The North American Hockey League announced today its individual league awards and Rebels goalie Mareks Mitens was named the league’s Most Valuable Play and top goalie. He also was named to the All-NAHL first team. Defensemen Brennan Kapcheck and Gvido Jansons were selected to the All-NAHL First and Second teams respectively while head coach Joe Coombs was named the league’s Coach of the Year.
Yesterday Mitens was named the East Divison’s Most Valuable Player and East Division goaltender of the year. The Ventspils, Latvia native and Lake Superior State commit led the NAHL in wins (31), goals against average (1.63) and shutouts (11). The eleven shutouts set a new NAHL single season record for most shutouts in a season. He also played for his native Latvia in the World Junior Championships back in December. He was the league’s goaltender of the month for October and November.
Kapcheck joined Mitens on the All-NAHL First Team. Kapcheck also was voted to the All East Division team a day earlier. He had a total of 42 points on the season (17 goals and 25 assists). The American International College commit had a +37 +/- ratio. He was named the Rebels Best Defensive Player of the Year.
Jansons was named to the All-NAHL Second Team. Yesterday he was named to the All-East Division team. The Arizona State University commit was third on the team with 46 total points (19 goals and 27 assists). He played in the World Junior Championships back in December for his home country Latvia, and in the NAHL’s Top Prospects Tournament in February.
Coombs was selected as the league’s top coach of the year. Yesterday Coombs was named the East Division’s general manager and head coach of the year. This is the second straight season Coombs was named the East Division’s Coach of the Year. While he has coached a total of four years in the league (two with the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees before the team relocated to Aston), his two years at the helm he has compiled a 81-32-7 record. His teams have won back-to-back East Division championships and this year was the NAHL’s regular season champion. He also was the East Division’s head coach for this year’s Top Prospects Tournament.