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NAHL announces Easton Divisional Stars of the Week

December 9, 2013

(from top left to bottom right): Bismarck goalie Aaron Nelson, Coulee Region defenseman Brogan Rafferty, Janesville forward Robin Hoglund and Lone Star goalie TJ Black honored this week.

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton for the week ending December 8, 2013.  The Divisional Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2013-14 regular 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: Aaron Nelson, goaltender, Bismarck Bobcats

Consistency has been the name of the game for Bismarck goalie Aaron Nelson over the course of his three-year career and this past weekend was another example of why he has the Bobcats alone in the 2nd place in the Central Division. The 20-year-old native of Bismarck, ND, has won his last five straight games, which include two this weekend in a home-and-home sweep against the Brookings Blizzard. On Friday, Nelson (5’9/170) made 22 saves in a 4-1 home win. On Saturday, Nelson was even better, making 33 saves in a 3-1 road win in Brookings. Nelson ranks in the Top 10 in NAHL goaltending statistics, including goals against average and save percentage, and ranks 2nd in wins with 15. “We finally gained some momentum as a team, but Aaron has been very consistent all year long,” said Bobcats head coach Layne Sedevie. “He doesn’t waver and he can steal you a game. He is the reason why we are doing so well and we are hopeful that a NCAA Division I commitment is coming soon because he deserves it.”

2nd Star: Brennan Sanford, forward, Austin Bruins

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Chad Catt, goaltender, Aberdeen Wings – Connor Girard, goaltender, Brookings Blizzard – Kyle Haak, forward, Aberdeen Wings – Jon Lizotte, defenseman, Minot Minotauros – Brandon Parker, defenseman, Brookings Blizzard – Brandon Wildung, goaltender, Minot Minotauros


Midwest Division Star of the Week: Brogan Rafferty, defenseman, Coulee Region Chill

Defenseman Brogan Rafferty, 18, helped the Coulee Region Chill snap out of their funk this past weekend as they swept a home-and-home series with the Minnesota Magicians. The native of West Dundee, Illinois, had a great weekend with two goals and two assists and a +4 rating in the two wins. On Friday, Rafferty (6’1/175) assisted on the Chill’s first goal as they won 4-1 in Minnesota. The next night in Coulee Region, Rafferty had two goals, including the game-winner and an assist for a three-point game in a 4-2 win. For the season, Rafferty leads all Chill defensemen in scoring with 16 points in 26 games played. Brogan has really adjusted well to this level of play. He is a very coachable kid who gets better every day,” said Chill head coach AJ Degenhardt.

2nd Star: Parker Tuomie, forward, Wenatchee Wild

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jakob Ahlgren, forward, Wenatchee Wild – Mario Bianchi, forward, Minnesota Magicians – Jack Gessert, forward, Kenai River Brown Bears – Nick Hinz, defenseman, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Eddie Matsushima, forward, Coulee Region Chill – Matt Rudin, forward, Kenai River Brown Bears – Colton Wolter, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs


North Division Star of the Week: Robin Hoglund, forward, Janesville Jets

Janesville forward Robin Hoglund, 20, continued his hot streak this weekend as the Jets split a weekend home series with the Soo Eagles. The native of Molndal, Sweden, extended his scoring streak to five straight games with another big weekend as he recorded two goals and two assists and was a +3 three in the two games. On Friday, Hoglund (6’3/205) had a goal and an assist and was +2 in a 4-3 loss. On Saturday, Hoglund repeated his one goal, one assist performance only this time his goal was the game-winner in a 4-1 win. For the season, Hoglund is 3rd on the Jets in scoring with 24 points in 25 games played. “Robin is a guy that has come in here with a great attitude and a work ethic that is contagious,” said Jets head coach Joe Dibble. “The young guys really build off his leadership and he is going to be a very exciting NCAA Division I player someday.”

2nd Star: Mike Sabatini, forward, Soo Eagles

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Shane Bednard, forward, Johnstown Tomahawks – Patrick Curry, forward, Springfield Jr. Blues – Taylor Fernandez, forward, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Mitch Hall, defenseman, Johnstown Tomahawks – Logan Halladay, goaltender, Janesville Jets – Max Kalter, forward, Springfield Jr. Blues


South Division Star of the Week: TJ Black, goaltender, Lone Star Brahmas

The Lone Star Brahmas had their most successful weekend to date as they swept the 1st place Amarillo Bulls at home by a combined score of 8-1 in the two games. Giving up just one goal in two games against the NAHL’s #1 offense was newly acquired goaltender TJ Black. The 18-year-old from Chicago, Illinois, who joined the Brahmas in late November, has been a shot in the arm for Lone Star. On Friday, Black allowed just a single goal and made 26 saves in a 4-1 win over Amarillo. On Saturday, Black (5’8/165) was even better as he made 23 saves and posted his first career NAHL shutout in a 4-0 win over the Bulls. For the weekend, Black stopped 49 of 50 shots in the sweep. Since joinging the Brahmas, Black has not allowed more than three goals in his six appearances as has a save percentage of 92.9%. “We are really happy with the way TJ has played thus far. He is calm and composed and the guys play with a lot of confidence in front of him,” said Brahmas head coach Dan Wildfong. “Hopefully it is something we as a team can keep building upon.”

2nd Star: Martin Hojbjerg, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Olli Kalkaja, goaltender, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees – Jake Kamrass, forward, Topeka RoadRunners – Matt Lison, forward, Lone Star Brahmas – Ben Myers, goaltender, Corpus Christi IceRays – James Ring, forward, Topeka RoadRunners – Evan Schmidbauer, forward, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees – David Zevnik, goaltender, Wichita Falls Wildcats

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