By Kevin Scott

DALLAS, TX., May 24, 2021 — After a year without any Great Falls Americans players receiving any North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) yearly awards for the 2019-20 season, Great Falls had one player that stood out and was honored by the league during the 2020-21 season.

The Great Falls Americans, coached by third -year Head Coach and General Manager, Greg Sears, finished off the 2020-21 regular season in second place behind the league’s best team, the Sheridan (WY) Hawks. The Americans record (after 40 regular season contests were completed) was 27-11-2-0, which earned them a spot in the 2021 NA3HL Playoffs where they won three of their six contests (3-2-1) to finish with a runner-up finish in the Frontier Division. The #2 Americans needed three games to dispatch the #3 Gillette (WY) Wild in the best-of-three Frontier Divisional Semi-Finals before falling in three games to the top-ranked Sheridan (WY) Hawks in the 2021 NA3HL Frontier Division Finals.

The 2020-21 divisional awards included Most Valuable Player (MVP), Forward, Defenseman and Goaltender of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Leadership and Academic Awards, Community Service, and the All-Division teams. The league’s coaches voted on the awards based on performance during the 2020-21 season.

Trever Mellen was awarded the 2020-21 Frontier Division’s Goaltender of the Year announced by the league on Monday, May 24, 2021. Mellen, who completed his second season with Great Falls, is from North Branch, Minnesota and was also named to the six-member All-Frontier Division squad for the 2020-21 season. Mellen, who was the starting goaltender for Great Falls in ten of their first eleven wins to begin the season, compiled a 21-8-1-0 record (including two postseason victories). Trever recorded 914 saves and he had a save percentage of 0.938 during his 27-game regular season.

He also appeared for Team Bauer during April’s Top Prospects Tournament held in conjunction with the NA3HL Fraser Cup (National) Tournament that took place in St. Peters. Missouri. He accumulated 50 saves in two games (0.847 save percentage) playing for Great Falls Americans mentor Greg Sears’ squad.

He was the best goaltender in the Frontier Division this past season ranking eighth in the entire league with a Goals Against Average (GAA) of 2.35.

The list of award winners for the Frontier Division are posted below.

Award Player 2020-21 NA3HL Team
Most Valuable Player Jacob Cummings Sheridan Hawks
Forward of the Year Jacob Cummings Sheridan Hawks
Defenseman of the Year Owen Miley Missoula Jr. Bruins
Goaltender of the Year Trever Mellen Great Falls Americans
Rookie of the Year Liam Bland Missoula Jr. Bruins
Academic Achievement Award Victor Nukovic Gillette Wild
Community Service Award Joe McCormick Yellowstone Quake
Leadership Award Ethan Becker Gillette Wild


Player Position 2020-21 NA3HL Team
Jacob Cummings Forward Sheridan Hawks
Liam Bland Forward Missoula Jr. Bruins
Declan Young Forward Gillette Wild
Simon Herz Defenseman Sheridan Hawks
Owen Miley Defenseman Missoula Jr. Bruins
Trever Mellen Goaltender Great Falls Americans

Click here for the 2020-21 Divisional Award NA3HL press release.

2020-21 NA3HL League Awards

The NA3HL league awards for the 2020-21 season were also announced this week. The awards were also performance-based and contained many of the same award categories as the divisional awards as voted on by the head coaches and general managers from all  NA3HL clubs.

The awards included the Most Valuable Player of the NA3HL, Forward, Defenseman, and Goaltender of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Coach and General Manager of the Year and Organization of the Year.  The league office also announced their All-AN3HL (1st, 2nd, 3rd Teams) and All-Rookie Teams (1st and 2nd Teams) along with an Academic Achievement Award, Community Service and Leadership Awards.

Trever Mellen, the Americans top goaltender, was also named to the All-NA3HL Third Team in addition to his All-Frontier Division and Frontier Division Goaltender of the Year honors.

“This was a very deserving honor for Trever (Mellen),” said Great Falls Americans Head Coach and General Manager, Greg Sears. “He was a huge part of the success we have had the last two seasons. Trever is a great kid both on and off the ice. We are very proud of him.”

Mellen has not yet announced his college commitment.

2020-21 Season Stats: Trever Mellen

Other notable players from the Frontier Division were honored including Gillette (WY) Wild’s Victor Nukovic, who was presented with the Apex Learning Virtual School Academic Achievement Award. Nukovic’s teammate in Wyoming, Declan Young was announced as an All-NA3HL Third team selection.  The top-ranked team, the Sheridan (WY) Hawks, had three players receiving awards (Jacob Cummings, All-NA3HL First Team, Simon Herz, All-NA3HL Rookie First Team as Defenseman, and Dakota Kott, All-NA3HL Rookie Second Team as Defenseman). The Missoula Junior Bruins, who became the Badlands (SD) Sabres during the offseason, had Owen Miley get All-NA3HL Third Team honors, Liam Bland received All-NA3HL Rookie First Team and Pablo Frank was named to the All-NA3HL Rookie Second Team.

Click here for the 2020-21 NA3HL Season Awards press release and list of winners.

Story Courtesy: North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL): NA3HL announces 2020-21 Divisional awards (May 24, 2021)

Story Courtesy: North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL): NA3HL announces 2020-21 season awards (May 25, 2021)