran, Wichita Falls Warriors

For the second time in his NAHL career, Wichita Falls Warriors defenseman Vincent Corcoran, 20, has been honored as the NAHL’s Defenseman of the Month. The 5’8/165 lbs. native of Plainfield, IL, led all NAHL blueliners with 14 points during the month of March. That included 3 goals and 11 assists and a +9 rating as the Warriors clinched a playoff berth in the South Division. Corcoran, who is committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for Bemidji State next season, had at least a point in eight of his nine games played in March and had two multi-point games. Corcoran currently leads all NAHL defensemen in scoring so far this season with 50 points in 54 games played. “Vinnie had a big month offensively to help us continue staying in the playoff race. His drive and will to win is contagious and our group feeds off his energy. Since Christmas, we have had to play with a sense of urgency and Vinnie has led the way. Time after time he comes through and shines in the biggest moments and again this past Saturday, he showed it again in our biggest game of the year,” said Wichita Falls head coach Garrett Roth.

“I’d say the biggest difference in our team success for the month of March is the preparation that we’ve put in. We have a very competitive team, and all of us want to see each other succeed. Pushing each other and doing all the little things right in practice ultimately gives the team and myself confidence when it’s time to perform in the game,” said Corcoran. “Our main goal is to win a Robertson Cup, and in order to get there we have to keep playing our best hockey from here on out. For the future, I want to continue getting better each and every day, so that when it’s time to play in NCAA, I’m a guy that can be relied on.”

Runner-Up: Will Troutwine, Janesville Jets

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Nicholas Bernardo, Maine Nordiques – Nikolai Charchenko, Minot Minotauros – Cole Crusberg-Roseen, Minnesota Wilderness – Tyler DesRochers, Johnstown Tomahawks - Kyle Furey, Lone Star Brahmas – Will Gilson, Aberdeen Wings – Noah Marino, Springfield Jr. Blues – Hunter McCurdy, Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks – Aidan McDowell, Maryland Black Bears – Jack Mesic, North Iowa Bulls – Brendan Miles, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Evan Orr, Northeast Generals – Evan Tanus, Minnesota Magicians – Trevor Taulien, Odessa Jackalopes – Nick Young, St. Cloud Norsemen – Jon Ziskie, Bismarck Bobcats


NAHL Goaltender of the Month: Matthew Smith, Minnesota Wilderness

The meteoric rise of Minnesota Wilderness goalie Matthew Smith, 19, reached new highs in March. The 5’11/165 lbs. native of Fenton, MO, posted a 7-1-1 record during the month as he faced 253 shots and made 236 saves, which was good for a 1.81 goals against average and a .933 save percentage. Smith, who began the season with the Springfield Jr. Blues, and then later played in the NA3HL for the Granite City Lumberjacks, has made the most of his call up to the Wilderness posting a 12-1-1 record with a 1.87 goals against average and a .928 save percentage to go along with three shutouts. Smith, who is also an NAPHL grad, has a combined record of 24-1-1 between the NAHL and NA3HL this season. “Since joining our team in mid-January Matt has been a steady force for our team. The best thing about Matt is that he makes every save he should make and then on most nights seems to make a spectacular save or two that ignites his teammates. He has also been a fantastic teammate to our other goalie Konrad and the rest of our team. We are excited to see what the future holds for Matt,” said Wilderness head coach Dave Boitz.

“I really focused on not letting the highs get too high and the lows get too low. You must keep your emotions in check because hockey is an incredibly emotional sport. I had to work incredibly hard to get back into the NAHL this year. The work ethic and resilience I had to create in Granite City in the NA3HL really prepared me to succeed at the NAHL level,” said Smith. “I think playing in the NAPHL for CarShield really helped me develop into the man and goalie I am today and prepare me for junior hockey. My goal the rest of this season is to try help my team make the playoffs and hopefully win a Robertson Cup Championship.”

Runner-Up: Arthur Smith, Lone Star Brahmas

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tomas Bolo, St. Cloud Norsemen – Anton Castro, Aberdeen Wings – Carter Clafton, Amarillo Wranglers – Cullen DeYoung, Northeast Generals – Luca Di Pasquo, Maryland Black Bears – Daniel Duris, Wichita Falls Warriors – Kyle Kozma, North Iowa Bulls – Tyler Krivtsov, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Lassi Lehti, Minot Minotauros – William Proctor, Odessa Jackalopes – Aksel Reid, Springfield Jr. Blues – Ethan Robertson, Austin Bruins – Josh Seeley, Minnesota Magicians – Oskar Spinnars-Nordin, Bismarck Bobcats – Avery Sturtz, Maine Nordiques – Andrew Takacs, New Jersey Titans

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