Easton's Stars of the Week

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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