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NAHL announces Easton Divisional Stars of the Week

January 6, 2014

(from top left to bottom right): Aberdeen defenseman Dillon Eichstadt, Fairbanks forward Tayler Munson, Port Huron defenseman Jonathan Kopacka and Amarillo forward Brady Ferguson honored this week.

 The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton for the week ending January 5, 2014.  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: Dillon Eichstadt, defenseman, Aberdeen Wings

Aberdeen defenseman Dillon Eichstadt, 19, had a good week for the Wings, who picked up two wins in three games during the week. The native of Bemidji, Minnesota, had five points (all assists) in the three games and was a +1. On Tuesday night, Eichstadt (6’0/170) assisted on Aberdeen’s first goal in a 2-1 win at Bismarck. On Friday night, he picked up another assist on the Wings lone goal in a 4-1 home loss to Austin. On Saturday, Eichstadt saved his best game for last as he assisted on three of Aberdeen’s four goals in a 4-2 win over the Bruins. For the season, Eichstadt is second in team scoring for defensemen with 23 points. His 23 points ranks 7th among NAHL defensemen and his 22 assists ranks 3rd. “Dillon made some great plays in transition and also on the power play this past week. He has great vision and the ability to make plays. We look forward to his continued development,” said Wings head coach Travis Winter.

2nd Star: Aaron Nelson, goaltender, Bismarck Bobcats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Josh Bretner, defenseman, Austin Bruins – Jeff Flicker, forward, Brookings Blizzard – Jake Horton, defenseman, Aberdeen Wings – Brandon Parker, defenseman, Brookings Blizzard


Midwest Division Star of the Week: Tayler Munson, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

Fairbanks forward Tayler Munson, 20, has taken his torrid December and kept it going the first week of 2014 with four productive games this past week. The native of Fairbanks, Alaska, and recent recipient of the NAHL’s Forward of the Month Award for December had seven points in four games this past week as the Ice Dogs went 2-2 in four road games. Munson (6’1/195) had three goals and four assists and was +5 in the four games. His best game came this past Saturday as he had a goal and two assists in a 5-3 win in Wenatchee. It extended Munson’s NAHL-high point streak to 14 straight games. His 35 points to date rank 1st on the Ice Dogs roster and 4th overall in the NAHL. “It is good to see Tayler healthy and producing at a level that we know he is capable of,” said Ice Dogs head coach Trevor Stewart. “He has really taken on a leadership role this season on and off the ice and it has had a positive effect on our younger players. He is going to be a very solid NCAA Division I hockey player.”

2nd Star: Mike Coyne, forward, Wenatchee Wild

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Hans Gorowsky, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Thomas Lindstrom, forward, Minnesota Wilderness – Jaycob McCombs, forward, Minnesota Wilderness – Nicholas Rivera, forward, Wenatchee Wild – Atte Tolvanen, goaltender, Minnesota Magicians


North Division Star of the Week: Jonathan Kopacka, defenseman, Port Huron Fighting Falcons

Port Huron defenseman Jonathan Kopacka, 20, helped the Fighting Falcons to a 3-1 record this past week with four productive games. The native of Metamora, Michigan, had six points in the four games and was a +1. Kopacka (6’1/185) had a goal and an assist in a 4-2 win over Springfield on New Year’s Eve. On Friday night, he had a goal and two assists in a 6-3 win over Janesville and on Saturday, he scored the game-winning goal in a 4-0 shutout of the Jets. Kopacka’s 25 points to date rank him tied for 4th among NAHL defensemen. “Jonathan has really improved during his time in the NAHL, but the difference was the work he put it this past summer. He has always been a good skater, but he had added strength and stamina to that and it has made him a complete defenseman,” said Fighting Falcons head coach Michael Gershon. “He is one of the leaders on our club and when he is playing his best we are a better team for it.”

2nd Star: Alex Okicki, goaltender, Johnstown Tomahawks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Nick Belger, forward, Soo Eagles – AJ Jarosz, forward, Soo Eagles – Stefanos Lekkas, goaltender, Springfield Jr. Blues – Matthew Meier, forward, Johnstown Tomahawks – Kevin Shand, forward, Springfield Jr. Blues – Bryan Yim, forward, Port Huron Fighting Falcons


South Division Star of the Week: Brady Ferguson, forward, Amarillo Bulls

For four straight games now, Amarillo forward Brady Ferguson, 19, has scored a goal and an assist. That trend continued this past week for the Lewisville, Texas native as the Bulls won three more games to increase their South Division lead to four points. Ferguson (6’0/190) totaled six points (3 goals, 3 assists) and was +5 in the three wins this past week. On New Year’s Eve, he had a goal and an assist in a 6-3 win over Lone Star. On Friday night, he added the game-winning goal and an assist in a 6-3 win over Corpus Christi and on Saturday, he added another goal and an assist in a 6-2 win over the IceRays. In 36 games this season, Fergsuon has 24 points. “Brady has been playing really well and he has rededicated himself to have a better second half,” said Bulls head coach Dennis Williams. “He has been a big reason for our offensive production as of late and he has unlimited potential as a player and that is encouraging for the future.”

2nd Star: PJ Bridges, goaltender, Topeka RoadRunners

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Peter Halash, forward, Topeka RoadRunners – Nick Monfils, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays – Sean Mostrom, defenseman, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees – Evan Schmidbauer, forward, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees – Brett Szajner, defenseman, Amarillo Bulls – Malo Ville, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays – David Zevnik, goaltender, Wichita Falls Wildcats


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