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NAHL announces monthly awards for October

November 4, 2013

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced its monthly player awards for the month of October. The Easton Hockey NAHL Forward of the Month is Alec Butcher from the Kenai River Brown Bears.  The Easton Hockey NAHL Defenseman of the Month is Josh Bretner from the Austin Bruins.  The Brian’s Custom Sports NAHL Goaltender of the Month is Collin Delia from the Amarillo Bulls.  Only players who are nominated by their respective teams are considered for the NAHL monthly awards.

Easton Hockey NAHL Forward of the Month: Alec Butcher, Kenai River Brown Bears

As the runner-up for the Forward of Month award last month, Kenai River forward Alec Butcher, 19, did himself one better in October and won the award. Butcher (5’11/175) used to month to vault himself to the top of the NAHL scoring race. The native of Anchorage, Alaska, led the Brown Bears to a perfect record during the month and help them climb to the top of the Midwest Division standings.  In seven games, Butcher had 11 points, which included four goals and seven assists.  He was also a remarkable +10 during the month, showing his attention to detail at both ends of the ice. Butcher had multi-point games in four of the seven outings and recorded at least a point in six of the seven contests. His best outing in October was a three-point night in a 3-1 win in Wenatchee on October 26th. He also had seven of his 11 points during that weekend in which Kenai River swept the Wild in a three-game set in Wenatchee. Butcher also had a two-point game on October 4th in a 3-2 win over Coulee Region. For the season, Butcher leads the NAHL in scoring with 23 points. “Alec is the ultimate competitor.  He is a guy that hates to lose and he demands perfection of himself.  I have never seen someone prepare like he does. He relishes and embraces the challenge of being the go-to guy on our hockey club,” said Brown Bears head coach Geoff Beauparlant. “When you mix his competitiveness and grit with his talent with the puck, it makes for a pretty high-end hockey player. He wants to be the guy with the puck with the game on the line.”

As for Butcher, he believes his success is because of the team around him. “We have a young group of guys this year, but there is a lot of talent. I would have be able to have the success I have had to so far without them,” said Butcher. “We are excited to play this year for Coach Beauparlant and we think we have a team that is going to have a lot of success. I wanted to come into this season trying to be a better all-around player. I think short term I would like to just keep playing well and trying to help the team have success. Long term, I would just like to keep playing hockey and trying to get to the next level. I think that is a dream that most of us share.”

Runner-Up: Troy Loggins, Wenatchee Wild

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Patrick Curry, Springfield Jr. Blues – Nick DeCenzo, Brookings Blizzard – Joe Drabin, Johnstown Tomahawks – Ben Greiner, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees – Jordan Heller, Aberdeen Wings – Martin Hojbjerg, Corpus Christi IceRays – AJ Jarosz, Soo Eagles – Eetu Karvinen, Minnesota Magicians – Logan Lambdin, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Thomas Lindstrom, Minnesota Wilderness – Tyler Poulsen, Topeka RoadRunners – Matt Sieckhaus, Amarillo Bulls – Filip Starzynski, Bismarck Bobcats – Colin Staub, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Jesse Tredinnick, Coulee Region Chill


Easton Hockey NAHL Defenseman of the Month: Josh Bretner, Austin Bruins

Another one of the 1st place clubs in the NAHL is the Austin Bruins. Last month, forward Jay Dickman was honored as the Forward of the Month, but this month the recognition turned to the defensive side as teammate Josh Bretner, 20, earned the NAHL Defenseman of the Month award for October. Bretner (5’8/180) not only proved himself from a defensive side of things with a +5 rating during the month, but he also was a key ingredient in the offensive success of the Bruins. During October, the Bruins went 5-2 and Brenter recorded eight points (2 goals, 6 assists) in those seven games. The native of North Potomac, Maryland, began the month with a five-assist effort in a weekend sweep of Brookings. He then had a two-goal night in a 4-1 win at Aberdeen on October 18th. Bretner’s 15 points to date is third on the Bruins roster in scoring and ranks 2nd among all NAHL defensemen. His +12 rating to date is also second best among NAHL defensemen. “Josh does a great job of creating on the ice. He can move the puck on the ice and break the puck out of the zone and then transition that into offensive chances,” said Bruins head coach Chris Tok. “He has very quick feet and he is very competitive. He is very strong for his size and he is always in good position defensively.”

“I think that since I have been in the NAHL, I have learned to play at both ends of the ice. There are some really good players in this league and if you aren’t solid defensively first and foremost, then you aren’t going to last long. I was an offense first type of player when I came into the league, but I feel I really have evolved into a defenseman who is responsible first on the defensive end,” said Bretner. “We have a great group of players this season. I think we just try and worry about one game at a time. I think if we get caught looking down the road or thinking about the playoffs, it could hurt us. I think we have a team that is capable of some great things. I think long term, I just want to keep improving to the point where I get a NCAA Division I opportunity.”

Runner-Up: Nate Repensky, Bismarck Bobcats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Dylan Abood, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees – Tyler Andrews, Kenai River Brown Bears – Michael Caruso, Soo Eagles – Ryan Cook, Aberdeen Wings – Joe Grabowski, Amarillo Bulls – Grant Hutton, Corpus Christi IceRays – Alex Jaeckle, Johnstown Tomahawks – Jonathan Kopacka, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Terry Leabo, Minnesota Wilderness – Ryan Polin, Topeka RoadRunners – Brogan Rafferty, Coulee Region Chill – River Rymsha, Wenatchee Wild


Brian’s Custom Sports NAHL Goaltender of the Month: Collin Delia, Amarillo Bulls

Although he was thrilled to be a part of a National Championship club last season, Bulls second-year goaltender Collin Delia, 19, was in mostly a supportive role last season to teammate Paul Berrafato. However, with a new season, brought new opportunity for the Rancho Cucamonga, California, native. Going into the season, head coach Dennis Williams made it clear that Delia (6’2/180) and Berrafato would split the game time 50/50, and Delia has ran with the new situation. Delia is currently the top goaltender in the NAHL and his month of October was a big reason why. Delia went a perfect 4-0 and allowed just two goals in 243+ minutes of action. His goals against average during the month was a miniscule .49 and his save percentage was 98.1%. Delia had two shutouts in October as he blanked Wichita Falls on October 4th and then Topeka on October 11th. He allowed just one goal in a 7-1 win over Corpus Christi on October 18th and allowed just one goal in a 2-1 win over Rio Grande Valley on October 25th. Delia’s .93 goals against average and 96.5% save percentage both current lead in the NAHL. Bulls head coach Dennis Williams said that Delia has risen to the challenge so far this season. “I think what stands out most about Collin this season is his confidence. He believes that no matter the situation or the difficulty, he can stop every shot that is going to come his way. When you combine that with his size and his skill set, you get a guy who has really performed well in goal this season,” said Williams. Williams said that despite the success that Delia has had this season, his plan is to stick with the current 50/50 rotation with him and Berrafato. “I think both guys want to be #1 and I think the formula we have right now is working for the entire team. I think both guys know when they are going to play and prepare as such. Both are battling hard and when it comes to crunch time, we will just have to see where we stand.”

Delia said that he relishes the competition with Berrafato this season because it only helps the team. “I think I really have gotten into a good grove because you know when you are going to play and you prepare for it. I think Paul and I push each other. We have a great working relationship and push one another to become better goalies,” said Delia. “I really worked hard in the off-season to get in better shape and be able to perform anytime I am called upon. I know that is what is going to get me to the next level. I just want to remain confident in my abilities and know that I will be there anytime I am called upon to make saves.”

Runner-Up: Kasimir Kaskisuo, Minnesota Wilderness

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alex Blankenburg, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Colin Brennan, Soo Eagles – Chad Catt, Aberdeen Wings – Olli Kalkaja, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees – Nick Lehr, Austin Bruins – Stefanos Lekkas, Springfield Jr. Blues – Ben Myers, Corpus Christi IceRays – Aaron Nelson, Bismarck Bobcats – Alex Okicki, Johnstown Tomahawks – Zach Quinn, Kenai River Brown Bears – Atte Tolvanen, Minnesota Magicians – David Zevnik, Wichita Falls Wildcats


About Easton

Easton Hockey continues to rank atop the industry in sticks and gloves and is growing faster in skates than any other company. It also offers a comprehensive collection of protective gear including helmets and pants. To learn more, go to


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. 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 at


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