The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton for the week ending November 9, 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
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 Division Star of the Week: Chandler Madry, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
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 Division Star of the Week: Lester Lancaster, defenseman, Springfield Jr. Blues
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 Division Star of the Week: Wes Michaud, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays
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