The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton for the week ending October 19, 2014. The Divisional Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2014-15 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: Alex Bitsakis, goalie, Bismarck Bobcats
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 Division Star of the Week: Sam Becker, defenseman, Minnesota Magicians
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 Division Star of the Week: Adam Winborg, forward, Janesville Jets
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 Division Star of the Week: Daniel Rzavsky, forward, Topeka RoadRunners
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