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Easton's Stars of the Week

Stars of the Week Week of March 30, 2015sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Ian Scheid - Austin Bruins

Ian Scheid

Defenseman Ian Scheid, 19, helped the Austin Bruins put an exclamation point on the regular season as the native of Coon Rapids, Minnesota was instrumental in the Bruins home and home sweep of the Brookings Blizzard. Scheid (5’11/185) had five points in the two wins and was also a +5 as Austin outscored Brookings 13-1 in the two games. On Friday, Scheid had two assists in a 6-1 home win. On Saturday, Scheid scored the game-winning goal and added two assists in a 7-0 road win in Brookings.  Scheid finished the regular season with 35 points in 55 games played this season. “Ian’s vision and playmaking ability has been a constant for us all season, he makes the players around him better,” said Austin head coach Chris Tok.

2nd Star: Willie Brown, F, Bismarck Bobcats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alex Bitsakis, G, Bismarck Bobcats – Luke Kania, G, Aberdeen Wings – Zach Kennedy, F, Austin Bruins – Colton Kramer, F, Minot Minotauros – Colin Raver, F, Aberdeen Wings – Johnny Walker, F, Minot Minotauros

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Michael Covach - Minnesota Wilderness

Michael Covach

The Minnesota Wilderness had a busy week with three games against the Coulee Region Chill, picking up wins in two of the three games. Wilderness forward Michael Covach, 20, led the way with eight points in the three games, registering a point in all three contests. On Friday, the native of Shillington, Pennsylvania had a goal in a 4-2 home loss. On Saturday, Covach (5’11/195) had the game-winning goal and four assists for a five-point night in an 8-1 road win in Coulee Region. On Sunday, Covach had a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win over the Chill. In 58 games played this season, Covach recorded 42 points. “Michael had a very good weekend for us. He is one of the smartest players I have coached in this league. He has great rink awareness,” said Wilderness head coach Corey Millen.

2nd Star: Adam Lovick, F, Coulee Region Chill

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Maurin Bouvet, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Jack Gessert, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Jacob Hetz, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Aaron Miller, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Tyler Tomberlin, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

 

North Star of the Week: Taylor Fernandez - Keystone Ice Miners

Taylor Fernandez

With two wins over the weekend, the Keystone Ice Miners not only secured 2nd place in the North Division, but also prevented their opponent, the Johnstown Tomahawks, from making the playoffs.  Forward Taylor Fernandez, 20, played a huge role in the wins with four goals in the two contests. On Friday, the native of Northville, Michigan, scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 home win over the Tomahawks.  A night later, Fernandez (6’0/175) had a hat-trick, which included the game-winning goal in a 5-2 win in Johnstown. For the season, Fernandez finished second on the team in scoring this season with 39 points in 59 games played. “Taylor was really good this weekend.  We haven’t been scoring a lot of goals, but things have clicked recently and he scored some big ones for us.  He in an unselfish player, but he is also very effective when he shoots, so we are trying to get him to do that more,” said Keystone head coach Michael Gershon.

2nd Star: Chase Munroe, G, Michigan Warriors

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tommy Horn, F, Keystone Ice Miners – Matt Jurusik, G, Janesville Jets – Dryden McKay, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Brandon Schultz, F, Janesville Jets

 

South Star of the Week: Parker Wood - Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees

Parker Wood

20-year-old Rio Grande Valley forward Parker Wood (6’1/185) finished the regular season with a flurry, which included a big offensive weekend this past week as the Killer Bees split their series with Odessa.  Wood (6’1/185) had a hand in scoring half of his team’s goals during the weekend and was also a +3 in the two games.  On Friday, the native of Rochester Hills, Michigan, had a goal in a 5-2 loss to the Jackalopes. On Saturday, Wood scored twice in a 4-2 win. He finished the regular season with six goals in his last three games. For the season, Wood finished 2nd on the team in scoring with 37 points in 56 games played. “Parker is playing well at the right time and has been consistent all season long.  He seems to come through for our team when it matters the most and we hope that is a trend that continues moving forward into the playoffs,” said Killer Bees head coach Joe Coombs.

2nd Star: Luke Novak, F, Amarillo Bulls

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Austin Albrecht, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Mike Coyne, F, Wenatchee Wild – Will Harrison, F, Amarillo Bulls – Kenny Hausinger, F, Odessa Jackalopes – Chris Jones, D, Wenatchee Wild – Connor Kelly, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Tanner Lomsnes, F, Corpus Christi iceRays – Dominic Lutz, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Sam Rennaker, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Colin Staub, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Razmuz Waxin-Engback, F, Odessa Jackalopes – Cody Wickline, F, Lone Star Brahmas

 

Stars of the Week Week of March 23, 2015sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Atte Tolvanen - Minot Minotauros

Atte Tolvanen

Minot goalie Atte Tolvanen, 20, followed up his commitment last week to Northern Michigan University with two outstanding performances for the Minotauros. In two games last week, the native of Vihti, Finland, allowed just a single goal as the Minotauros locked up the #2 seed in the Central Division. On St. Patrick’s Day, Tolvanen (6’0/188) stopped all 24 shots that came his way for his 6th shutout of the season in a 4-0 home win over the Bismarck Bobcats. On Friday, Tolvanen made 19 saves in a 1-0 road loss to the Aberdeen Wings. During the weekend, Tolvanen stopped 43 of 44 shots. “Atte gave us a chance to win both games. He has really matured as a goalie and he is going to be a special player at the NCAA Division I level. We feel like our chances are good in the playoffs if he continues to do what he has been doing all season,” said Minot head coach Marty Murray.

2nd Star: Luke Kania, G, Aberdeen Wings

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brian Backnak, F, Austin Bruins – Corey Dunn, D, Austin Bruins – Kyle Haak, F, Aberdeen Wings – Hunter Shepard, G, Bismarck Bobcats – John Snodgrass, F, Minot Minotauros – Cullen Willox, F, Bismarck Bobcats

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Aaron Miller - Minnesota Wilderness

Aaron Miller

The Minnesota Wilderness stayed busy last week with four games and thanks to three more wins, were able to keep pace atop the Midwest Division standings in pursuit for a division title. Forward Aaron Miller, 19, had six points in the four games, which included three goals and three assists for the native of Superior, Wisconsin. Miller (5’10/165) began the week with a two goal, one assist performance in a 3-2 overtime win over the Minnesota Magicians on St. Patrick’s Day. Two days later he had a goal and assist in another 3-2 win over the Magicians. Over the weekend, Miller picked up an assist and a shootout-winning goal in a home split with Bismarck. For the season, Miller is tied for the Wilderness scoring lead with 55 points in 56 games played. “Aaron has been a consistent offensive threat for us all year. For a first year junior player, he has been a very pleasant surprise,” said Wilderness head coach Corey Millen.

2nd Star: Evan Hauser, G, Kenai River Brown Bears

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Todd Burgess, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Dominik Florian, F, Coulee Region Chill – Adam Kresl, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – John Teets, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Wayland Williams, D, Minnesota Wilderness – Richard Zehnal, F, Coulee Region Chill

 

North Star of the Week: Jake Gwillim - Johnstown Tomahawks

Jake Gwillim

Johnstown goalie Jake Gwillim, 17, helped his club to two wins in three games last weekend as the Tomhawks put themselves on the verge of a playoff spot. The 6’3/208 lbs. native of Swartz Creek, Michigan, faced 69 shots over the weekend and made 65 saves. On Friday, Gwillim came in relief and preserved a 3-0 shutout of the Soo Eagles. On Saturday, Gwillim made 31 saves in a 3-2 win over the Eagles.  On Sunday, Gwillim made another 31 saves, but it wasn’t enough in a close 2-1 loss.  “Jake was very good for us in a weekend where we needed to have success as we make our push for the playoffs. He made multiple big saves including a penalty shot :17 seconds into our game Saturday night to give us great momentum. He provides our team with an emotional lift because his personality is very uplifting and supportive. He was extremely influential in us having a relatively strong weekend. I am very proud of the way he played for our team giving us a chance to have success,” said Tomahawks head coach Mike Letizia.

2nd Star: Matt Jurusik, G, Janesville Jets

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alex Berardinelli, F, Michigan Warriors – Jack Berry, G, Soo Eagles - Niko Dellamaggorie, G, Springfield Jr. Blues – LordAnthony Grissom, D, Keystone Ice Miners – Alex Jaeckle, D, Johnstown Tomahawks – Matt Jones, F, Keystone Ice Miners - Dan Kucerovy, F, Janesville Jets - Matt Menta, F, Soo Eagles - Grant Meyer, F, Springfield Jr. Blues

 

South Star of the Week: Razmuz Waxin-Engback - Odessa Jackalopes

Razmuz Waxin-Engback

Odessa forward Razmuz Waxin-Engback, 20, continued his hot play over the weekend as the Jackalopes won two of three home contests against the visiting Corpus Christi IceRays. The native of Sodertalje, Sweden, managed at least a point in all three games, which continued his current point streak to eight straight games. In the three games, Waxin-Engback had a total of seven points and was a +4. On Thursday, Waxin-Engback had a goal and two assists in a 3-1 win over the IceRays. On Friday, he had a goal in a 5-3 loss and on Saturday, he scored the game-winning goal and added two assists in a 4-1 win. For the season, Waxin-Engback has 51 points in 57 games played, which ranks him 2nd on the team in scoring. “Razmuz has been our MVP all year and was very consistent this weekend. He has worked hard all season long. He has a great shot and plays very well at both ends of the ice and is a great all-around hockey player,” said Odessa head coach Greg Gatto.

2nd Star: David Powlowski, F, Wenatchee Wild

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tommy Apap, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – JB Baker, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Phil Fromberger, F, Amarillo Bulls – Ben Johansson, G, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees – Wes Michaud, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Daniel Rzavsky, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Austin Shaw, G, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Parker Wood, F, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees

 

Stars of the Week Week of March 16, 2015sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Trevor Boyd - Austin Bruins

Trevor Boyd

Austin forward Trevor Boyd, 20, helped his team pick up two big home wins over the weekend to widen their lead atop the Central Division. The native of Muskegon, Michigan, was a factor in both games as Boyd (6’3/200) scored four goals in the two wins and had a +3 rating over the weekend. On Friday, Boyd scored the first goal of the game as the Bruins went onto win, 4-1. On Saturday, Boyd scored the final three goals of the game, including the game-winner, in a 5-2 win. Boyd, who played in the 2015 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for the Central Division, leads the Bruins in scoring this season with 44 points and 53 games played. “Trevor was instrumental to our offense this past weekend.  His hard work and willingness to play in the hard areas was rewarded with points and production,” said Austin head coach Chris Tok.

2nd Star: Evan Smith, G, Austin Bruins

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Luke Kania, G, Aberdeen Wings – Tanner Salsberry, D, Bismarck Bobcats – Bjorn Sigurdarson, F, Aberdeen Wings – Jared Spooner, F, Bismarck Bobcats

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Kevin Aldridge - Fairbanks Ice Dogs

Kevin Aldridge

The Fairbanks Ice Dogs took over sole possession of 1st place in the Midwest Division thanks to a weekend series sweep in Bismarck against the Bobcats this weekend. Veteran goalie Kevin Aldridge, 21, got the start in both games and only gave up three goals during the weekend, while facing 62 shots in the two games. On Friday, the native of Beverly Hills, Michigan, stopped all 27 shots that came his way for his second shutout of the season as Fairbanks blanked Bismarck, 2-0. On Saturday, Aldridge (5’8/165) made 32 saves in a 5-3 win over the Bobcats. In 15 appearances with the Ice Dogs this season, Aldridge has a 10-3-1 record with a 1.93 goals against average and a 93% save percentage. “Kevin was solid between the pipes all weekend. He showed great leadership and came up with some very timely saves when we needed them,” said Fairbanks head coach Trevor Stewart.

2nd Star: Richard Zehnal, F, Coulee Region Chill

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Todd Burgess, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Alec Derks, G, Kenai River Brown Bears – Joseph Kaszupski, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Nico Luka, D, Coulee Region Chill – Ian Mansfield, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Nikita Milekhin, F, Minnesota Magicians – Aaron Miller, F, Minnesota Wilderness

 

North Star of the Week: Alex Blankenburg - Keystone Ice Miners

Alex Blankenburg

Keystone goalie Alex Blankenburg, 20, ended up making three appearances this weekend as the Ice Miners traveled to Soo to take on the Eagles. On Friday, the two teams continued a postponed game from February and despite the eventual 2-1 loss, Blankenburg (5’9/167) was credited with 45 saves in the loss. Later that night in the regularly scheduled game, the native of Washington, Michigan, made 39 saves in a 4-1 win. On Saturday, Blankenburg didn’t start, but came in after the Ice Miners went down 4-0 and didn’t give up a goal on 15 shots and over 38 minutes of action. For the weekend, Blankenburg faced a total of 102 shots and stopped 99 of them. Blankenburg, who ranks tied for 3rd in the NAHL with a 93% save percentage, also played in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for the North Division earlier this season. “Alex was good for us in all three games. It is tough to come in cold in some situations. He made some saves that gave us some momentum and kept us in the game when we were down,” said Keystone head coach Michael Gershon.

2nd Star: Alex Alger, F, Johnstown Tomahawks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Drew Callin, F, Janesville Jets – Trevor Cope, F, Soo Eagles – Tyler Groat, F, Michigan Warriors – Tommy Horn, F, Keystone Ice Miners – Colin Horton, F, Michigan Warriors – Lester Lancaster, D, Springfield Jr. Blues – Grant Meyer, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Brad Pung, F, Soo Eagles – Nils Rygaard, F, Janesville Jets 

 

South Star of the Week: AJ Vanderbeck - Lone Star Brahmas

AJ Vanderbeck

17-year-old rookie forward AJ Vanderbeck was on fire this past weekend as the Lone Star Brahmas picked up five of a possible six points in three-game road swing and increased their South Division lead to four points. Vanderbeck (5’11/180) had six points (4 goals, 2 assists) in the three games and was a +4.  The native of Colorado Springs, Colorado began the week with a bang as he scored all three Brahmas goals in regulation in a 4-3 overtime loss at Corpus Christi on Wednesday. On Friday, Vanderbeck picked up an assist in a 3-0 shutout win in Rio Grande Valley against the Killer Bees.  The next night, Vanderbeck had a goal and an assist in a 3-2 overtime win against the Killer Bees. For the season, the Colorado College recruit has 33 points in 52 games played and also played in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for the NAHL Selects Team. “AJ was great in all three games this past week. He has really come on strong lately and scoring big goals. He will be a big factor in our success this season moving forward,” said Brahmas head coach Dan Wildfong.

2nd Star: Maskim Dzhioshvili, F, Corpus Christi IceRays

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jasen Fernsler, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Ryan Gotelaere, D, Wenatchee Wild – Cody Gylling, F, Amarillo Bulls – Jake Kupsky, G, Lone Star Brahmas – Wes Michaud, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Stathis Soumelidis, F, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees – Colin Staub, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Cam Strong, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Jesper Synnelius, D, Amarillo Bulls – Jake Townsend, D, Wichita Falls Wildcats – August Von Ungern-Sternberg, F, Wenatchee Wild

 

Stars of the Week Week of March 9, 2015sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Hunter Shepard - Bismarck Bobcats

Hunter Shepard

The Bismarck Bobcats posted a big weekend home sweep of the Kenai River Brown Bears and rookie netminder Hunter Shepard, 19, got the start and wins in both games.  The native of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, began the weekend by stopping all 18 shots that came his way for his first career NAHL shutout as Bismarck beat Kenai River, 1-0.  The next night, Shepard (6’0/201) made 16 saves in a 5-2 win.  For the weekend, Shepard allowed just two goals on 36 shots. Shepard has a 13-12 record this season and has allowed just six goals in his last four appearances. “I thought Hunter was a big reason why we had a good weekend. He faced some quality scoring chances and has come a long away in his development this season. He has worked hard to become a better goalie and we feel real confident with our goaltending tandem right now,” said Bismarck head coach Layne Sedevie.

2nd Star: Christian Mohs, F, Minot Minotauros

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Willie Brown, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Jackson Graalum, F, Aberdeen Wings – TJ Samec, D, Brookings Blizzard – Bjorn Sigurdarson, F, Aberdeen Wings – Johnny Walker, F, Minot Minotauros

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Vaughan Ahrens - Minnesota Magicians

Vaughan Ahrens

Thanks to a weekend road sweep in Aberdeen against the Wings, the Minnesota Magicians were able to keep their winning streak going and clinch the Midwest Division’s final playoff spot in the process. 18-year-old netminder Vaughan Ahrens was stellar between the pipes as the native of Plymouth, Minnesota faced 83 shots in the two games and made 78 saves. On Friday, Ahrens (6’2/195) tied a season-high with 42 saves in a 4-3 win. On Saturday, he made 36 saves in a 5-2 win. Ahrens has now won his last four starts and also played well for the Midwest team at the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament. “Vaughan was great this weekend and since his return from injury, you can see him getting better by the week.  He is an elite goalie and that is why he continues to be someone we will rely on for team success moving forward,” said Magicians head coach Tom Upton.

2nd Star: Aaron Miller, F, Minnesota Wilderness

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Kevin Aldridge, G, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Ryner Gorowsky, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Evan Hauser, G, Kenai River Brown Bears – Brock Kautz, G, Minnesota Wilderness – Nikita Milekin, F, Minnesota Magicians – Jeff Solow, D, Kenai River Brown Bears

 

North Star of the Week: Peter Bates - Michigan Warriors

Peter Bates

The Michigan Warriors are making a late-season run to try and capture the 4th and final playoff spot in the North Division and their three-game home sweep of the Keystone Ice Miners this past weekend is just what the doctor ordered. Forward Peter Bates, 18, played a big part in the sweep as the native of Evanston, Illinois netted four points in the three wins, which included game-winning goals in two of the three outings. After being held scoreless with two shots in a 3-2 win on Friday, Bates had two goals, including the game-winner on Saturday. On Sunday, he added another game-winning goal and assisted on the other in a 2-1 win. In 15 games with the Warriors this season, Bates (6’0/170) has 13 points. “Peter had some key goals, but in the last couple of weeks you can see his confidence grow with each game.  He is playing on a really good line that is clicking right now and he plays well at both ends of the ice,” said Michigan head coach Moe Mantha.

2nd Star: Nick Le Sage, D, Johnstown Tomahawks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ryan Bednard, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Derek Frentz, F, Michigan Warriors – Pat Gazzillo, D, Soo Eagles – Matt Menta, F, Soo Eagles 

 

South Star of the Week: Anton Martinsson - Amarillo Bulls

Anton Martinsson

The Amarillo Bulls kept their playoff hopes alive with two big home wins over the Topeka RoadRunners last weekend. Between the pipes, Amarillo goalie Anton Martinsson, 19, was one of the big reasons behind the wins.  The native of Klippan, Sweden, faced 82 shots in the two games and stopped 78 of them.  On Friday, Martinsson (6’0/183) made a season-high 46 saves in a 4-3 overtime win. On Saturday, he made 32 saves in a 3-1 win. Martinsson has now won four of his last five starts and has a 14-11-1 record for the season.  “The two wins this weekend were four points we really needed and anytime you face a situation like that, your goalie has to be one of your best players and that’s what Anton was. He has really stepped his game up lately and it has allowed us to try and make a good run for the playoffs,” said Amarillo head coach Jon Rogger.

2nd Star: Dallas Gerads, F, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Austin Albrecht, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Eric Carreras, F, Odessa Jackalopes – Kevin Charyszyn, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Will Harrison, F, Amarillo Bulls – Mason Kreuger, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Ludvig Larsson, F, Lone Star Brahmas – Hampus Sjodahl, F, Odessa Jackalopes – Alexey Solovyev, D, Lone Star Brahmas

 

Stars of the Week Week of March 2, 2015sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Jake Kielly - Austin Bruins

Jake Kielly

Austin Bruins goalie Jake Kielly, 18, led his club to a weekend home sweep of the Aberdeen Wings, giving up just three goals in the two wins as the Bruins stayed atop the Central Division standings. For the weekend, the native of Eden Prairie, Minnesota faced 41 shots in the two wins and stopped 38 of them. On Friday night, Kielly (6’3/190) made 19 saves in a 3-2 win and on Saturday night he made another 19 saves in a 3-1 win. For the season, Kielly has a 19-4-6 record with two shutouts, a 2.16 goals against average and a 90.5% save percentage. He has won his last nine starts. “Jake made a couple real big saves to keep the games where they were at.  He has been focused on just stopping the puck and it has paid dividends for him,” said Bruins head coach Chris Tok.

2nd Star: John Snodgrass, F, Minot Minotauros

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Cory Dunn, D, Austin Bruins – Quinn Fuchs, F, Minot Minotauros – Luke Kania, G, Aberdeen Wings – Jared Pike, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Alex Strand, F, Bismarck Bobcats

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Darian Romanko - Minnesota Wilderness

Darian Romanko

One of the hottest players in the league as of late has been Minnesota Wilderness forward Darian Romanko. The 20-year-old from Shoreview, Minnesota, had a huge weekend in Minnesota’s split in Bismarck, totaling six points in the two games. On Friday, Romanko (6’1/195) had a natural hat-trick, which included the game-winning goal in a 6-3 win over the Bobcats. On Saturday, despite an 8-4 loss, Romanko had three assists to lead the Wilderness. For the season, Romanko leads the Wilderness in scoring with 49 points in 44 games played. He also played in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament last week for the Midwest team and had two points in the two wins. “Darian has had a very good month and continues to be a force in every game. We need him to continue to be strong the rest of the way and into the playoffs,” said Wilderness head coach Corey Millen.

2nd Star: Johnny Mueller, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Sam Becker, D, Minnesota Magicians – Gustav Berglund, D, Kenai River Brown Bears – Tyler Cline, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Kane Durment, F, Minnesota Magicians – Hans Gorowsky, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Alex Jackstadt, F, Kenai River Brown Bears

 

North Star of the Week: Alex Alger - Johnstown Tomahawks

Alex Alger

Miami University recruit Alex Alger, 19, helped the Tomahawks to a weekend split in Fairbanks this past weekend with four points in the two games.  On Friday night, the native of Livonia, Michigan tallied two assists in a 6-4 loss. On Saturday night, Alger (5’11/150) scored twice in regulation and added the shootout winner in a 4-3 win. Since coming to Johnstown from Odessa in a trade last month, Alger has recorded 12 points in nine games with the Tomahawks. “Alex stepped up in a huge way for us this week offensively. We acquired Alex a few weeks ago to bring in additional offense to our team and he has delivered since his arrival. Even bigger this week was the timing and magnitude of his scoring for our team. We had some tight games against a very good team and he was right in the middle of our production especially in the shootout win with two tying goals at different points in the game, and the game winner in the shootout for us.   Alex is an outstanding kid and very deserving of this recognition,” said Tomahawks head coach Mike Letzia.

2nd Star: Leo Lumm, F, Soo Eagles

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Mitch Fossier, F, Janesville Jets – Matt Jones, F, Keystone Ice Miners – Dryden McKay, G, Springfield Jr. Blues – Brad Pung, F, Soo Eagles – Zac Robbins, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Austin Romzek, F, Keystone Ice Miners – Brandon Schultz, F, Janesville Jets 

 

South Star of the Week: Tanner Lomsnes - Corpus Christi IceRays

Tanner Lomsnes

Corpus Christi IceRays forward Tanner Lomsnes was a one-man offensive show this past weekend as his team posted a weekend road split against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. In the two games, the 6’4/200 lbs. forward from Red Deer, Alberta racked up seven points and was a +5. On Friday night, Lomsnes assists on two of the three IceRays goals in a close 4-3 loss. On Saturday, Lomsnes had a hat-trick, including the game-winning goal, and two assists for a five-point night in a 6-3 win. Last week, Lomsnes also played on the South team at the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, recording an assist in the two games.  For the season, Lomsnes ranks 2nd on the IceRays in scoring with 51 points in 46 games played. “I think it was important for Tanner to continue to try and exert himself offensively, because he has a lot of talent in that area. When he uses his size combined with his skill, he can be a very effective player at this level,” said IceRays head coach John Becanic.

2nd Star: Charlie Combs, F, Amarillo Bulls

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jake Ahlgren, F, Wenatchee Wild – TJ Black, G, Lone Star Brahmas – Kevin Charyszyn, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Brendan Harris, F, Wenatchee Wild – Yu Hikosaka, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Dominic Lutz, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Anton Martinsson, G, Amarillo Bulls – Wes Michaud, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Austin Shaw, G, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Stathis Soumelidis, F, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees

 

Stars of the Week Week of February 23, 2015sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Kyle Haak - Aberdeen Wings

Kyle Haak

NAHL Top Prospects forward Kyle Haak played a big part in his team’s two victories over the weekend to stay in a playoff position in the Central Division. The 20-year-old from Okemos, Michigan, had a huge game in Aberdeen’s 4-3 win over Minot on Friday as Haak (6’0/180) had a hat-trick, including the game-winning goal and an assist, in a 4-3 win.  The next night, Haak chipped in with a shootout goal as the Wings edged Bismarck, 3-2. For the season, Haak leads the Wings in scoring with 43 points in 49 games played. He also is a product of the Lansing Capitals in the NAPHL. “Kyle was there all weekend. He played physical and was responsible without the puck. When he had the puck, he made the right plays and was unselfish. Kyle is a very hard worker and the consummate team player,” said Aberdeen head coach Francis Anzalone.

2nd Star: Derek Olmschenk, D, Austin Bruins

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alex Bitsakis, G, Bismarck Bobcats – Andrew Shortridge, G, Aberdeen Wings – Nico Sturm, F, Austin Bruins – Cullen Willox, F, Bismarck Bobcats

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Jack Gessert - Kenai River Brown Bears

Jack Gessert

The Kenai River Brown Bears snapped their losing skid this past weekend and stayed in the Midwest Division playoff hunt thanks to a weekend split at home with the Johnstown Tomahawks. Forward Jack Gessert, 20, had a big weekend with five points as the Novi, Michigan native continued to lead his team in scoring. On Friday, the 6’2/205 lbs. Gessert had an assist in the lone Kenai River goal in a 3-1 loss. On Saturday, Gessert erupted for four goals, including the overtime-winner as Kenai River beat Johnstown, 6-5. For the season, Gessert, who is playing the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, has 41 points in 41 games, including 26 goals. “Through a tough season, Jack has stuck with it and risen to the occasion and this past weekend was a great example.  He is a leader on our hockey team and would be a nice addition to any NCAA Division I program,” said Brown Bears head coach Geoff Beauparlant.

2nd Star: Darian Romanko, F, Minnesota Wilderness

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Maurin Bouvet, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Josef Ingman, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Janis Jaks, D, MN Wilderness – Adam Wilcox, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

 

North Star of the Week: Matt Jurusik - Janesville Jets

Matt Jurusik

In one of the more incredible runs in recent NAHL memory, Janesville goalie Matt Jurusik went another weekend without allowing a goal as the Jets won their 13th and 14th straight games in a weekend sweep in Springfield against the Jr. Blues. Jurusik, 17, stopped all 53 shots that came his way in the two wins and has now not allowed a goal in his last 5+ appearances, a stretch that spans over 300 minutes of playing time. The native of La Grange, Illinois made 29 save on Friday night in a 2-0 win and on Saturday made 24 saves in a 1-0 overtime win. Jurusik now leads in the NAHL in wins with 26 and save percentage at 93.8%. Jurusik is playing in this week’s NAHL Top Prospects Tournament. "Matt is on a great run right now and it is rubbing off on the rest of the team. Even when we are not at our best at times, he has been remarkable this season and would be a great addition to any NCAA Division I program,” said Jets head coach Joe Dibble.

2nd Star: Tanner Barnes, F, Johnstown Tomahawks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Chad Catt, G, Soo Eagles – Matt Jones, F, Keystone Ice Miners – Dryden McKay, G, Springfield Jr. Blues – Zac Robbins, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Austin Romzek, F, Keystone Ice Miners – Adam Winborg, F, Janesville Jets – Sandis Zolmanis, F, Soo Eagles 

 

South Star of the Week: Andrew Lindgren - Corpus Christi IceRays

Andrew Lindgren

Corpus Christi goalie Andrew Lindgren, 18, had a perfect weekend as he helped the IceRays to a weekend split with the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. On Friday, Lindgren came in relief and posted 37 minutes of shutout hockey, making 16 saves in an eventual 4-1 loss. On Saturday, the native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, stopped all 26 shots that came his way through regulation and overtime and then stopped three of five shooters in the shootout in a 1-0 shutout win. It was his second shutout of the season. For the weekend, Lindgren (6’0/175) stopped all 42 shots that came his way in 102+ minutes of action.  “Andrew’s timing was very good because we needed a lift in goal. He played solid and made big saves. When he plays consistent and makes key stops at key times, it really gives us a lift,” said IceRays head coach John Becanic.

2nd Star: Nikita Litviak, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Charlie Combs, F, Amarillo Bulls – Mike Coyne, F, Wenatchee Wild – Tyler Irvine, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Cam Knight, D, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Luke Novak, F, Amarillo Bulls – Dakota Raabe, F, Wenatchee Wild – Anton Santesson, D, Lone Star Brahmas – Sebastian Vidmar, F, Lone Star Brahmas

 

Stars of the Week Week of February 16, 2015sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Alex Bitsakis - Bismarck Bobcats

Alex Bitsakis

Although he played in just one game over the weekend, Bismarck goalie Alex Bitsakis, 20, made it count as the native of Montreal, Quebec, helped the Bobcats pick up a 1-0 shootout win on the road in Minot on Saturday. Bitsakis (6’0/190) stopped all 43 shots that came his way through regulation and overtime and then stopped three of four shooters in the shootout to pick up the win. The 43 saves were the second most in a game this season and the shutout was his third of the year. “Every point is so important at this time of the year and we knew we'd need excellent goaltending to get two in Minot. Alex responded with one of his best games of the season against the top offense in the central division,” said Bismarck head coach Layne Sedevie.

2nd Star: Jake Kielly, G, Austin Bruins

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brian Bachnak, F, Austin Bruins – Andrew Shortridge, G, Aberdeen Wings – Bjorn Sigurdarson, F, Aberdeen Wings – Atte Tolvanen, G, Minot Minotauros – Cullen Willox, F, Bismarck Bobcats

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Niklas Lehtimaki - Minnesota Wilderness

Niklas Lehtimaki

Minnesota Wilderness forward Niklas Lehtimaki, 19, helped his team stay in 1st place in the Midwest Division with two wins this past week, recording points in both. The 5’11/194 lbs. native of Kiukainen, Finland recorded three goals and an assist in the two wins and was a +3. On Thursday night, Lehtimaki had a hat-trick in a 5-3 home win over the Coulee Region Chill. On Saturday, he recorded an assist in a 5-4 overtime win on the road against the Minnesota Magicians. For the season, Lehtimaki is 3rd on the team with 19 goals and has 32 points in 38 games played. “Nick is a very talented kid and had a good weekend scoring a few big goals at key moments,” said Wilderness head coach Corey Millen.

2nd Star: Sam Becker, D, Minnesota Magicians

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tyler Cline, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Ryner Gorowsky, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Alex Jackstadt, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Robin Karlsson, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Adam Lovick, F, Coulee Region Chill – Tanner Schachle, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Richard Zehnal, F, Coulee Region Chill

 

North Star of the Week: Matt Jurusik - Janesville Jets

Matt Jurusik

There were some great performances in the North Division this week, but when a goalie continues his shutout streak of over 190 minutes to his team to two consecutive 1-0 road wins over the weekend, it is something special. That’s what Janesville goalie Matt Jurusik, 17, did this past weekend as the Jets swept the Keystone Ice Miners. On Friday, the native of La Grange, Illinois, stopped all 45 shots that came his way in a 1-0 shutout. On Saturday, Jurusik (6’1/195) made 22 saves in another 1-0 shutout. For the weekend, he stopped all 67 shots that came his way and he has gone the last 190 minutes without allowing a goal. His 24 wins leads the NAHL and his 1.73 goals against average ranks 2nd. "Matt was very solid for us in goal this past weekend. In games like that, it's important to get good goaltending in key situations to have an opportunity to win games, and that is exactly what we got from him this weekend. He gave us the opportunity to win two hockey games when we were having trouble scoring,” said Jets head coach Joe Dibble.

2nd Star: Tyler Groat, F, Michigan Warriors

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Chad Catt, G, Soo Eagles – Matt Jones, F, Keystone Ice Miners – Mitch Vanderburg, F, Soo Eagles

 

South Star of the Week: Max Reisinger - Wichita Falls Wildcats

Max Reisinger

Wichita Falls forward Max Reisinger, 19, helped his club to two more wins in a weekend home sweep of the Odessa Jackalopes. The 6’0/200 lbs. native of Walding, Austria, had multi-point nights in both wins as the Wildcats offense exploded for 10 goals in the two games. On Friday night, Reisinger had a pair of assists in a 5-4 win. On Saturday, he scored a goal and had another assist in a 5-2 win. For the season, Reisinger has 29 points in 38 games played. His 15 goals ranks 5th on the team. “Max has really elevated his level of play over the past few months. He has worked hard all year to put himself in a position to be a key player for our team, and he has been exactly that thanks to that hard work and his ability to finish around the net and create plays for others. We are excited to see him find his stride with the Top Prospects Tournament right around the corner,” said Wildcats head coach John LaFontaine.

2nd Star: Michael Bullion, G, Wenatchee Wild

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Charlie Combs, F, Amarillo Bulls – Kasper Emanuelsson, D, Amarillo Bulls – Logan Gestro, D, Corpus Christi IceRays – Brendan Harris, F, Wenatchee Wild – Yu Hikosaka, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Dominic Lutz, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Wes Michaud, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Jake Townsend, D, Wichita Falls

 

Stars of the Week Week of February 9, 2015sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Trevor Boyd - Austin Bruins

Trevor Boyd

Thanks to a weekend home-and-home sweep of the Minnesota Magicians, the Austin Bruins moved back into 1st place in the Central Division this past week. Veteran forward Trevor Boyd, 20, was a force during the two wins as the native of Muskegon, Michigan, totaled four points in the two wins and was also a +4. On Friday, Boyd (6’3/200) had two assists in a 6-0 win in Minnesota against the Magicians and on Saturday, Boyd scored twice, including the game-winning goal in a 3-1 win. For the season, Boyd leads the Bruins in scoring so far this year with 37 points in 43 games played. He also leads the club with 117 penalty minutes. “Trevor has done a great job of playing consistent hockey since the New Year. He is a big reason for our recent success,” said Austin head coach Chris Tok.

2nd Star: Jared Pike, F, Bismarck Bobcats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alex Bitsakis, G, Bismarck Bobcats – Kyle Haak, F, Aberdeen Wings – Evan Smith, G, Austin Bruins - Michael Soucier, F, Aberdeen Wings

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Tyler Cline - Minnesota Wilderness

Tyler Cline

University of Alaska-Fairbanks recruit Tyler Cline, 19, helped the Wilderness maintain their top spot in the Midwest Division thanks to a weekend home sweep of the Minot Minotauros. The native of Blaine, Minnesota had four points during the two wins and a +3 rating. On Friday, Cline (5’9/180) scored two goals, including the game-winner and had an assist in a 4-2 win over Minot. On Saturday, he added his second straight game-winning goal in a 3-1 win over the Minotauros. For the season, the NAHL rookie is tied for 2nd in scoring on the Wilderness roster with 34 points in 37 games played. “Tyler had a very good weekend scoring big goals at important times.  He has been getting better every week learning the game at the junior level,” said Wilderness head coach Corey Millen.

2nd Star: Aaron Miller, F, Minnesota Wilderness

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alec Derks, G, Kenai River Brown Bears – Josef Ingman, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Hans Gorowsky, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Zack Zulkanycz, F, Kenai River Brown Bears

 

North Star of the Week: Mitch Fossier - Janesville Jets

Mitch Fossier

Right now there is no slowing down the Janesville Jets.  The NAHL North Division leaders picked up yet another weekend sweep this past weekend, this time against their in-state rivals, the Coulee Region Chill. Forward Mitch Fossier, 18, continued his hot play with a big weekend as the rookie from Alpharetta, Georgia, racked up five points and a +4 rating in the two wins. On Friday, Fossier (5’11/175) had a goal in a 4-1 home win over the Chill. On Saturday, Fossier was part of a five-goal Jets comeback as he recorded a hat-trick and an assist in a 5-3 win in Coulee Region. For the season, the University of Maine recruit is 4th on the team in scoring with 41 points in 45 games played. “For Mitch, he has been a guy for us that has elevated his game in the second half of the season to a whole new level. He is one of our go-to guys now. He brings such a consistent effort night in and night out and he takes pride in the little things,” said Jets head coach Joe Dibble.

2nd Star: Peter Bates, F, Michigan Warriors

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jack Berry, G, Soo Eagles – Mike Caruso, D, Soo Eagles – Derek Frentz, F, Michigan Warriors – Matt Jurusik, G, Janesville Jets – Nick Kossoff, G, Keystone Ice Miners – Dryden McKay, G, Springfield Jr. Blues

 

South Star of the Week: Nic LaBurn - Corpus Christi IceRays

Nic LaBurn

After being out almost a month because of injury, the Corpus Christi IceRays were happy to get the services of forward Nic LaBurn, 20, back this past weekend as they split a weekend home series with the Lone Star Brahmas. The native of Northville, Michigan, was a factor in the scoring in both games as he totaled three points and a +3 rating. On Friday, LaBurn (6’1/195) assisted on the game-tying goal with a minute remaining in regulation as the IceRays eventually won in a shootout, 3-2. On Saturday, LaBurn had a goal and an assist in a 5-3 loss. In 36 games this season, LaBurn has 23 points and 12 goals. “It was Nic’s first weekend back after missing a month of action and it was big for him to play well. This is an exciting time for him and he is playing his best hockey of the season right now,” said IceRays head coach John Becanic.

2nd Star: Austin Beaulieu, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Daniel Brickley, D, Topeka RoadRunners – Brady Crabtree, F, Amarillo Bulls – Jasen Fernsler, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Andrew Lindgren, G, Corpus Christi IceRays – Jake Townsend, D, Wichita Falls Wildcats

 

Stars of the Week Week of February 2, 2015sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Alex Pettersson - Austin Bruins

Alex Pettersson

The Austin Bruins kept pace in the Central Division with a weekend home-and-home sweep of the Minnesota Magicians, as well as, picking up a point in an shootout loss against the Minnesota Wilderness on Wednesday. 20-year-old forward Alex Pettersson was a big factor for the Bruins as the 5’10/190 lbs. native of Gothenburg, Sweden, registered at least a point in all three games and totaled six assists during the week. On Wednesday, Pettersson assist on Austin’s first goal in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Wildernes. On Friday, he picked up the lone assist on the overtime-winning goal as Austin beat the Magicians, 4-3. On Saturday, Petterson picked up four assists in an 8-1 win. He was also a +5 during the weekend and now has 31 points in 39 games played this season. “Alex has quietly put together a solid performance since the Christmas break. He has a renewed confidence that has really helped his ability to make plays,” said Austin head coach Chris Tok.

2nd Star: Nate Colwell, F, Brookings Blizzard

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Colton Kramer, F, Minot Minotauros – Viktor Lindell, F, Brookings Blizzard – Nick Monfils, F, Minot Minotauros – Victor Ostling, F, Aberdeen Wings – Jared Pike, F, Bismarck Bobcats – JM Piotrowski, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Michael Soucier, F, Aberdeen Wings

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Brogan Rafferty - Coulee Region Chill

Brogan Rafferty

The Coulee Region Chill managed to pick up three of a possible six points this weekend in a three-game set in Fairbanks with 19-year-old defenseman Brogan Rafferty leading the way from the blueline. The 6’1/185 lbs. native of West Dundee, Illinois registered at least a point in all three road games. On Thursday, Rafferty had an assist in a 3-2 shootout loss against the Ice Dogs. On Friday, Rafferty picked up an assist on the game-winning goal as the Chill came away with a 3-2 win. On Saturday, Rafferty assisted on both Coulee Region goals in a 5-2 loss. In 41 games this season, Rafferty has 21 points. “Brogan has been a big time leader on the back end for our team. He shows a lot of poise with the puck and is a very good vocal leader for our younger players,” said Coulee Region head coach AJ Degenhardt.

2nd Star: Tyler Cline, F, Minnesota Wilderness

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Maurin Bouvet, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Dawson DiPietro, F, Coulee Region Chill – Hans Gorowksky, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Alex Jackstadt, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Janis Jaks, D, Minnesota Wilderness – Johnny Mueller, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

 

North Star of the Week: Brandon Schultz - Janesville Jets

Brandon Schultz

The high-flying Janesville Jets won again this past weekend with a sweep in the Soo against the Eagles and they are just a couple games away from clinching the league’s first playoff berth. Forward Brandon Schultz, 18, led the way this past weekend as the 5’7/155 lbs. forward from Fort Meyers, Florida racked up six points (4 goals, 2 assists) in the weekend wins of 6-1 and 6-4. On Friday, Schultz put up two goals and an assist and was a +3 in a 6-1 win and on Saturday, Schultz again had two goals and an assist in a 6-4 win. For the season, Schultz is 3rd on the team in scoring with 45 points in 41 games played and he leads the team with 22 goals, which ranks tied for 4th in the NAHL. “Brandon is playing with a lot of confidence. He makes things happen both when he has the puck and when he is without the puck. The game is fun for everyone right now and it is because of the efforts that guys like Brandon are giving night in and night out,” said Jets head coach Joe Dibble.

2nd Star: Steven Quagliata, D, Johnstown Tomahawks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alex Archibald, D, Keystone Ice Miners – AJ Coleman, F, Keystone Ice Miners – Michael Crowley, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Kevin Dineen, F, Janesville Jets – Casey Linkenheld, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Brad Pung, F, Soo Eagles – Anthony Scarsella, D, Springfield Jr. Blues

 

South Star of the Week: Kyle Stephan - Wenatchee Wild

Kyle Stephan

The Wenatchee Wild picked up a big three-game road sweep of the Kenai River Brown Bears this past week and scored 20 goals in the three wins. Forward Kyle Stephan was front and center with the team’s production as the 19-year-old forward from Barrie, Ontario recorded seven points in the three wins, which included four goals and three assists. On Thursday, Stephan (6’2/180) had a hat-trick in a 6-3 win, which also included the game-winning goal. On Friday, he picked up an assist in a 5-1 win and on Saturday, he scored another goal and had two assists in a 9-3 win. Since being traded to Wenatchee from Rio Grande Valley right after Christmas, Stephan has recorded nine points in seven games played with the Wild. “Kyle has come in and has done a nice job building chemistry with his line mates David Powlowski and Andre Pison. As a team we were effective in creating offense and Kyle was one of our offensive leaders this weekend,” said Wild assistant coach Chris Clark.

2nd Star: Anthony Cortese, D, Corpus Christi IceRays

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jake Ahlgren, F, Wenatchee Wild – Austin Beaulieu, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Charlie Combs, F, Amarillo Bulls – Ryan Cusin, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Ludvig Larsson, F, Lone Star Brahmas – Tristan Rostagno, D, Amarillo Bulls – Jake Townsend, D, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Sebastian Vidmar, F, Lone Star Brahmas

 

Stars of the Week Week of January 26, 2015sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Alex Jasiek - Austin Bruins

Alex Jasiek

The addition of new forward Alex Jasiek, 19, has paid immediate dividends for the Austin Bruins, who have won all four games since his arrival and ramped up their offense in the process. That was evident against this past week as the St. Louis, Missouri native led his new team to two more wins, both over the Brookings Blizzard. Jasiek (5’9/160) totaled three points during the week, which including two goals (both game-winners) and an assist. On Wednesday, Jasiek scored the lone goal of the game, which came midway through overtime as the Bruins beat Brookings, 1-0. On Friday, Jasiek scored another game-winning goal and added an assist in a 6-3 road win in Brookings. In four games with the Bruins this season, Jasiek has six points and is a +5. “Alex has been a great addition to our team.  He has great hockey sense and patience with the puck.  Alex also does a great job of making the players around him better,” said Austin head coach Chris Tok.

2nd Star: Jon Lizotte, D, Minot Minotauros

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jake Howie, F, Minot Minotauros – Jake Kielly, G, Austin Bruins – Oscar Odd, F, Brookings Blizzard – JM Piotrowski, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Hunter Shepard, G, Bismarck Bobcats – Andrew Shortridge, G, Aberdeen Wings

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Jesper Ohrvall - Fairbanks Ice Dogs

Jesper Ohrvall

Fairbanks Ice Dogs forward Jesper Ohrvall, 20, made quite the return to the line-up this past weekend as the Ice Dogs posted a home split with the Wenatchee Wild. The native of Halmstad, Sweden, accounted for almost the entire offense generated in the two games as Ohrvall (5’9/170) totaled seven points in the nine goals scored by Fairbanks during the weekend, which included six goals from Ohrvall. On Friday night, Ohrvall had four goals and an assist for a five-point game in a 7-1 win. On Saturday night, he scored both goals in a close 3-2 loss. In just nine games this season with the Ice Dogs, Ohrvall has points, including 12 goals. “It was good to get Jesper back in the line-up and he had a really nice weekend.  He was able to find himself in areas where he could use his skills,” said Fairbanks head coach Trevor Stewart.

2nd Star: Tyler Andrews, D, Kenai River Brown Bears

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Sam Becker, D, Minnesota Magicians - Maurin Bouvet, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Connor Bucsis, F, Minnesota Magicians – Brett Heikkila, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Patrick Munson, G, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Darian Romanko, F, Minnesota Wilderness

 

North Star of the Week: Alex Smith - Janesville Jets

Alex Smith

Janesville Jets defenseman Alex Smith, 19, helped his club to a weekend home sweep of the Johnstown Tomahawks to increase their North Division lead to 21 points. The native of Brownstown, Michigan, was a factor in both games, which included wins of 4-2 and 6-3. Smith (6’0/190) totaled four points in the two wins and was a +2. On Friday night, Smith picked up an assist on the go-ahead goal in the 4-2 win. On Saturday night, Smith picked up three assists, all in the 3rd period, including setting up the game-winning goal in a 6-3 win over the Tomahawks. For the season, Smith leads all Jets defensemen in scoring with 31 points in 41 games played. His 31 points is also tied for 3rd in scoring among all NAHL defensemen. “I thought Alex had a great weekend. We were down in both games, but there wasn’t any panic from a guy like Alex, which really showed his veteran leadership and his maturity on the ice. He made things happen at important times and played well at both ends of the ice and that is all we can keep asking for,” said Jets head coach Joe Dibble.

2nd Star: Trevor Cope, F, Soo Eagles

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Niko Dellamaggorie, G, Springfield Jr. Blues – Evan Feno, F, Janesville Jets – Matt Jones, F, Keystone Ice Miners – Michael Maiden, F, Keystone Ice Miners – Chase Matson, F, Soo Eagles – Anthony Scarsella, D, Springfield Jr. Blues

 

South Star of the Week: Matej Tomek - Topeka RoadRunners

Matej Tomek

Topeka goalie Matej Tomek, 17, was his usual, solid self this past weekend as the 1st place RoadRunners increased their lead in the South Division with a home sweep of the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. The native of Bratislava, Slovakia, started and won both games, running his season record to 20-3-1. For the weekend, Tomek stopped 57 of 59 shots, while allowing just one even-strength goal. On Friday, Tomek (6’3/180) stopped all 25 shots that came his way for his league-leading 6th shutout of the season in a 6-0 win. On Saturday, the North Dakota recruit stopped 32 of 34 shots and then stopped all five shooters in the shootout in a 3-2 win. For the season, Tomek leads in the NAHL in goals against (1.59) and shutouts (6), is tied for the league-lead in wins with 6 and is 3rd in save percentage at 93.5%. “Matej was sold in each start this weekend. He held us in it early on Friday, and Saturday he closed the door and allowed us to win in a shoot out. His maturity in net has been fun to watch and he is a highly competitive individual,” said Topeka head coach Scott Langer.

2nd Star: Tanner Lomsnes, F, Corpus Christi IceRays

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Austin Beaulieu, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Michael Bullion, G, Wenatchee Wild – Anthony Cortese, D, Corpus Christi IceRays – Mike Coyne, F, Wenatchee Wild – Trent Dillinger, F, Amarillo Bulls – Jasen Fernsler, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Ben Jentsch, D, Amarillo Bulls – Jake Townsend, D, Wichita Falls Wildcats

 

Stars of the Week Week of January 19, 2015sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Nate Colwell - Brookings Blizzard

Nate Colwell

Newly acquired forward Nate Colwell, 17, helped the Brookings Blizzard to a weekend home-and-home sweep of the Bismarck Bobcats. The native of Englewood, Colorado recorded four points (1 goal, 3 assists) in the two wins, which were the first back-to-back wins for the Blizzard since late October. On Friday, Colwell (6’2/180) had the game-winning goal and added an assist in a 6-2 road win in Bismarck. On Saturday, Colwell had two more assists, including one on the game-winning goal, in a 4-3 home win over the Bobcats. Colwell has played five games for the Blizzard since coming over from Corpus Christi and has six points in those five games played. “Nate is new to the team and he has come in and competed really hard.  He makes us a better, deeper club and is a very good and young talent,” said Blizzard head coach Dan Daikawa.

2nd Star: Evan Giesler, F, Bismarck Bobcats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Viktor Lindell, F, Brookings Blizzard – Blake Lizotte, F, Minot Minotauros – Alex Pettersson, F, Austin Bruins – Evan Smith, G, Austin Bruins – Jared Spooner, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Atte Tolvanen, G, Minot Minotauros

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Hans Gorowsky - Fairbanks Ice Dogs

Hans Gorowsky

Fairbanks ran their winning streak to five straight games with another sweep of the Kenai River Brown Bears, this time on the road in Kenai River. Veteran forward Hans Gorowsky, 20, had a big weekend for the Ice Dogs as the native of Lino Lakes, Minnesota recorded four points in the two wins. On Friday, Gorowsky (5’9/185) had the game-winning goal in a 6-3 win. On Saturday, Gorowsky added another game-winning goal and two assists in a 4-1 win. For the season, Gorowsky has 35 points in 39 games played and ranks 4th in the Fairbanks line-up in scoring. “Hans had a good weekend. He has been a leader for us and will be good at the NCAA Division I level because of his speed, skill and character,” said Fairbanks head coach Trevor Stewart.

2nd Star: Ivan Chukarov, D, Minnesota Wilderness

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Maurin Bouvet, F, Kenai River Brown Bears - Michael Covach, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Jack Gessert, F, Kenai River Brown Bears - John Teets, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

 

North Star of the Week: Zach Lavalle - Janesville Jets

Zach Lavalle

The red-hot Janesville Jets ran their winning streak to four straight games and forward Zach Lavalle, 20, was an offensive force this weekend as the Jets swept the Soo Eagles in Janesville. The native of Oakdale, Minnesota, totaled six assists in the two wins and was also a +5. On Friday night, Lavalle (5’11/190) had two assists in a 4-2 win. On Saturday night, Lavalle picked up four more assists in a 5-1 win. For the season, Lavalle leads the Jets in scoring with 46 points, which also ranks 4th in NAHL scoring. “Zach has been a guy that is always doing something to help us win. Over the past month, his play-making ability has gone to an entirely new level. He a team-guy first and he is happiest when the team is winning,” said Jets head coach Joe Dibble.

2nd Star: Nick Kossoff, G, Keystone Ice Miners

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alex Blankenburg, G, Keystone Ice Miners – Evan Feno, F, Janesville Jets

 

South Star of the Week: Cody Gylling - Amarillo Bulls

Cody Gylling

The Amarillo Bulls were able to move into a tie for the 6th and final playoff spot in the South with a weekend home sweep of the Odessa Jackalopes. Veteran forward Cody Gylling, 20, had a huge weekend as the native of Chandler, Arizona racked up six points (3 goals, 3 assists) in the pair of wins. The Arizona State commit had two assists in Friday’s 4-1 win and on Saturday, Gylling (5’9/175) recorded a hat-trick and added an assist in a 5-3 win, which also included the game-winning goal. For the season, Gylling leads the Bulls in scoring with 33 points in 37 games played. “Cody is a leader on and off the ice and this past weekend he put himself in the right spots on the ice to score goals and make things happen. He deserved every goal he got and also showed great play-making ability,” said Amarillo head coach Jon Rogger.

2nd Star: Austin Shaw, G, Wichita Falls Wildcats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Anthony Cortese, D, Corpus Christi IceRays – Nick Farmer, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Mike Gornall, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Brendan Harris, F, Wenatchee Wild - Andrew Lindgren, G, Corpus Christi IceRays – Anton Martinsson, G, Amarillo Bulls – Daniel Rzavsky, F, Topeka RoadRunners

 

Stars of the Week Week of January 12, 2015sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: JM Piotrowski - Bismarck Bobcats

JM Piotrowski

The Bismarck Bobcats posted their second straight sweep this past weekend as they defeated the Brookings Blizzard in a home-and-home series and now sit just five points behind 2nd place in the Central Division. Forward JM Piotrowski, 19, played a big part in the weekend sweep as the native of Naperville, Illinois, recorded three goals in the two wins, which included the game-winning goal in both games. On Friday, Piotrowski (6’2/180) had two goals, including the game-winner, in a 4-3 win in Brookings and on Saturday he added another game-winning goal in a 5-2 home win over the Blizzard. In 33 games played this season, Piotrowski has 15 points, which includes 10 goals and five assists. “JM is a big reason why we have had recent success. He has had some injuries he has had to overcome and it is great to have him back. He brings grit and a scoring touch that is needed for this team,” said Bismarck head coach Layne Sedevie.

2nd Star: Colton Kramer, F, Minot Minotauros

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Zach Glienke, D, Brookings Blizzard – Kyle Haak, F, Aberdeen Wings – Kyle Soucier, F, Aberdeen Wings – Jared Spooner, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Atte Tolvanen, G, Minot Minotauros

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Darian Romanko - Minnesota Wilderness

Darian Romanko

Thanks to a three-game sweep of the Coulee Region Chill last week, the Minnesota Wilderness stayed in the top spot in the Midwest Division. Forward Darian Romanko, 20, had a big week for the Wilderness as the native of Shoreview, Minnesota, chimed in with six points in the three wins, which included three goals (all game-winners), three assists and a +2 rating. On Thursday, Romanko (6’1/195) had the game-winning goal and two assists in a 6-4 home win. On Saturday, Romanko scored the game-winning goal midway through the 3rd period in a 3-2 win. On Sunday, Romanko had the overtime-winning goal and an assist in a 4-3 win, completing the three-game sweep. For the season, Romanko is 2nd on the Wilderness in team scoring with 28 points in 31 games played and leads the team with 16 goals. “Darian had been a horse for us playing seven games in 12 nights. He is logging some huge minutes for us and has come through with some very timely goals,” said Wilderness head coach Corey Millen.

2nd Star: Aaron Miller, F, Minnesota Wilderness

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Maurin Bouvet, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Evan Butcher, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Hans Gorowsky, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Ethan Somoza, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

 

North Star of the Week: Dryden McKay - Springfield Jr. Blues

Dryden McKay

The Springfield Jr. Blues got back on track this past weekend with a road sweep of the Johnstown Tomahawks. Goaltender Dryden McKay, 17, got the start in both games and only allowed a single goal in the two wins. On Saturday, the native of Downers Grove, Illinois, made 27 saves for his first career NAHL shutout as the Jr. Blues blanked the Tomahawks, 2-0. On Sunday, McKay (5’11/160) made 32 saves in a 4-1 win. For the weekend, McKay stopped 59 of a possible 60 shots on goal. For the season, McKay as a 10-9-1 record with a 2.68 goals against average and a 91.7% save percentage. “I think the entire team played real well in front of Dryden, but he was great in Johnstown this past weekend. He played very technically sounds in an important weekend for us to get back on track,” said Springfield head coach Tony Zasowski.

2nd Star: Evan Feno, F, Janesville Jets

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alex Blankenburg, G, Keystone Ice Miners – Michael Maiden, F, Keystone Ice Miners – Brandon Schultz, F, Janesville Jets 

 

South Star of the Week: Oskar Andren - Lone Star Brahmas

Oskar Andren

As if one of the league’s most potent offenses wasn’t good enough, it appears that the Brahmas have found yet another weapon in forward Oskar Andren.  The 19-year-old forward from Stockholm, Sweden, had his best weekend of the year as the Brahmas took three of four points in their home series against Wenatchee to keep their hold on 2nd place in the South. Andren (6’1/180) recorded five points (all goals) in the two games, including one game-winner, and was also a +4 during the weekend. On Friday, Andren scored an NAHL season-high four goals in one game, including the game-winner, in a 6-5 win. On Saturday, he scored one of the two Brahmas goals on the night in a 3-2 overtime loss. In 26 games played this year, Andren has 26 points, including 11 goals and 15 assists. “Oskars is a guy that is getting better every week. He is still learning the North American game, but he has unlimited potential for him to develop his skill and succeed. We are very happy with his progress and development thus far,” said Brahmas head coach Dan Wildfong.

2nd Star: Nick Farmer, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ryan Cusin, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Tyler Irvine, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Jonathan Lazarus, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Tanner Lomsnes, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Anton Martinsson, G, Amarillo Bulls – Dakota Raabe, F, Wenatchee Wild – Tyler Rockwell, D, Wenatchee Wild – Daniel Rzavsky, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Sebastian Vidmar, F, Lone Star Brahmas

 

Stars of the Week Week of January 5, 2015sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Atte Tolvanen - Minot Minotauros

Atte Tolvanen

The Minotauros increased their Central Division lead this past week, taking 5 of a possible 6 points in three games. 20-year-old goalie Atte Tolvanen (6’0/188) played in two of the three games and allowed just one goal in regulation during the stretch. On New Year’s Eve, the native of Vihti, Finland made 33 saves in a 4-1 win in Bismarck against the Bobcats. On Friday night, Tolvanen stopped all 20 shots that came his way through regulation and overtime, but earned just a point in a shootout loss. For the weekend, Tolvanen stopped 53 of a possible 54 shots that came his way and he has now won 7 of his last 8 games. He ranks in the Top 7 or better in wins, save percentage, goals against average and shutouts this season. “Atte has been a premier goalie in the league for over a year now and he is playing as good as I have seen him play. He is giving us a chance to win every night and proved this past week that even when we have trouble scoring, we still had a chance to win,” said Minot head coach Marty Murray.

2nd Star: Chad Catt, G, Aberdeen Wings

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Oskars Batna, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Colton Kramer, F, Minot Minotauros – Ryan Kubic, G, Brookings Blizzard – Hunter Shepard, G, Bismarck Bobcats

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Adam Carlson - Coulee Region Chill

Adam Carlson

Since October 25th, the Coulee Region Chill have lost just one of their last 19 games in regulation and this past weekend were faced with a tall task of facing the North Division-leading Janesville Jets in a home-and-home series and a road game in Austin on New Year’s Eve. The Chill took 5 of a possible 6 points thanks in large part again to their goalie, Adam Carlson. The 20-year-old native of Edina, Minnesota was very good again in goal this past weekend as the 6’3/180 lbs. Mercyhurst recruit allowed just 2 goals in three games stopping a combined 96 of 98 shots that came his way. On New Year’s Eve, Carlson made 34 saves in a 4-1 win in Austin. On Friday night, he made 33 saves and allowed just a single goal in regulation and overtime in a 2-1 shootout loss. He finished the weekend with a 29-save shutout on Saturday, his 4th shutout of the season, in a 3-0 win over the Jets. Carlson leads the NAHL in saves and wins and is 3rd in save percentage.  “It was a big weekend against really good teams in Janesville and Austin. Coming off the news of getting an NCAA Division I commitment, Adam had zero let down. His focus now is getting better and winning a Robertson Cup, and he is playing like it,” said Chill head coach AJ Degenhardt.

2nd Star: Ben Campbell, D, Kenai River Brown Bears

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Hans Gorowsky, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Joey Kaszupski, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Patrick Munson, G, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

 

North Star of the Week: Casey Linkenheld - Johnstown Tomahawks

Casey Linkenheld

The Johnstown Tomahawks made a big climb up the North standings thanks to three wins in four games this past week. Forward Casey Linkenheld, 19, was a force for the Tomahawks as the forward from Bartlett, Illinois, was able to rack up seven points (6 goals, 1 assist) in the four games. On Tuesday night, Linkenheld (6’0/185) scored one of Johnstown’s three goals in a 6-3 loss against Fairbanks. The next night, he didn’t score, but was a +1 in a 3-1 win. Over the weekend against Kenai River, Linkenheld had a hat-trick on Friday, which included the game-winning goal in a 5-3 win, and then on Saturday scored twice more, including another game-winning goal and added an assist in a 5-2 win and sweep of the Brown Bears. Linkenheld was also +3 for the week and now has 22 points in 25 games played this season.“It was a big week for us to try and get points against some very good teams from the Midwest Division. Casey created chances all over the ice. His entire line played well at both ends of the ice, which led to some great chances that he finished on,” said Johnstown head coach Mike Letizia.

2nd Star: Blake Weyrick, G, Janesville Jets

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Trevor Cope, F, Soo Eagles – Evan Feno, F, Janesville Jets – Brendan Jaquay, F, Keystone Ice Miners – Nick Kossoff, G, Keystone Ice Miners – Trevor Recktenwald, F, Johnstown Tomahawks -  Mitch Vandenburg, F, Soo Eagles

 

South Star of the Week: TJ Black - Lone Star Brahmas

TJ Black

The Lone Star Brahmas are all alone in 2nd place in the South thanks to three wins this past week and 19-year-old goalie TJ Black was in goal for all three wins. The native of Chicago, Illinois, began the week with a 12-save road shutout of the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees on Monday. He followed that up with his second straight shutout, as he made 16 saves in a 5-0 home win against the Odessa Jackalopes on Friday. To finish the weekend, Black (5’9/160) made 20 saves in a 5-2 win over Odessa on Saturday, which completed the weekend sweep. In his 20 appearances so far this season, Black has only allowed more than two goals on only two occasions and his 1.83 goals against average ranks 3rd in the NAHL. “TJ has been playing very well the past couple of months. His rebound control has been fantastic and the chances that our opponents have had have been limited because their chances are one and done with the way he has been controlling his saves,” said Brahmas head coach Dan Wildfong.

2nd Star: Nick Farmer, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jake Ahlgren, F, Wenatchee Wild – Jasen Fernsler, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Will Harrison, F, Amarillo Bulls – Tanner Lomsnes, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Luke Novak, F, Amarillo Bulls – Zach Quinn, G, Wenatchee Wild – Matej Tomek, G, Topeka RoadRunners - Jake Townsend, D, Wichita Falls Wildcats

 

Stars of the Week Week of December 29, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: No Award

 

Midwest Star of the Week: No Award

 

North Star of the Week: No Award

 

South Star of the Week: Jasen Fernsler - Topeka RoadRunners

Jasen Fernsler

In a battle of the top two teams in the standings in the South Division this past weekend, it was the Topeka RoadRunners who came out on top to widen their lead to nine points atop the division with a weekend home sweep of the Wichita Falls Wildcats. Second-year veteran forward Jasen Fernsler, 20, played a big part in the sweep as the native of Charlotte, Michigan, scored four goals in the pair of wins. On Saturday, Fernsler (6’0/168) had Topeka’s second goal of the game in a 3-2 win. On Sunday, Fernsler recorded the first hat-trick of his NAHL career, which also included the game-winning goal in a 7-2 win over the Wildcats. Fernsler was also a +2 for the weekend. For the season, Fernsler leads the RoadRunners in scoring with 34 points in 33 games played and ranks in the Top 10 in NAHL scoring. “We needed players like Jasen to step up when it mattered most and he did that this weekend,” said RoadRunners head coach Scott Langer. “Wichita Falls is a very good team and anytime you can pick up a sweep against them, you know something has gone right. Jasen continues to remain a consistent and effective performer at both ends of the ice.”

2nd Star: Sebastian Vidmar, F, Lone Star Brahmas

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Anthony Cortese, D, Corpus Christi IceRays – Nic LaBurn, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Dominic Lutz, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Colin Staub, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats

 

Stars of the Week Week of December 22, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Luke Dietsch - Austin Bruins

Luke Dietsch

The Central Division is currently a two-horse race for the top spot thanks to a hot play of both Minot and Austin. The Bruins are right on the Minotauros heels thanks to a weekend home-and-home sweep of the Minnesota Magicians. 20-year-old forward Luke Dietsch has found a renewed energy in the month of December and that continued for the St. Paul, Minnesota native this past weekend as he totaled four points in the two wins. On Friday, Dietsch (6’1/200) had two assists in a 6-1 home win over the Magicians. On Saturday, Dietsch had the game-winning goal and another assist in a 4-1 road win. Dietsch was also +3 on the weekend and has 21 points in 32 games played this season. “Luke has really played well the past few weeks and has really meshed with his new linemates including Tony Uglem. He is doing the necessary things to score goals and make something happen on the ice,” said Bruins head coach Chris Tok.

2nd Star: Tony Uglem, F, Austin Bruins

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Colin O’Neill, F, Aberdeen Wings – Tanner Okeson, D, Aberdeen Wings – Tanner Salsberry, D, Bismarck Bobcats – John Snodgrass, F, Minot Minotauros – Atte Tolvanen, G, Minot Minotauros - Cullen Willox, F, Bismarck Bobcats

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Ryan Anderson - Minnesota Wilderness

Ryan Anderson

There is a new leader in the Midwest Division and it is the Minnesota Wilderness.  That is thanks in part to their great play during November and December, which included a weekend home sweep this past week of the Soo Eagles. 19-year-old goalie Ryan Anderson (6’1/190) played great during the weekend as the native of Roseau, Minnesota, stopped 43 of 45 shots in a pair of wins, which included his 4th shutout of the season. On Friday, Anderson stopped all 23 shots that came his way in a 3-0 shutout of the Eagles. On Saturday, he made 20 saves in an 8-2 win. Anderson’s four shutouts currently ranks 2nd among all NAHL goaltenders. “Since Brock kautz got injured, Ryan has been a solid performer for us. He has been giving us a chance to win every night,” said Wilderness head coach Corey Millen.

2nd Star: Tyler Cline, F, Minnesota Wilderness

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Blake Kelley, F, Coulee Region Chill – Adam Lovick, F, Coulee Region Chill

 

North Star of the Week: Matt Jurusik - Janesville Jets

Matt Jurusik

Perhaps no goalie in the NAHL is hotter right now than Janesville goalie Matt Jurusik, 17. The native of La Grange, Illinois, picked up his second straight Midwest Star of the Week honor thanks to another outstanding weekend as the Jets picked up a weekend home sweep of the Michigan Warriors. Jurusik (6’1/195) stopped 58 of the 59 shots that came his way in the two games, which included his second shutout in as many weeks. On Friday, Jurusik made 22 saves in a 6-1 win and on Saturday, he stopped all 36 shots that came his way in a 3-0 win. Jurusik has won his last seven starts, only allowing 10 goals in that span. "Matt has been very consistent for us, he has controlled games like a veteran this season. He has a lot of eyes on him and he keeps getting better and better. His focus is the team success and he is giving us opportunity to win every time he's in the net,” said Jets head coach Joe Dibble.

2nd Star: Ryan Bednard, G, Johnstown Tomahawks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alex Blankenburg, G, Keystone Ice Miners – Cam Cooper, D, Springfield Jr. Blues – Niko Dellamaggorie, G, Springfield Jr. Blues – Jon Hall, F, Keystone Ice Miners – Luke Lynch, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Adam Winborg, F, Janesville Jets

 

South Star of the Week: Kasper Emanuelsson - Amarillo Bulls

Kasper Emanuelsson

It was a big weekend for the Amarillo Bulls as they picked up a home sweep of the Lone Star Brahmas. Scoring was at a premium and Bulls defenseman Kasper Emanuelsson, 19, was not only good on the defensive end as the Bulls allowed just three goals, but he also chipped in offensively in both wins. The native of Leksand, Sweden, totaled three assists and was +3 in the two wins. On Friday, Emanuelsson (5’6/185) assisted on both Bulls goals, including the overtime-winner, in a 2-1 win. On Saturday, Emanuelsson assisted on the first Bulls goal in a 3-2 win. For the season, Emanuelsson is 2nd in Bulls scoring with 16 points in just 20 games played and he leads the team in plus/minus with a +6 rating. “Kasper is a very offensive-minder defenseman, who has a great shot, quick release and has great hockey sense. When he plays at both ends of the rink like he did this weekend, he is very effective hockey player,” said Bulls head coach Jon Rogger.

2nd Star: Konstantin Chernyuk, D, Wichita Falls Wildcats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Austin Beaulieu, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Colin Burston, F, Wenatchee Wild – Mike Coyne, F, Wenatchee Wild – Tanner Creel, G, Odessa Jackalopes – Jacob Weatherly, G, Amarillo Bulls

 

Stars of the Week Week of December 15, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Tanner Salsberry - Bismarck Bobcats

Tanner Salsberry

The Bismarck Bobcats have moved into 3rd place in the Central Division and played in two more close games over the weekend. 19-year-old defenseman Tanner Salsberry (5’11/189) played well in both games as he scored a goal in each and added an assist for a three-point weekend. On Friday, the native of Plainfield, Illinois had goal in a 5-4 win in Aberdeen against the Wings. On Saturday, Salsberry had a goal and an assist in a 5-4 home loss against Minot. In just 12 games played this season, Salsberry had 10 points. “Tanner has been one of those players that has developed into a very good defenseman over his time in the NAHL. We put him in a role he wasn’t used to last year and he has taken that opportunity and ran with it. He is an important part of our special teams and overall team success this season,” said Bismarck head coach Layne Sedevie.

2nd Star: Ryan Kubic, G, Brookings Blizzard

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Troy Degler, F, Minot Minotauros –– Beau Michaud, F, Brookings Blizzard - John Snodgrass, F, Minot Minotauros – Cullen Willox F, Bismarck Bobcats

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Ivan Chukarov - Minnesota Wilderness

Ivan Chukarov

The Minnesota Wilderness closed the gap on 1st place in the Midwest Division with a weekend home sweep of the Kenai River Brown Bears last weekend. 19-year-old defenseman Ivan Chukarov (6’3/200) was arguably the best player on the ice as he scored twice and assisted on two more goals for a four-point weekend. On Thursday night, the native of Des Plaines, Illinois, had two goals, including the game-winner, and an assist in a 5-2 win. On Saturday night, Chukarov picked up an assist on the game-winning goal in a 3-0 shutout win over the Brown Bears. He was also a +6 in the two wins. “Ivan is one of the most talented defensemen in the league and when he plays like he did this weekend, he can be a huge force and difference-maker for us,” said Wilderness head coach Corey Millen.

2nd Star: Kane Durment, F, Minnesota Magicians

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Hans Gorowsky, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Niklas Lehtimaki, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Adam Lovick F, Coulee Region Chill – Patrick Munson, G, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Jack Nickels, D, Kenai River Brown Bears – Tanner Schachle, F, Kenai River Brown Bears

 

North Star of the Week: Matt Jurusik - Janesville Jets

Matt Jurusik

Janesville rookie goalie Matt Jurusik, 17, helped his red-hot club to another sweep this past weekend as the Jets maintained their lead atop of the North Division with a weekend home sweep of the Keystone Ice Miners. The native of La Grange, Illinois, stopped 44 of 47 shots that came his way and also posted his first career NAHL shutout. On Friday, Jurusik (6’1/195) made 22 saves in a 3-0 shutout of the Ice Miners. On Saturday, Jurusik made another 22 saves in a 4-3 win. Jurusik has won eight of his last nine starts, including his last five in a row. Jurusik is tied for 2nd in the NAHL with 14 wins and ranks in a Top 6 in games/minutes played and goals against average. “Matt has been really good for us all year. He controlled the game on Friday night. He plays with a lot of confidence and composure. He plays with swagger and a positive edge and that makes him a very good teammate,” said Jets head coach Joe Dibble.

2nd Star: Mitch Vanderburg, F, Soo Eagles

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Casey Linkenheld, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Dryden McKay, G, Springfield Jr. Blues – Grant Meyer, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Keegan Miller, F, Soo Eagles – Cullen Munson, F, Janesville Jets

 

South Star of the Week: Jasen Fernsler - Topeka RoadRunners

Jasen Fernsler

Topeka heads into a holiday break fresh on the heels of a three-game weekend home sweep of the Wenatchee Wild. The sweep gave the RoadRunners some breathing room in the South, as they now enjoy an eight point lead atop the division. Second year forward Jasen Fernsler, 20, was remarkably consistent in the wins, as the native of Charlotte, Michigan, recorded two points in each victory for a six-point weekend. On Friday, Fernsler (6’0/168) had two assists in a 3-0 shutout of the Wild. On Saturday, Fernsler had a goal and an assist in a 4-3 win. He completed the weekend with another goal and assist on Sunday in a 3-2 win. For the season, Fernsler is 2nd on the RoadRunners in scoring with 30 points in 31 games played. “Jasen is a difference-maker and has a team first mentality. It was so important for us to go into the break with some momentum and he never let up in a three-game series against a very good opponent in Wenatchee,” said RoadRunners head coach Scott Langer.

2nd Star: Sebastian Vidmar, F, Lone Star Brahmas

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ryan Cusin, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – AJ Duggan, F, Amarillo Bulls – Ludvig Larsson, F, Lone Star Brahmas – Wes Michaud, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Sam Rennaker, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Colin Staub, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – David Zevnik, G, Wichita Falls Wildcats

 

Stars of the Week Week of December 8, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Trevor Boyd - Austin Bruins

Trevor Boyd

The Austin Bruins posted two more wins this past weekend with wins over the Minnesota Wilderness and Minnesota Magicians. Leading the way was 19-year-old forward Trevor Boyd (6’3/200) who had five points over the weekend, including four goals. On Friday, the native of Muskegon, Michigan, had a hat-trick and an assist in a 7-3 road win against the Magicians. On Saturday, he added the only regulation goal and then the shootout winner in a 2-1 win over the Wilderness. He was also a +3 during the weekend. For the season, Boyd leads the Bruins in scoring with 24 points in 26 games played. “Trevor has done a good job recently of getting pucks to the net. He has been one of the most consistent players for us this season and right now he and his line are playing at a very high level,” said Bruins head coach Chris Tok.

2nd Star: Tony German, D, Bismarck Bobcats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Joe Anderson, F, Brookings Blizzard – Jake Kielly, G, Austin Bruins – Christian Mohs, F, Minot Minotauros – Johnny Walker, F, Minot Minotauros – Cullen Willox, F, Bismarck Bobcats

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Sean Lang - Coulee Region Chill

Sean Lang

A three-game sweep of Kenai River moved the Coulee Region Chill into a tie for 2nd place in the Midwest Division and defenseman Sean Lang, 20, played a big role in his team’s success. The native of Apple Valley, Minnesota, was able to register at least a point in all three wins as the Chill pick up three more wins to run their winning streak to five straight games. On Wednesday, Lang (6’2/190) had the game-winning goal in a 6-2 win. On Friday, he had two assists in a 6-4 win and on Saturday, Lang had another assist in a 5-2 win over the Brown Bears. In 20 games this season, Lang has 16 points. “Sean just recently returned from an injury, so for him to be playing this well right now is a testament to his skill and hard work. I thought he was very consistent in both ends of the ice,” said Chill head coach AJ Degenhardt.

2nd Star: Richard Zehnal, F, Coulee Region Chill

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Chris Amsden, G, Minnesota Magicians – Ryan Anderson, G, Minnesota Wilderness – Darian Romanko, F, Minnesota Wilderness

 

North Star of the Week: Mitch Fossier - Janesville Jets

Mitch Fossier

The biggest division lead in the NAHL belongs to the Janesville Jets thanks to their weekend home sweep of the Soo Eagles. Rookie forward Mitch Fossier, 17, racked up the points this weekend as the native of Alpharetta, Georgia totaled seven points in the two wins and was also a +5. On Friday, Fossier (5’11/175) had four assists in a 6-3 wins over the Eagles. On Saturday, Fossier had the game-winning goal and added two more assists in a 4-1 win. For the season, Fossier is 7th in Jets scoring with 18 points in 27 games played. Fossier is committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at the University of Maine. “Mitch did a little bit of everything this weekend. He and his line were great. As a rookie, he plays in all situations and plays well at both ends of the rink. He puts the team’s success ahead of his own and that makes him very popular in the lockeroom with his teammates,” said Jets head coach Joe Dibble.

2nd Star: AJ Marcinek, F, Michigan Warriors

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tyler Funk, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Tommy Horn, F, Keystone Ice Miners – Brendan Jacques, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Matt Jurusik, G, Janesville Jets – Nick Kossoff, G, Keystone Ice Miners

 

South Star of the Week: Max Reisinger - Wichita Falls Wildcats

Max Reisinger

Before Max Reisinger head off to the World Juniors to play for his native Austria, the Wildcats forward earned South Star of the Week honors thanks to his six point weekend in a home sweep of the Corpus Christi IceRays. The 6’0/200 lbs. forward from Walding, Austria started the weekend with two goals and an assist in a 7-1 win on Friday. The next night, Reisinger, 19, had a goal and two assists in an 8-2 win. He was also a +5 on the weekend. In 21 games this season, Reisinger has 18 points. “Max is a great player and great kid. He has been playing really well for a few weeks now. He has become faster and quicker with the puck and is making very good decisions. We used him in all situations and he excelled,” said Wildcats head coach John LaFontaine.

2nd Star: Andy Madej, D, Lone Star Brahmas

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ryan Cusin, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Tyler Irvine, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Matt Koch, D, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Luke Novak, F, Amarillo Bulls – Zach Quinn, G, Wenatchee Wild – Daniel Rzavsky, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Sebastian Vidmar, F, Lone Star Brahmas – Jacob Weatherly, G, Amarillo Bulls

 

Stars of the Week Week of December 1, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Zach Driscoll - Austin Bruins

Zach Driscoll

The Austin Bruins kept pace in the Central Division with a weekend road sweep in Aberdeen against the Wings. It was the team’s first sweep since late October and goaltender Zach Driscoll, 17, played some his best hockey of the year. The St. Cloud State recruit and native of Apple Valley, MN, began the weekend with his second shutout of the season, as he stopped all 27 shots that came his way in a 3-0 win on Friday. On Saturday, Driscoll (5’10/180) allowed just a single goal on 24 shots as the Bruins completed a weekend sweep with a 4-1 win. For the weekend, Driscoll stopped 50 of 51 shots. Driscoll currently has a 2.19 goals against average and a 92.1% save percentage, which both rank in the Top 7 in NAHL goaltending stats. “Anytime you give up one goal on a weekend, you are going to win a lot of games.  The series with Aberdeen was very close and some of his key saves enabled our guys to keep the momentum going our way and play aggressive,” said Austin head coach Chris Tok.

2nd Star: Casey Johnson, D, Minot Minotauros

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Evan Giesler, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Tanner Salsberry, D, Bismarck Bobcats – Johnny Walker, F, Minot Minotauros

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Adam Carlson - Coulee Region Chill

Adam Carlson

A lot of players can make the case for team MVP, but it may be Coulee Region Chill goalie Adam Carlson, 20, that may have one of the best arguments.  The native of Edina, MN, had another huge weekend as the Chill posted a weekend home-and-home sweep with the Minnesota Magicians, winning both games by a 2-1 score. On Friday, Carlson (6’3/180) made 29 saves in a 2-1 win over the Magicians. On Saturday in Minnesota, he was even better as he made 37 saves in another 2-1 win. For the weekend, Carlson stopped 66 of 68 shots. His 11 wins to date ranks tied for 2nd in the NAHL and his 93.5% save percentage ranks 3rd. “Adam was the difference in both games this weekend. He had a lot of NCAA scouting eyes on him and he responded with two awesome performances. He is the backbone of our team and when he plays well we have the chance of winning any game,” said Chill head coach AJ Degenhardt.

2nd Star: Evan Butcher, F, Kenai River Brown Bears

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tobias Bjorklund, D, Minnesota Wilderness – Maurin Bouvet, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Darian Romanko, F, Minnesota Wilderness

 

North Star of the Week: Austin Romzek - Keystone Ice Miners

Austin Romzek

The only North Division team to get a complete sweep over the weekend was the Keystone Ice Miners, who moved into 3rd place with two wins over the Springfield Jr. Blues. Forward Austin Romzek, 20, was a key factor in both low-scoring wins. On Saturday, the native of Shelby Township, MI, had an assist in a 3-1 win over Springfield. On Sunday, Romzek (6’1/187) scored the game-winning goal in a 3-2 win, completing a weekend sweep of the Jr. Blues. Romzek was also +2 opn the weekend and now has 11 points in 24 games played this season. “I think we are getting back on track and that has coincided with Austin’s continued good play on the ice. He earned his way onto the power play and made some things happen this weekend. It was good to see a veteran step up and if that keeps happening, we are going to continue to get better as a team,” said Keystone head coach Michael Gershon.

2nd Star: Zach Yoder, D, Janesville Jets

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ryan Bednard, G, Johnstown Tomahawks – Darren Brady, D, Soo Eagles – Matt Jones, F, Keystone Ice Miners – Zach Lavalle, F, Janesville Jets – Anthony Scarsella, D, Springfield Jr. Blues – Sandis Zolmanis, F, Soo Eagles

 

South Star of the Week: Mike Coyne - Wenatchee Wild

Mike Coyne

A recent string of good play and success has seen the Wenatchee Wild move into 5th place in the South thanks in large part to series like this weekend, in which they captured three of four points against Kenai River. Captain and forward Mike Coyne, 19, had a very goof weekend as the forward from Kenmore, NY, scored three goals and added an assist to go along with his +5 rating in the two games. On Friday, Coyne (6’1/185) had an assist in a 3-2 overtime loss. On Saturday, Coyne had a hat-trick, which included the game-winning goal in overtime as Wenatchee defeated Kenai River, 4-3. For the season, Coyne has 12 points in 24 games played. “As the captain of our team, Mike has many roles to fulfill, but on the ice he and his line are playing their best hockey right now. He is a very determined player and he has really stepped up to help us find some recent success and earn some valuable points,” said Wild assistant coach Chris Clark.

2nd Star: Daniel Rzavsky, F, Topeka RoadRunners

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): AJ Duggan, F, Amarillo Bulls – Alex Falconer, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Sam Rennaker, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Jake Townsend, D, Wichita Falls Wildcats

 

Stars of the Week Week of November 24, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Blake Lizotte - Minot Minotauros

Blake Lizotte

The NAHL has found its next brightest and youngest star in Minot forward Blake Lizotte. For the second week in a row, the 16-year-old native of Lindstrom, Minnesota has been named the Central Star of the Week. Lizotte (5’7/140) helped the Minotauros stay in 1st place as they captured three of four points in a home-and-home series against Bismarck. On Friday, Lizotte had a goal and two assists in a 7-0 road win in Bismarck. On Saturday, he assisted on three goals in a 5-4 shootout loss at home. For the season, Lizotte leads the Minotauros in scoring with 28 points in 23 games played. His 20 assists ranks 2nd best in the NAHL. “Blake was very good again this past weekend, but he really came through at the end of the game on Saturday to help us get some valuable points. He is showing a lot of maturity and skill right now,” said Minot head coach Marty Murray.

2nd Star: Beau Michaud, F, Brookings Blizzard

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ryan Kubic, G, Brookings Blizzard – JM Piotrowski, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Bjorn Sigurdarson, F, Aberdeen Wings – Michael Soucier, F, Aberdeen Wings – Chase Springman, F, Minot Minotauros – Joe Tyran, D, Bismarck Bobcats

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Jacob Hetz - Fairbanks Ice Dogs

Jacob Hetz

The Fairbanks Ice Dogs got back on track this weekend with a home sweep of the Minnesota Magicians to maintain their comfortable lead atop the Midwest Division. Leading the way was veteran forward Jacob Hetz, 20, who totaled six points in the two wins. On Friday, the native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and former NAPHL player had a goal and two assists in a 7-2 win. On Saturday, Hetz (6’1/195) scored twice and assisted on another goal in a 4-2 win. He was also a +3 during the weekend. With 15 goals, Hetz is now tied for the NAHL lead his 29 points is currently tied for 3rd in league scoring. “Jacob played with great leadership over the weekend. He went to the hard areas of the ice and committed to winning battles,” said Fairbanks head coach Trevor Stewart.

2nd Star: Brock Kautz, G, Minnesota Wilderness

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Lonnie Clary, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Billy Exell, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Colton Fletcher, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Tanner Schachle, F, Kenai River Brown Bears

 

North Star of the Week: Ryan Bednard - Johnstown Tomahawks

Ryan Bednard

Bowling Green State commit Ryan Bednard, 17, helped the Tomahawks take three of four points on the road this weekend in a tight series with the Soo Eagles. The native of Macomb, Michigan, faced 75 shots in the two games and stopped 72 of them. On Saturday night, Bednard (6’4/185) made 37 saves as the Tomahawks beat the Eagles, 3-2. On Saturday, Bednard made 35 saves in a 2-1 overtime loss, which earned Johnstown a point. For the season, Bednard has a 7-6-1 record with a 2.93 goals against average and a 90% save percentage. “Ryan was solid in a time when I don’t think our team was playing its best. He was the main reason we came away with three of four points on the road against a very good Soo team. He is playing very well right now and gives us a chance to win in every game,” said Johnstown head coach Mike Letizia.

2nd Star: Taylor Fernandez, F, Keystone Ice Miners

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jack Berry, G, Soo Eagles – Joe Drabin, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Nick Kossoff, G, Keystone Ice Miners – Dryden McKay, G, Springfield Jr. Blues – Keegan Miller, F, Soo Eagles – Brady Tomlak, F, Springfield Jr. Blues

 

South Star of the Week: Zach Quinn - Wenatchee Wild

Zach Quinn

Wenatchee Wild goalie Zach Quinn, 20, made the most of his opportunity this weekend as he answered the call and was literally perfect in Wenatchee’s sweep of Kenai River, who is Quinn’s old team. The native of Westland, Michigan wasn’t schedule to play on Friday, but after starter Michael Mullion was knocked out with an injury just 28 minutes into the game, Quinn (6’1/180) answered the call and stepped in, stopping all 15 shots that came his way as Wenatchee won, 6-1. The next night, Quinn got the start and stopped all 25 shots that came his way for his first shutout of the season as the Wild blanked the Brown Bears, 4-0. Since joining the Wild in late October, Quinn has a goals against average of 2.03 and a save percentage of 91.7%. “He ignited the bench with his play on Friday and made a big save coming in cold.  He was very solid on Saturday and Zach has gotten better as the season has gone along. He is starting to find his grove and is now very consistent,” said Wenatchee assistant coach Chris Clark.

2nd Star: Sebastian Vidmar, F, Lone Star Brahmas

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Anthony Cortese, D, Corpus Christi IceRays – Mike Coyne, F, Wenatchee Wild – Nick Farmer, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Mike Gornall, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Tanner Lomsnes, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Daniel Rzavsky, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Jesper Synnelius, D, Amarillo Bulls – Jake Townsend, D, Wichita Falls Wildcats

 

Stars of the Week Week of November 17, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Blake Lizotte - Minot Minotauros

Blake Lizotte

One of the bright and young stars in the league this season is Minot forward Blake Lizotte. The 16-year-old native of Lindstrom, MN, is off to an incredible start and his talent was again on display this weekend. Although the Minotauros captured just one win, Lizotte (5’7/140) was at the forefront of the team’s production. On Tuesday, Lizotte had a goal and assisted on the game-winner in a 3-2 win over Aberdeen. After being held scoreless in a tight 1-0 loss to the Minnesota Wilderness on Friday, Lizotte got back on the scoreboard with both goals in a 3-2 loss on Saturday. For the season, Lizotte leads the Minotauors in scoring with 22 points in 21 games played and he ranks in the top 10 in NAHL scoring. “For a 16-year-old, Blake is mature beyond his years. He can play the physical game and get into the hard areas. I think because of his age, his opponents test him and he has responded well so far,” said Minot head coach Marty Murray.

2nd Star: Evan Giesler, F, Bismarck Bobcats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Drew Doyon, F, Aberdeen Wings – Austin Heakins, F, Aberdeen Wings – Christian Mohs, F, Minot Minotauros – Matt Perry, F, Bismarck Bobcats

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Brock Kautz - Minnesota Wilderness

Brock Kautz

The Minnesota Wilderness got back on track with two wins over the weekend in Minot against the 1st place Minotauros. The games were each decided by a goal, which meant that 20-year-old goaltender Brock Kautz was one of the big reasons behind the success. The native of Rochester, MN stopped 48 of 50 shots that came his way during the weekend, which included his second shutout of the season. On Friday, Kautz (6’0/190) stopped all 26 shots that Minot fired at him in a 1-0 win. On Saturday, he made 22 saves in a 3-2 win. For the season, Kautz ranks in the Top 10 in the NAHL in wins and goals against average. “Brock was a big reason we had success against a very good Minot team.  He has been playing very solid for us the last few weekends and gives us a chance to win each night,” said Wilderness head coach Corey Millen.

2nd Star: Adam Carlson, G, Coulee Region Chill

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tyler Andrews, D, Kenai River Brown Bears – Jack Gessert, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Aaron Miller, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Patrick Munson, G, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Ethan Somoza, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

 

North Star of the Week: Dryden McKay - Springfield Jr. Blues

Dryden McKay

The Springfield Jr. Blues stayed hot with a weekend home sweep of South Division-leading Topeka. This time around, it was 16-year-old goalie Dryden McKay providing the heroics as the native of Downers Grove, IL stopped 87 of 90 total shots on the weekend to help the Jr. Blues to the weekend sweep. On Friday, McKay (5’11/160) made 43 saves, allowed just one goal (penalty shot) in regulation and overtime and then stopped all five shooters in the shootout in a 2-1 win over the RoadRunners. On Saturday, McKay made 44 saves and also picked up an assist in a 3-2 win.  “Dryden has played well all season and he was exceptional in the series against Topeka. He was great in the shotoout win and made some unbelievable saves. We have two goalies that are playing very well right now and the team has confidence in both, so it’s a good problem to have,” said Jr. Blues head coach Tony Zasowski.

2nd Star: Sean Keating, G, Soo Eagles

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Joe Drabin, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Zach Lavalle, F, Janesville Jets – Joey Lupo, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Chase Matson, F, Soo Eagles – Trevor Recktenwald, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Jared Rutledge, G, Janesville Jets

 

South Star of the Week: Kasper Emanuelsson - Amarillo Bulls

Kasper Emanuelsson

The Amarillo Bulls picked up two wins in three games last week and earned some valuable points in the standings. 19-year-old defenseman Kasper Emanuelsson from Leksand, Sweden, played well during the week, which was capped with a sweep of the Odessa Jackalopes After being held scoreless in a 4-2 loss on Tuesday in Wichita Falls, Emanuelsson (5’6/185) assisted on both Bulls goals in Friday’s 2-1 win. On Saturday, Emanuelsson scored the game-winning goal and added an assist in a 6-1 win. He was also a +2 during the weekend. For the season, Emanuelsson is 2nd on the Bulls in scoring with 12 points in 15 games played. “Kasper is a very solid defenseman and is great at both ends. He has a quick release on his shot, which really lends itself well to the effectiveness of our power play,” said Amarillo head coach Jon Rogger.

2nd Star: Mitch Demario, D, Wenatchee Wild

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): TJ Black, G, Lone Star Brahmas – Nick Farmer, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Cody Gylling, F, Amarillo Bulls – Brendan Harris, F, Wenatchee Wild – Andrew Lindgren, G, Corpus Christi Ice Rays – Tanner Lomsnes, F, Corpus Christi Ice Rays

 

Stars of the Week Week of November 10, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Alex Bitsakis - Bismarck Bobcats

Alex Bitsakis

October’s Goalie of the Month in the NAHL, Alex Bitsakis, isn’t letting the change on months slow him down. The 20-year-old native of Montreal, Quebec, had another outstanding weekend as the Bobcats continued their hot play with a weekend home-and-home sweep of the Brookings Blizzard. Bitsakis (6’0/190) gave up just a single goal in the two wins and stopped 43 of 44 shots that came his way. On Friday, Bitsakis made 23 saves in a 3-0 shutout of the Blizzard, his second shutout of the season. On Saturday, he made 20 saves in a 4-1 win. Bitsakis ranks 4th in the NAHL  in wins (8), goals against average (1.75) and save percentage (93.6%). “Alex is establishing himself as one of the top goalies in this league. We are at a time in the year where we are behind the 8-ball a little bit and need all the wins we can get, and during that time frame Alex has played his best hockey,” said Bismarck head coach Layne Sedevie.

2nd Star: Oskars Batna, F, Bismarck Bobcats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Chad Catt, G, Aberdeen Wings – Jake Howie, forward, Minot – Tanner Okeson, D, Aberdeen Wings – Chase Springman, F, Minot Minotauros

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Chandler Madry - Fairbanks Ice Dogs

Chandler Madry

Fairbanks’ current nine-game winning streak has coincided with forward Chandler Madry, 19, now leading the league in scoring. The native of Denver, Colorado had a huge weekend as the Ice Dogs put up 17 goals in two games in a weekend home sweep of Kenai River. Madry (6’0/190) had seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) in the two wins and was also a +3. On Friday, Madry had a goal and two assists in a 9-1 win. On Saturday, he had two goals and two assists in an 8-5 win. His 31 points and 22 assists both lead the NAHL. “Chandler is a really good hockey player and competitor. He has done things the right way and put himself in a position to be a leader on this team. His development is to the point where he will be a success at the next level,” said Fairbanks head coach Trevor Stewart.

2nd Star: Brock Kautz, G, Minnesota Wilderness

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jack Gessert, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Alex Jackstadt, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Adam Kleven, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Aaron Miller, F, Minnesota Wilderness

 

North Star of the Week: Lester Lancaster - Springfield Jr. Blues

Lester Lancaster

Mercyhurst recruit Lester Lancaster, 19, helped the Jr. Blues take two of three games in their weekend road series against the Soo Eagles. The native of Ypsilanti, Michigan, had seven points (all assists) in the three games and was also a +3. On Thursday, Lancaster (5’11/170) had two assists in a 4-1 win. On Friday, he chimed in with three assists in a 6-4 loss. On Saturday, he again assisted twice in a 5-4 win, in which he also had the shootout winning goal. For the season, Lancaster leads the Jr. Blues in scoring with 16 points in 18 games played. “Lester is playing very well right now. He is understanding when to jump into the play and when to hold back. He is a big reason we are winning right now and big reason behind our recent power play success,” said Jr. Blues head coach Tony Zasowski.

2nd Star: Keegan Miller, F, Soo Eagles

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Nick Belger, F, Soo Eagles – Scott Donahue, F, Keystone Ice Miners – Josh Lammon, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Casey Linkenheld, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Andrew Romano, F, Johnstown Tomahawks

 

South Star of the Week: Wes Michaud - Corpus Christi IceRays

Wes Michaud

Thanks to a weekend home sweep of the Odessa Jackalopes, the Corpus Christi IceRays remained in a 2nd place tie in the South. They were led by the play of forward Wes Michaud, 19, who again showed why he is one of the bright offensive talents in the NAHL. The native of Cloquet, Minnesota had a five-point weekend, which included three goals and two assists and a +3 rating. On Friday, Michaud (5’10/175) had two goals, including the game-winner, and an assist in a 5-1 win. On Saturday, Michaud would again score the game-winner and add an assist in a 4-2 win. For the season, Michaud is 3rd in scoring in the NAHL with 25 points to date. “Wes has been consistent all season long. It is nice for him to be recognized because there were some very worthy performances in the South Division. His success and hard work will hopefully lead to an opportunity at the next level,” said IceRays head coach John Becanic.

2nd Star: David Zevnik, G, Wichita Falls Wildcats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): TJ Black, G, Lone Star Brahmas – Ivan Bondarenko, F, Wenatchee Wild – Nathan Bryer, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Kevin Charyszyn, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Troy Conzo, F, Wenatchee Wild – Cody Gylling, F, Amarillo Bulls – Jake Kupsky, G, Lone Star Brahmas – Anton Martinsson, G, Amarillo Bulls

 

Stars of the Week Week of November 3, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Andrew Shortridge - Aberdeen Wings

Andrew Shortridge

The Aberdeen Wings got back on the right track with a weekend road sweep of the Minot Minotauros. Goaltender Andrew Shortridge, 19, got the start and won both games as the native of Eagle River, Alaska continued to climb the goaltending statistics. On Friday, Shortridge (6’3/175) made 30 saves and stopped three of four shooters in the shootout as the Wings edged the Minotauros, 4-3. On Saturday, Shortridge stopped all 31 shots that came his way for his second shutout of the season as Aberdeen blanked Minot, 1-0. For the weekend, Shortridged stopped 61 of 64 shots, good for a 95.3% save percentage. For the season, Shortridge is 2nd in the NAHL with a 1.53 goals against average. “We are very pleased with Andrew’s progression. He has matured a lot as a goalie and as a person. He is a very hard worker and a great person. He loves playing in the league and the competition that it brings.  He was the main difference on Saturday in the 1-0 shutout,” said Wings head coach Francis Anzalone.

2nd Star: Jared Spooner, F, Bismarck Bobcats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jon Lizotte, D, Minot Minotauros – John Snodgrass, F, Minot Minotauros – Michael Soucier, F, Aberdeen Wings – Cullen Willox, F, Bismarck Bobcats

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Adam Carlson - Coulee Region Chill

Adam Carlson

Another team that got back on track this past weekend was the Coulee Region Chill. Facing a tough task for playing the Central Division-leading Austin Bruins, the Chill and goaltender Adam Carlson, 20, answered the bell with a weekend home-and-home sweep. On Friday, Carlson (6’3/180) stopped all 44 shots that came his way for his second shutout of the season as the Chill blanked the Bruins, 4-0. On Saturday, the native of Edina, Minnesota made 35 saves and stopped six of nine shooters in the shootout as the Chill completed a weekend sweep with a 4-3 shootout win. For the weekend, Carlson stopped 79 of 82 shots. His 92.6% save percentage ranks 6th in the NAHL. “Adam played really well at the right time and gave us a chance to win. The team plays well when he is playing well. He is the ultimate competitor and made us a better team,” said Chill head coach AJ Degenhardt.

2nd Star: Ben Campbell, D, Kenai River Brown Bears

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Chris Amsden, G, Minnesota Magicians – Sam Becker, D, Minnesota Magicians – Dominik Florian, F, Coulee Region Chill – Hans Gorowsky, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Joseph Kaszupski, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Darian Romanko, F, Minnesota Wilderness – John Teets, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

 

North Star of the Week: Niko Dellamaggorie - Springfield Jr. Blues

Niko Dellamaggorie

Newly acquired Springfield goaltender Niko Dellamaggorie, 19, has fit right in with the Jr. Blues and this past weekend was no exception. The native of Gilroy, California, helped the team to a weekend home sweep of the Michigan Warriors. Dellamaggorie (5’11/190) got the start in both games and stopped 67 of 69 shots in the two wins, which included his first career NAHL shutout. On Friday, Dellamaggorie made 33 saves in a 3-2 overtime win over the Warriors. For extra points, Dellamaggorie picked up an assist on the overtime winner. On Saturday, he stopped all 34 shots that came his way in a 1-0 shutout to complete the weekend sweep. Although Dellamaggorie hasn’t played in enough games to qualify for the NAHL goalie leaders, he has only allowed three goals in four games and 113 shots. “Niko has been great for us since we picked him up a few weeks ago and his actually doing everything but scoring. It says a lot that in one weekend he can get a shutout, face the number of shots he did and pick up an assist on an overtime-winning goal,” said Springfield head coach Tony Zasowski.

2nd Star: Dakoda Menslage, D, Johnstown Tomahawks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Josh Lammon, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Keegan Miller, F, Soo Eagles – Brad Pung, F, Soo Eagles – Brandon Schultz, F, Janesville Jets – Alex Smith, D, Janesville Jets – Zach Zech, F, Johnstown Tomahawks

 

South Star of the Week: Daniel Brickley - Topeka RoadRunners

Daniel Brickley

There are a lot of reasons as to why the Topeka RoadRunners are the NAHL’s best team right now, but one of the big factors may be defenseman Daniel Brickley. The 19-year-old from Sandy, Utah, played a huge roll in Topeka’s weekend road sweep of the Amarillo Bulls. Brickley (6’3/203) totaled five points (2 goals, 3 assists) in the two wins and was a +5. On Friday, Brickley chimed in with two assists in a 6-2 win over the Bulls. On Saturday, Brickley had two goals, including the game-winner and added an assist in a 7-1 win. He also had 10 shots on goal in the game. For the season, Brickley is tied for 2nd among all NAHL defensemen with 16 points. “Dan is a huge asset to this team and to this league. I have had a lot of very good defensemen in my time with the RoadRunners and he is one of the best I have had in that time frame. He has great size, a great shot and is great leader,” said RoadRunners head coach Scott Langer.

2nd Star: Nic Laburn, F, Corpus Christi IceRays

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ivan Bondarenko, F, Wenatchee Wild – Kevin Charyszyn, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Joey DiBenedetto, F, Amarillo Bulls – AJ Duggan, F, Amarillo Bulls – Jasen Fernsler, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Brendan Harris, F, Wenatchee Wild – Wes Michaud, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Evan Okeley, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats

 

Stars of the Week Week of October 27, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Jacob Kullberg - Austin Bruins

Jacob Kullberg

It was a big weekend for the Bruins and forward Jacob Kullberg as the 20-year-old forward from Kallered, Sweden, helped his team to a weekend home sweep of the Bismarck Bobcats.  In the two wins, Kullberg (5’9/180) had five points, which included three goals and two assists. On Friday, he scored twice, including the game-winning goal and also had an assist in a 4-2 win over the Bobcats. On Saturday, he added another goal and an assist in a 5-2 win. He was also a +4 for the weekend. For the season, Kullberg is tied for the team scoring lead with 12 points. “Jacob has really played well the last few weeks. He now understands the style of hockey in the NAHL. He is a fun guy to coach. He is creative, plays hard and scores all kinds of goals.”

2nd Star: Eric Hancock, G, Brookings Blizzard

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alex Bitsakis, G, Bismarck Bobcats – Blake Lizotte, F, Minot Minotauros – Jon Lizotte, D, Minot Minotauros – Matt Perry, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Ian Scheid, D, Austin Bruins - Andrew Shortridge, G, Aberdeen Wings

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Chris Amsden - Minnesota Magicians

Chris Amsden

Minnesota Magicians goalie Chris Amsden, 20, played a big part in the team’s sweep of Aberdeen this weekend. The 6’4/185 lbs. native of St. Peter, Minnesota got the start in both games and gave up just a single goal in the two contests. On Friday, he made 24 saves in a 4-1 win. On Saturday, Amsden posted his first career NAHL shutout with 18 saves in a 2-0 win over the Wings. For the weekend, Amsden stopped 42 of 43 shots that came his way. Last year, Amsden played in the NA3HL for the North Iowa Bulls, leading them to the Silver Cup Championship and was named to the NA3HL All-Rookie Team. "Chris was an important factor in our teams success this past weekend. To allow only 1 goal against in 2 games against a veteran and very good Aberdeen team speaks highly of his ability. He is a fierce competitor who expects the best out of himself every day. We saw that competitive drive out of him both nights and we are proud of his accomplishment,” said Magicians head coach Tom Upton.

2nd Star: Niklas Lehtimaki, F, Minnesota Wilderness

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ivan Chukarov, D, Minnesota Wilderness – Matt Colford, F, Minnesota Magicians – Jack Gessert, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Hans Gorowsky, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Tanner Schachle, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Ethan Somoza, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

 

North Star of the Week: Sean Keating - Soo Eagles

Sean Keating

After being swept at home the weekend before, the Soo Eagles were on a mission this weekend as they beat their in-state rivals on the road in a sweep over the Michigan Warriors. Veteran goalie Sean Keating, 20, stepped up in a big way to spark his club to the sweep. The native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, wasn’t the original starter on Friday night, but after the Warriors scored three early 1st period goals, Keating (5’11/178) was inserted and stopped all 26 shots that came his way in 52+ minutes to get the 4-3 win. On Saturday, Keating made 19 saves in a 4-1 win. For the weekend, Keating stopped 45 of 46 shots. “This weekend he stepped in a played really well. It is always a tough situation to come in cold, but on Friday he gave us a spark. He made the saves he needed to keep the momentum going for us,” said Soo head coach Bruno Bragagnolo.

2nd Star: Ian Janco, D, Janesville Jets

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Noah Batis, F, Keystone Ice Miners – Casey Linkenheld, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Lucas Little, D, Keystone Ice Miners – Chase Matson, F, Soo Eagles – Andrew Romano, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Zach Yoder, D, Janesville Jets

 

South Star of the Week: Sebastian Vidmar - Lone Star Brahmas

Sebastian Vidmar

Now the NAHL’s goals leader, Lone Star Brahmas forward Sebastian Vidmar had another memorable weekend as the 20-year-old from Malmo, Sweden put up another five points, including four goals, in the Brahmas home sweep of the Odessa Jackalopes. On Friday, Vidmar (6’2/190) recorded a hat-trick, including the game-winning goal in a 5-2 win. On Saturday, Vidmar had another goal and added an assist in a 6-3 win. His 18 points leads the Brahmas in scoring and his 13 goals is tops in the NAHL. “Sebastian is really on a roll right now and because of it there has been a lot of interest from the NCAA. There was an initial adjustment to the NAHL style, but he has figured it out and is playing at an elite level,” said Brahmas head coach Dan Wildfong.

2nd Star: Wes Michaud, F, Corpus Christi IceRays

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ryan Cusin, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Ryan Polin, D, Topeka RoadRunners – Cam Strong, F, Topeka RoadRunners

 

Stars of the Week Week of October 20, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Alex Bitsakis - Bismarck Bobcats

Alex Bitsakis

The Bismarck Bobcats got back on track with a pair of important wins last weekend as they beat two top clubs in the Central Division. Goalie Alex Bitsakis, 20, was in goal for both big wins. The native of Montreal, Quebec got the start on Friday night at home as the Bobcats shutout the Austin Bruins 3-0. Bitsakis (6’0/190) stopped all 33 shots that came his way. On Saturday night, Bitsakis made 27 saves in a 2-1 win in Aberdeen. For the weekend, Bitsakis stopped 60 of 61 shots that he faced. His 1.29 GAA and 95.2% save percentage both rank 3rd in the NAHL. “Alex has been very good for us all year. We played against some the best our division had to offer last weekend and he made some huge saves. I thought it was important for him to play well in back-to-back games and give everyone some much needed momentum,” said Bismarck head coach Layne Sedevie.

2nd Star: Beau Michaud, F, Brookings Blizzard

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jared Brandt, D, Minot Minotauros – Zach Glienke, F, Brookings Blizzard – Alexander Kasitsyn, F, Minot Minotauros – Johnny Witzke, D, Bismarck Bobcats

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Sam Becker - Minnesota Magicians

Sam Becker

Veteran defenseman Sam Becker, 19, played in two of the three Magicians games last week, but made his presence known as he racked up six assists in a split with Brookings. On Friday, the native of Roseville, MN totaled four assists in a 6-5 shootout win. On Saturday, Becker picked up two more assists in a 5-4 loss. He was also +3 during the two games. For the season, Becker (6’0/175) is 2nd on the Magicians in scoring with 13 points, which are all assists. His 13 points is tops for all NAHL defensemen. “Sam has grown quite a bit as a person and a player. He can move the puck, make plays and he has been playing very well.  He plays to his strengths and works on his weaknesses,” said Magicians head coach Tom Upton.

2nd Star: Yannick Vedel, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Nathan Krusko, F, Minnesota Magicians – Sean Lang, D, Coulee Region Chill – Adam Lovick, F, Coulee Region Chill – Jakob Stridsberg, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

 

North Star of the Week: Adam Winborg - Janesville Jets

Adam Winborg

After a couple of losses the week before, the Jets got back on track with an important sweep of the Soo Eagles on the road last weekend. 19-year-old forward Adam Winborg (6’2/200) played very well in the two wins, totaling six points (4 goals, 2 assists). On Friday, the native of Stockholm, Sweden had two goals and an assist in a big 9-1 win over the Eagles. On Saturday, Winborg duplicated his two goal, one assist effort from the night before, but this time included the game-winning goal in a 4-2 win. For the season, Winborg is tied for 3rd on the team in scoring with 12 points. “Adam’s entire line played great last weekend. He provides the instant spark we need and is a real threat, especially below the face-off dots. He pays the price both on and off the ice and his game has been taken to a better level because of it,” said Janesville head coach Joe Dibble.

2nd Star: Zach Lavalle, F, Janesville Jets

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Niko Dellamaggorie, G, Springfield Jr. Blues – Kyle Meeh, D, Springfield Jr. Blues

 

South Star of the Week: Daniel Rzavsky - Topeka RoadRunners

Daniel Rzavsky

Topeka leading scorer Daniel Rzavsky, 20, helped the 1st place RoadRunners capture three of four points this past weekend in a road series in Corpus Christi.  The 6’1/190 lbs. native of Bratislava, Slovakia, recorded two points in each of the games and had four points (1 goal, 3 assists) in total over the weekend. Rzavsky was also a +4 during the two games. On Friday night, Rzavsky picked up a pair of assists in a 4-3 overtime loss. On Saturday, he had a goal and added an assist as Topeka beat the IceRays, 5-2.  His 14 points to date is tied for the team lead in scoring. “Daniel is one of our hardest workers, so it is no surprise that scoring production is a result of that. His competitiveness is what sets him apart and allows him to make a difference on a nightly basis,” said Topeka head coach Scott Langer.

2nd Star: Ludvig Larsson, F, Lone Star Brahmas

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Daniel Brickley, D, Topeka RoadRunners – Eric Carreras, F, Lone Star Brahmas – Logan Gestro, D, Corpus Christi IceRays – Nikita Litviak, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Wes Michaud, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Evan Okeley, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats

 

Stars of the Week Week of October 13, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Blake Lizotte - Minot Minotauros

Blake Lizotte

For the second weekend in a row, the Minot Minotauros picked up a weekend split in Alaska, this time against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. 16-year-old forward Blake Lizotte (5’7/140) made an impact in both games. On Friday, the Lindstrom, Minnesota native had an assist in a close 3-2 loss. On Saturday, Lizotte had a goal and an assist in a 4-3 win over the Ice Dogs. He was also a +3 on the weekend. Lizotte is tied for the team scoring lead with 10 points this season, which includes a goal and nine assists. “Blake has been really good so far this season and as a younger player, he competes really well.  Has a high hockey IQ and has a bright future ahead of him,” said Minot head coach Marty Murray.

2nd Star: Zach Driscoll, G, Austin Bruins

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alex Bitsakis, G, Bismarck Bobcats – Nick Monfils, F, Minot Minotauros – Tanner Okeson, D, Aberdeen Wings – Michael Soucier, F, Aberdeen Wings – Cullen Willox, F, Bismarck Bobcats

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Adam Carlson - Coulee Region Chill

Adam Carlson

20-year-old goaltender Adam Carlson helped the Coulee Region Chill to a weekend sweep of the Jets in Janesville this past weekend. The native of Edina, Minnesota, played in both games this weekend as the Chill picked up two big wins. On Friday, Carlson (6’3/180) had a career night as he stopped all 56 shots that came his way in a 2-0 shutout of the Jets. On Saturday, Carlson made 31 saves through regulation and overtime and stopped four of six shooters in the shootout in a 4-3 win. For the weekend, Carlson stopped 87 of 90 shots. Carlson has a 4-1-1 record this season with a 1.93 GAA and a 93.9% save percentage. “Adam won us both games this weekend. We did not play as good as we hoped, but he was there every time to bail us out and sometimes when you are not playing your best, that’s exactly what you need from your goalie,” said Chill head coach AJ Degenhardt.

2nd Star: Lukas Laub, F, Minnesota Magicians

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Vaughan Ahrens, G, Minnesota Magicians – Maurin Bouvet, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Jack Gessert, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Adam Lovick, F, Coulee Region Chill – Ethan Somoza, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Yannick Vedel, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

 

North Star of the Week: Nick Belger - Soo Eagles

Nick Belger

Coming off an injury, Soo forward Nick Belger, 20, returned with a big statement this past weekend as the Yorktown Heights, New York native helped the Eagles sweep a home series from the Minnesota Wilderness. Belger (6’0/182) totaled eight goals in the two wins, which included a goal and seven assists. On Friday, Belger had four assists, including on the game-winning goal in a 7-2 win over the Wilderness. On Saturday, Belger scored a goals and assisted on the three other goals, including assisting again on the game-winner, in a 4-3 win over Minnesota. “Nick was coming off a small injury and their line really clicked. He just worked hard to put himself in the right spots and if he keeps his game in focus, he should be able to have a lot of success this year and beyond,” said Soo head coach Bruno Bragagnolo.

2nd Star: Keegan Miller, F, Soo Eagles

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Nick Kossoff, G, Keystone Ice Miners – Lucas Little, D, Keystone Ice Miners – Joey Lupo, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Dryden McKay, G, Springfield Jr. Blues

 

South Star of the Week: Sebastian Vidmar - Lone Star Brahmas

Sebastian Vidmar

For the second week in the row, Lone Star forward Sebastian Vidmar is the South Division Star of the Week. Vidmar, 20, was again outstanding as the Brahmas completed a weekend home sweep of the Corpus Christi IceRays. The native of Malmo, Sweden, scored half of the Brahmas goals over the weekend, which included both game-winners.  On Friday, Vidmar (6’2/190) scored twice including the overtime winner in a 3-2 win and on Saturday he added two more goals in a 5-2 win. In nine games this season, Vidmar has 11 points, including nine goals, which ranks 2nd in the NAHL “Sebastian had another great weekend and is on a roll right now. So much about playing good hockey is about momentum and developing the right habits and he has taken advantage of both. He is reading plays nicely and works hard and as a result he is playing great hockey,” said Lone Star head coach Dan Wildfong.

2nd Star: Carlos Fornaris, F, Topeka RoadRunners

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Colin Burston, F, Wenatchee Wild – Brendan Harris, F, Wenatchee Wild – Tyler Irvine, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Max Reisinger, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Jake Townsend, D, Wichita Falls Wildcats

 

Stars of the Week Week of October 6, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Atte Tolvanen - Minot Minotauros

Atte Tolvanen

The Minot Minotauros picked up three of a possible four valuable points last weekend on the road in Kenai River and helping lead the way was goaltender Atte Tolvanen.  The 19-year-old from Vihti, Finland, played in both games over the weekend and allowed just two goals in the two games. On Friday night, Tolvanen (6’0/188) made 37 saves through regulation and overtime, only to see the Minotauros fall in a shooutout, 2-1. On Saturday, Tolvanen stopped 21 of 22 shots in a 6-1 win. For the weekend, Tolvanen stopped 58 of 60 shots that came his way for a 96.7% save percentage. “Atte was solid in both games and it was a great goalie battle to watch on Friday night. Every point helps and he kept us in both games and allowed us to earn those valuable points in the standings,” said Minot head coach Marty Murray.

2nd Star: Zach Glienke, F, Brookings Blizzard

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alex Bitsakis, G, Bismarck Bobcats – Christian Mohs, F, Minot Minotauros – Andrew Shortridge, G, Aberdeen Wings – Michael Soucier, F, Aberdeen Wings – Alex Strand, F, Bismarck Bobcats

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Patrick Munson - Fairbanks Ice Dogs

Patrick Munson

The Ice Dogs were looking to get back on track after a four-game losing streak and they turned to veteran goaltender Patrick Munson, 19, to try and get back on the winning side of things. The native of Hugo, MN, got the start and won both weekend home games in a sweep of the Bismarck Bobcats. On Friday, Munson (6’3/190) made 23 saves in a 3-1 win over the Bobcats. On Saturday, Munson stopped 24 of 26 shots that came his way in a 3-2 win. For the weekend, Munson stopped 47 of 50 shots, good for a 94% save percentage.  “Patrick was very solid in goal for us last weekend. In close games like that, it was important to come up with the big saves during the times that the team needed it,” said Fairbanks head coach Trevor Stewart.

2nd Star: Sandis Zolmanis, F, Soo Eagles

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Adam Carlson, G, Coulee Region Chill – Sam Carlson, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Josh Creelman, G, Kenai River Brown Bears – Brock Kautz, G, Minnesota Wilderness – Johnny Mueller, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

 

North Star of the Week: Trevor Gorsuch - Michigan Warriors

Trevor Gorsuch

With the Warriors needing to get their season headed back in the right direction, they turned to veteran goalie Trevor Gorsuch. The native of St. Charles, Missouri, playing a big role in leading the Warriors to the Robertson Cup Semi-Finals last year and at was that form that helped Michigan capture a weekend road sweep of the Keystone Ice Miners in Connellsville this past weekend. On Saturday night, Gorsuch (6’2/205) made 32 saves in a 3-2 win. On Sunday afternoon, the 20-year-old posted his first shutout of the season, stopping all 21 shots that came his way in a 4-0 win. For the weekend, Gorsuch stopped 53 of 55 shots, good for a 96.4% save percentage. “Trevor was the main reason why we were able to win the games in Keystone. Our guys responded to each save he made and that gave us some much needed momentum,” said Michigan head coach Moe Mantha.

2nd Star: AJ Marcinek, F, Michigan Warriors

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Trevor Cope, F, Soo Eagles – Joey Lupo, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Dryden McKay, G, Springfield Jr. Blues – Sandis Zolmanis, F, Soo Eagles

 

South Star of the Week: Sebastian Vidmar - Lone Star Brahmas

Sebastian Vidmar

The Lone Star Brahmas picked up three valuable points in two games last weekend in Wichita Falls and in the process, snapped the Wildcats five-game winning streak. 20-year-old forward Sebastian Vidmar made his presence felt with a four-point weekend, which included two points in each of the games. On Friday, the native of Malmo, Sweden, had a goal and an assist in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Wildcats. On Saturday, Vidmar (6’2/190) had the game-winning goal and an assist in a 5-1 win over Wichita Falls. He was also a +4 during the two games. “Sebastian is playing some of the best hockey of his career.  He does the little things that lead to the bigger things and that’s exactly what happened this past weekend,” said Lone Star head coach Dan Wildfong.

2nd Star: Willie Brown, F, Topeka RoadRunners

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Nate Colwell, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Anthony Cortese, D, Corpus Christi IceRays – Mike Gornall, F, Topeka RoadRunners

 

Stars of the Week Week of September 29, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Ronnie Hein - Aberdeen Wings

Ronnie Hein

Aberdeen Wings forward Ronnie Hein, 17, helped the Wings to a weekend split to keep the team in 2nd place in the Central Division. The native of Chelsea, MI and Ferris State University recruit had three goals in two games this weekend as the Wings fell on Friday at home to Bismarck, but rebounded with a 4-1 win in Brookings on Saturday. Hein (6’0/165) had the lone goal in Friday’s 3-1 loss to the Bobcats.  On Saturday, Hein had two goals in the 4-1 win at Brookings. The rookie forward currently leads Aberdeen in scoring with eight points in his first six NAHL games. “Ronnie has a lot of talent, but he gets to the next level because he plays and works extremely hard,” said Wings head coach Francis Anzalone. “He goes into the areas that very few players like to go into.  He is on a great line that is clicking right now.”

2nd Star: Atte Tolvanen, G, Minot Minotauros

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jake Howie, F, Minot Minotauros – Andrew Shortridge, G, Aberdeen Wings

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Tobias Bjorklund - Minnesota Wilderness

Tobias Bjorklund

The Minnesota Wilderness find themselves in 1st place in the Midwest Division thanks to their weekend home sweep of the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. 19-year-old defenseman Tobia Bjorklund (5’10/180) was a big contributor at both ends of the ice as he ended up with a +2 rating and four points in the two wins. On Friday, the native of Filipstad, Sweden, assisted on the second Wilderness goal in a 4-3 win over Fairbanks. On Saturday, Bjorklund assisted on the first goal and then scored the next two goals in a 5-3 win. He is tied for second in scoring on the Wilderness roster and leads all defensemen with five points. “Tobias had a fantastic weekend. He is very skilled, he sees the ice well and he makes sure he takes care of things defensively as well,” said Wilderness head coach Corey Millen.

2nd Star: Tyler Andrews, D, Kenai River Brown Bears

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Maurin Bouvet, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Kane Durment, F, Minnesota Magicians – Jack Forbort, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Jacob Hetz, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs - Marc Michaelis, F, Minnesota Magicians - Caleb Schroer, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

 

North Star of the Week: Alex Blankenburg - Keystone Ice Miners

Alex Blankenburg

The Keystone Ice Miners are right back on top of the North Division thanks to three road wins this past weekend, including a sweep of the Soo Eagles and a win over the Michigan Warriors. Third-year netminder Alex Blankenburg, 20, got back to his old form with two great performances on Friday and Sunday. On Friday, the native of Washington, MI, made 31 saves in a 6-3 win against the Eagles.  On Sunday, Blankenburg (5’9/167) made 46 saves in a 2-1 win over the Warriors. For the weekend, Blankenburg stopped 77 of the 81 total shots that came his way. For the season, Blankenburg has a 4-1-1 record with a 2.76 goals against average and a 91.2% save percentage. “We allowed a lot more shots than we wanted to, but Alex was equal to the challenge.  He is back to the guy we saw last year in net.  He is very calm, cool and collected and that allows us to play a little more freely knowing he is behind us and able to handle the odd man situations,” said Keystone head coach Michael Gershon.

2nd Star: Alex Smith, D, Janesville Jets

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jake Gwillim, G, Johnstown Tomahawks – Nick Kossoff, G, Keystone Ice Miners – Dryden McKay, G, Springfield Jr. Blues – Brian Rigali, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Brandon Schultz, F, Janesville Jets.

 

South Star of the Week: Austin Beaulieu - Wichita Falls Wildcats

Austin Beaulieu

Thanks to a weekend home sweep of the Topeka RoadRunners, the Wichita Falls Wildcats moved into 2nd place in the South Division and leading the way was rookie forward Austin Beaulieu. The 18-year-old from Coral Springs, FL, had a great weekend as he contributed five points (4 goals, 1 assist) in the two wins and was a +4. The University of Alabama-Huntsville recruit scored the game-winning goal in both victories. On Friday, Beaulieu (5’9/170) had two of the Wildcats three goals in a 3-1 win. On Saturday, he scored two more goals and added an assist in a 5-1 win. Beaulieu not only leads the Wildcats in scoring with eight points in seven games, but he also leads the NAHL with three game-winning goals. “Austin continues to get better each week. His goals were very timely and came against a good opponent,” said Wildcats head coach John LaFontaine. “They were very tight games and he made the difference.  Austin has a real ability to make plays and can score.”

2nd Star: Austin Shaw, G, Wichita Falls Wildcats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jake Ahlgren, F, Wenatchee Wild – Nathan Bryer, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Andrew Lindgren, G, Corpus Christi IceRays - Andre Pison, F, Wenatchee Wild

 

Stars of the Week Week of September 22, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Trevor Boyd - Austin Bruins

Trevor Boyd

For the second year in a row, the Austin Bruins were crowned NAHL Showcase Champions. Leading the way for the Bruins was forward Trevor Boyd.  Now in his third NAHL season, Boyd (6’3/200) is a playmaker from Muskegon, Michigan.  The 20-year-old racked up seven points (1 goal, 6 assists) in the four wins and was a +7. Boyd registered multiple points in three of the four wins, which included a goal and assist in an 8-2 win over Johnstown. He also had games with multiple assists in wins over Fairbanks and Michigan. “Trevor is a very good position player and tends to find himself in the right areas,” said Bruins head coach Chris Tok. “He has had a long road to this point, but the success he has had is because of hard work and persistence.”

2nd Star: Beau Michaud, F, Brookings Blizzard

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alex Bitsakis, G, Bismarck Bobcats – Kyle Haak, F, Aberdeen Wings - Ronnie Hein, F, Aberdeen Wings – Blake Lizotte, D, Minot Minotauros – Christian Mohs, F, Minot Minotauros - Cullen Willox, F, Bismarck Bobcats

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Adam Lovick - Coulee Region Chill

Adam Lovick

Now in his third season in the NAHL, Chill forward Adam Lovick, 20, helped the Chill to a 2-1-1 record at the NAHL Showcase. The native of Lino Lakes, Minnesota totaled eight points (4 goals, 4 assists) in the four games and was a +4. Lovick (6’0/185) began the event in style with a five point game in a 5-2 win over Odessa. He had a multiple point game in the next contest, a win against Rio Grande Valley. He also chipped in a goal in a 3-2 shootout loss on the final day against Aberdeen. “Adam was awesome at the Showcase and really has become a leader of this team,” said Chill head coach AJ Degenhardt. “I think he has gotten to the point where he is in his development because he is a very hard worker.”

2nd Star: Richard Zehnal, F, Coulee Region Chill

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tyler Andrews, D, Kenai River Brown Bears – Nick Klishko, F, Kenai River Brown Bears

 

North Star of the Week: Jack Berry - Soo Eagles

Jack Berry

The Soo Eagles may have found themselves a keeper in 18-year-old goalie Jack Berry. The rookie and native of Holly, Michigan played very well at the NAHL Showcase, helping the Eagles to a 3-1 record and 1st place in the North Division. Berry started in two games and made an appearance in a third. Berry (6’2/185) won his first NAHL start as he stopped 19 of 20 shots that came his way in a 3-1 win over Minot. After posting a perfect period against Brookings in a relief role, Berry then made 20 saves in a 5-0 shutout win over the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. He has allowed just one goal on 43 shots to date. “Jack has looked good in practice and we were eager to see what he could do. I thought he got stronger as the games went along. He players under control and mature for a younger goalie,” said Soo head coach Bruno Bragagnolo.

2nd Star: Sandis Zolmanis, F, Soo Eagles

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jake Coleman, F, Keystone Ice Miners – Joe Drabin, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Matt Jones, F, Keystone Ice Miners – Matt Jurusik, G, Janesville Jets – Zach Lavalle, F, Janesville Jets

 

South Star of the Week: Matej Tomek - Topeka RoadRunners

Matej Tomek

Every NAHL Showcase seems to produce breakout stars and such was the case for 17-year-old goalie Matej Tomek of the Topeka RoadRunners. Topeka went undefeated in the event thanks in large part to Tomek (6’3/180), who posted shutouts in both of his starts. On Thursday, the native of Bratislava, Slovakia made 27 saves in a 4-0 win against Johnstown. The next day, Tomek made 19 saves in a 4-0 win over the Michigan Warriors. Tomek’s save percentage of 97.3% and goals against average of .67 rank 2nd in both catagories in NAHL goaltending. “Matej may be young, but he is a very mature, very composed and very calm goalie for someone who is just 17-years-old,” said Topeka head coach Scott Langer. “He has great rebound control and he is a tremendous competitor when he steps onto that ice.”

2nd Star: Derek Brown, F, Odessa Jackalopes

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Kevin Charyszyn, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Anthony Cortese, D, Corpus Christi IceRays – Jasen Fernsler, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Kenny Hausinger, F, Odessa Jackalopes – Connor Kelly, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Austin Shaw, G, Wichita Falls Wildcats

 

Stars of the Week Week of September 16, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: No Award

 

Midwest Star of the Week: Jesper Ohrvall - Fairbanks Ice Dogs

Jesper Ohrvall

It was quite the NAHL debut for 19-year-old Swedish forward Jesper Ohrvall.  The native of Halmstad, Sweden, helped the Ice Dogs split their opening series in Kenai River last weekend.  In the two road games, Ohrvall (5’9/170) had four of Fairbanks’ six goals on the weekend. On Friday night, Ohrvall scored twice including the game-winning goal in a 3-1 win. On Saturday night, Ohrvall scored two more goals in a 5-3 loss. “Jesper is a highly skilled forward and really has a knack for the net,” said Ice Dogs head coach Trevor Stewart. “He played very well this weekend against a very good Brown Bears team.”

2nd Star: Matt Rudin, F, Kenai River Brown Bears

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Sean Healy, G, Kenai River Brown Bears – Chandler Madry, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

 

North Star of the Week: Bruno Birzitis - Soo Eagles

Bruno Birzitis

The Soo Eagles ended up with a weekend home split with the Janesville Jets this past weekend and leading the way was forward Bruno Birzitis. The 19-year-old native of Riga, Latvia, registered four points, which included two goals and two assists. He was also a +3. On Friday night, Birzitis (6’0/182) scored twice including the game-winning goal in a 3-2 win over the Jets. On Saturday night, he assisted on two of the Eagles three goals in a 4-3 loss. Last season, Birzitis had 26 points in 50 games played. “We expect big things out of the Bruno this season and he really rose to the occasion this past weekend,” said Soo head coach Bruno Bragagnolo. “He has a lot of skill and can put the puck in the net, so it was a great start to the season for him.”

2nd Star: Jacob Coleman, F, Keystone Ice Miners

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brady Bender, D, Johnstown Tomahawks – Drew Callin, F, Janesville Jets – Jake Houston, D, Johnstown Tomahawks – Kyle Patava, F, Janesville Jets – Sandis Zolmanis, F, Soo Eagles

 

South Star of the Week: Daniel Rzavsky - Topeka RoadRunners

Daniel Rzavsky

The Topeka RoadRunners got the 2014-15 season started on the right foot with a sweep of the Corpus Christi IceRays. 20-year-old forward Daniel Rzavsky was a big factor in both of the wins as the native of Bratislava, Slovakia racked up three points during the weekend, which included two goals and an assist.  On Friday night, Rzavsky (6’1/190) had a goal and an assist in a 4-3 shootout win. On Sunday, he had the game-winning goal in a 5-2 win. “The success was a pleasant surprise against a good team,” said Topeka head coach Scott Langer. “Dan is capable being on the scoresheet every night and plays extremely hard.”

2nd Star: Kenny Hausinger, F, Odessa Jackalopes

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alex Falconer, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Jasen Fernsler, forward, Topeka RoadRunners – Robin Johansson, G, Odessa Jackalopes – Tanner Lomsnes, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Wes Michaud, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Max Reisinger, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats

 
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