The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton Hockey for the week ending November 16, 2014. The Easton Hockey 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: Blake Lizotte, forward, Minot Minotauros
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 Division Star of the Week: Brock Kautz, goalie, Minnesota Wilderness
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 Division Star of the Week: Dryden McKay, goalie, Springfield Jr. Blues
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 Division Star of the Week: Kasper Emanuelsson, defense, Amarillo Bulls
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