« Hockey 2008

Marty Mjelleli

School

St. Cloud State University

Position
Forward
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Marty Mjelleli

Classroom

A two-time All-WCHA Academic award recipient, Mjelleli has also been selected to the St. Cloud State University Academic Honor Roll during his collegiate career. He currently owns a 3.17 grade point average and is a marketing major at SCSU with a communication studies minor. He will graduate in the fall of 2007 and may move into graduate school during his final semester with the team in winter 2008.

Character

Mjelleli is one of SCSU’s senior leaders in 2007-08. He has served as the vice president of the St. Cloud State University Student Athlete Advisory Council from 2006-present. His determination and work ethic have created more ice time for him throughout his career, as he has gone from playing in just four games as a freshman to seeing ice time in 25 contests during both his sophomore and junior seasons (last year he battled through a mid-season injury to help in SCSU’s late season run that resulted in a second-place finish in the WCHA and an NCAA tournament bid). This season, Mjelleli has already played in five games for the Huskies with one assist to his credit. He is dedicated to the success of his team, and truly believes in using his position as a Division I athlete to help make significant contributions to the campus and community.

Community

Mjelleli has compiled an impressive community and campus service resume during his career as a college athlete. On campus, Mjelleli has served as a St. Cloud State University teacher assistant and tutor for the communication studies department . He has also been a three-year member of the university’s Student Athlete Advisory Council and has served as that group’s vice-president over the past two years. This group helps out with food drives (particulary with an organization in St. Cloud called Kids Against Hunger), makes grab bags for area food shelters and participates in local reading programs at area schools. As vice-president of this group, Mjelleli helps organize the group’s monthly meetings and participates in the group’s events throughout the year. Off campus, Mjelleli will start his second season as a volunteer coach with the St. Cloud Slapshots, a local adapted floor hockey team, which is comprised of special needs athletes from several St. Cloud area high schools. As part of the Slapshots, Mjelleli attended team practices and games throughout the season along with fellow teammates Andrew Gordon and Grant Clafton. Unless the SCSU hockey team was out of town for a game, Mjelleli would attend practices each day during the week (Monday through Thursday) and the three Huskies were on the bench for the team’s games. The coaching help provided by Mjelleli paid off as the Slapshots went on to win the 2007 Minnesota State High School League adapted floor hockey title in the cognitively impaired division. Mjelleli has taken it upon himself to obtain game programs, trading cards and media gudies for distribution to the athletes on the Slapshot squad. He has also put together eqipment drives in order to obtain used equipment and supplies for the Slapshots. Mjelleli is working with the Slapshots again in 2007-08, and he is the “point person” in the recruitment of fellow SCSU hockey players to serve as assistant coaches for the Slapshots, which will help carry on the tradition of SCSU players helping with this St. Cloud area team. In addition to his commitment to the Slapshots, Mjelleli is an active volunteer in many other area programs. He is a regular volunteer at the nearby Southside Boys and Girls Club in St. Cloud, where he plays games (pool, basketball, darts, etc.) and interacts with area kids. He has helped with the Club’s Halloween festival and annual Thanksgiving program. He has even served as a judge for one its coloring contests. Another important group in Mjelleli’s life is the Faribault Youth Hockey program. A resident of Faribault, Minn., Mjelleli has helped extensively with the youth program where he got his start as a hockey player. He helped organize an equipment drive for the program, in order to help those in financial need have an opportunity to play the game. The equipment drive collected used skates, sticks, socks, pads, etc. for use by players in the program. Mjelleli volunteered his time and energy to help with that group’s annual golf tournament and auction over the past five years, which helps raise money for ice time. Back at SCSU, Mjelleli collected labels from his teammates’ Gatorade bottles. The labels were then redeemed for brand new helmets through a special program from hockey equipment company Mission. The helmets were then donated to the Faribault program. A case study in recycling and thoughtfulness, Mjelleli collects broken hockey sticks and blades from the SCSU locker room garbage. He then pieces these sticks together and provides them to youth hockey players back home for use in street hockey games. To complete the picture, Mjelleli can be found teaching at hockey camps and clinics back in Faribault during the off-season. Another project that Mjelleli is active with is the colletion of pop can tabs for the Shriner’s Hospitals. He has set up collection boxes in Faribault and at his apartment in St. Cloud to help with the collection of the tabs. Mjelleli has also helped raise money for the Wisconsin Fire AAA Hockey Association, which is an organization that has an auction each year to raise money for victims of fires. He collects and provides items signed by the SCSU players for the auction (i.e. – Pucks, programs, posters, etc.). Some other activities that Mjelleli has been involved with during his career include participation in the team’s reading program at the St. Cloud Public Library and the team’s annual Skate-With-The-Huskies program, a public event where players and fans skate together on the ice at the National Hockey Center. A special event that Mjelleli participated last year was St. Cloud State’s Stanley Cup celebration, a community outreach program that featured an appearance in town by the Stanley Cup and former Husky and current NHLer Bret Hedican. Mjelleli and his teammates signed autographs at the event, and also partipated in skills games with the public. To complete his active schedule, Mjelleli meets every Monday with a campus Bible study group headed up by Bill Butters of Christian Ministries. He serves as the person to relay meeting times to his fellow players that participate in this group.

Competition

Mjelleli has played an important role in the ongoing success of the nationally ranked St. Cloud State University men’s hockey team (which was ranked 17th in the latest NCAA Division I polls on Nov. 5, 2007). Since he has been on campus, the Husky hockey program has charted solid numbers. As a freshman, Mjelleli and the Huskies were 14-23-3 during the 2004-05 season. SCSU’s success grew during Mjelleli’s sophomore season, as the Huskies posted a 22-16-4 record and advanced to the title game of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association post-season tournament. Last year, the Huskies completed the year ranked #7/8 in the final NCAA Division I polls with a 22-11-7 record. SCSU captured second place in the WCHA and also gained a coveted bid to the 2007 NCAA tournament. A dedicated athlete in the weightroom and practice, Mjelleli has been a consistent performer at forward for the Huskies. In his career, Mjelleli has charted 7 goals and 13 assists in 59 games played at SCSU. Last year, Mjelleli posted three goals and two assists and battled through a mid-season injury to gain starts in nine of the Huskies’ final 10 games (including a start against Maine in the NCAA playoffs). As a sophomore, Mjelleli carded four goals and 10 assists and played in 25 games. His playing ability showed marked improvement from his freshman to sophomore season, as he saw ice time in only four games in 2004-05, while seeing ice time in 25 games each in 2005-06 and 2006-07.