NAHL announces Bauer Hockey Stars of the Week
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey for the week ending December 4, 2022. The Divisional Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2022-23 season that honors the top performing players in each of the four NAHL divisions. Only players that are nominated by their respective teams are considered for the Divisional Players of the Week award.
Central Division Star of the Week: Josh Giuliani, Forward, Austin Bruins
Austin Bruins forward Josh Giuliani, 18, had a big weekend to help the Austin Bruins increase their lead atop of the Central Division with a weekend home sweep of the Minot Minotauros. The 6’1/180 lbs. native of Plymouth, MN, had five points and was a +4 in the two wins. On Friday, Giuliani had a goal and an assist in a 5-3 win. On Saturday, he recorded his first NAHL hat-trick, which included the game-winning goal, in a 5-1 win. For the season, Giuliani is tied for 4th in team scoring with 19 points in 24 games played to date. “Josh had a big weekend for us, and we are excited that he has earned player of the week. He has a great shot, and he continues to put himself in spots to get quality scoring chances. We are very happy with Josh’s development over the last 24 games here in Austin and we look forward to seeing what he does with the rest of the season,” said Bruins head coach Steve Howard.
2nd Star: Walter Zacher, F, Austin Bruins
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tomas Bolo, G, St. Cloud Norsemen – Logan Dombrowsky, F, North Iowa Bulls – Nick Justice, D, Aberdeen Wings – Justin Mexico, F, North Iowa Bulls – Adam Pietila, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Brandon Reller, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Nikolai Tishkevich, F, Aberdeen Wings
East Division Star of the Week: Jake LaRusso, Forward, Northeast Generals
Northeast Generals forward Jake LaRusso, 20, had a big week to help his team pick up a weekend home sweep of the 1st place Maryland Black Bears. The 6’1/195 lbs. native of Colts Neck, NJ, had five points and was a +4 in the two wins. On Friday, he had a goal and an assist in a 4-2 win. On Saturday, LaRusso had two goals and assisted on the overtime-winner in a 4-3 OT win. For the season, LaRusso is 3rd in team scoring with 28 points in 23 games played. “Jake had a huge weekend for us. It started in practice with his leadership helping the younger players with the game plan. He has been so good for us on and off the ice, and he had another huge weekend. He scored big goals in both games but also great job defensively. He really plays a great 200-foot game, and we are seeing why he has received a lot of college interest. We look forward to his continued great play as we move into the second half of the season,” said Generals head coach Bryan Erikson.
2nd Star: Connor Sedlak, F, Philadelphia Rebels
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Anthony Achille, F, Maine Nordiques – Toby Hopp, G, Northeast Generals – Max Marquette, F, Philadelphia Rebels – Branden Piku, F, Maryland Black Bears – Hunter Ramos, F, Maryland Black Bears – Alexey Yarmulnik, F, Maine Nordiques
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Sam Rice, Forward, Chippewa Steel
Chippewa Steel forward Sam Rice, 18, helped his team pick up an important weekend sweep of the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in a pair of games played in Marshall, MN. The 5’9/161 lbs. native of Prior Lake, MN, had four points and was a +2 in the two wins. On Friday, Rice had a goal and an assist in a 6-3 win. On Saturday, he scored twice in a 4-3 win. For the season, Rice is 3rd in team scoring with 22 points in 27 games played. “Sam has played an incredibly consistent brand of hockey over the last two months. We never have to question what type of effort he is going to give. He is excellent on face offs, super reliable in his own end, and extremely hard to play against. His 200-foot game is outstanding and his ability to produce offensively, especially in key moments, is a big reason our team is having the success we are having. We are extremely lucky to have him,” said Steel head coach Casey Mignone.
2nd Star: Trent Powell, D, Anchorage Wolverines
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tyler Borgula, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Adam Gajan, G, Chippewa Steel – Adam Johnson, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Cole Lonsdale, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Julian Recine, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Aiden Westin, F, Anchorage Wolverines
South Division Star of the Week: Tanyon Bajzer, Forward, Odessa Jackalopes
Odessa Jackalopes forward Tanyon Bajzer, 20, helped his club get back on track this past weekend with a home sweep of the Amarillo Wranglers. The 6’1/170 lbs. native of Cleveland, OH, had five points in the two wins and was a +4. On Friday, Bajzer had an assist in a 4-3 overtime win. On Saturday, he had two goals and two assists in a 5-2 win. For the season, Bajzer is tied for the team scoring lead with 18 points in 22 games played. “Tanyon had a great weekend. He’s starting to turn the corner and making a big impact on our team. We are looking forward to seeing where it takes him moving forward,” said Odessa head coach Scott Deur.
2nd Star: Simon Bucheler, G, Shreveport Mudbugs
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Yusako Ando, F, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Carter Clafton, G, Amarillo Wranglers – Chase Davis, F, Amarillo Wranglers – Ryan Mansfield, F, Odessa Jackalopes – Hayden Nichols, F, Shreveport Mudbugs – Arthur Smith, G, Lone Star Brahmas – Carsen Stokes, G, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Dhillon Wilde, F, Lone Star Brahma