The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton Hockey for the week ending November 23, 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
The NAHL has found its next brightest and youngest star in Minot forward Blake Lizotte. For the second week in a row, the 16-year-old native of Lindstrom, Minnesota has been named the Central Star of the Week. Lizotte (5’7/140) helped the Minotauros stay in 1st place as they captured three of four points in a home-and-home series against Bismarck. On Friday, Lizotte had a goal and two assists in a 7-0 road win in Bismarck. On Saturday, he assisted on three goals in a 5-4 shootout loss at home. For the season, Lizotte leads the Minotauros in scoring with 28 points in 23 games played. His 20 assists ranks 2nd best in the NAHL. “Blake was very good again this past weekend, but he really came through at the end of the game on Saturday to help us get some valuable points. He is showing a lot of maturity and skill right now,” said Minot head coach Marty Murray.
2nd Star: Beau Michaud, F, Brookings Blizzard
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ryan Kubic, G, Brookings Blizzard – JM Piotrowski, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Bjorn Sigurdarson, F, Aberdeen Wings – Michael Soucier, F, Aberdeen Wings – Chase Springman, F, Minot Minotauros – Joe Tyran, D, Bismarck Bobcats
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Jacob Hetz, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
The Fairbanks Ice Dogs got back on track this weekend with a home sweep of the Minnesota Magicians to maintain their comfortable lead atop the Midwest Division. Leading the way was veteran forward Jacob Hetz, 20, who totaled six points in the two wins. On Friday, the native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and former NAPHL player had a goal and two assists in a 7-2 win. On Saturday, Hetz (6’1/195) scored twice and assisted on another goal in a 4-2 win. He was also a +3 during the weekend. With 15 goals, Hetz is now tied for the NAHL lead his 29 points is currently tied for 3rd in league scoring. “Jacob played with great leadership over the weekend. He went to the hard areas of the ice and committed to winning battles,” said Fairbanks head coach Trevor Stewart.
2nd Star: Brock Kautz, G, Minnesota Wilderness
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Lonnie Clary, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Billy Exell, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Colton Fletcher, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Tanner Schachle, F, Kenai River Brown Bears
North Division Star of the Week: Ryan Bednard, goalie, Johnstown Tomahawks
Bowling Green State commit Ryan Bednard, 17, helped the Tomahawks take three of four points on the road this weekend in a tight series with the Soo Eagles. The native of Macomb, Michigan, faced 75 shots in the two games and stopped 72 of them. On Saturday night, Bednard (6’4/185) made 37 saves as the Tomahawks beat the Eagles, 3-2. On Saturday, Bednard made 35 saves in a 2-1 overtime loss, which earned Johnstown a point. For the season, Bednard has a 7-6-1 record with a 2.93 goals against average and a 90% save percentage. “Ryan was solid in a time when I don’t think our team was playing its best. He was the main reason we came away with three of four points on the road against a very good Soo team. He is playing very well right now and gives us a chance to win in every game,” said Johnstown head coach Mike Letizia.
2nd Star: Taylor Fernandez, F, Keystone Ice Miners
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jack Berry, G, Soo Eagles – Joe Drabin, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Nick Kossoff, G, Keystone Ice Miners – Dryden McKay, G, Springfield Jr. Blues – Keegan Miller, F, Soo Eagles – Brady Tomlak, F, Springfield Jr. Blues
South Division Star of the Week: Zach Quinn, goalie, Wenatchee Wild
Wenatchee Wild goalie Zach Quinn, 20, made the most of his opportunity this weekend as he answered the call and was literally perfect in Wenatchee’s sweep of Kenai River, who is Quinn’s old team. The native of Westland, Michigan wasn’t schedule to play on Friday, but after starter Michael Mullion was knocked out with an injury just 28 minutes into the game, Quinn (6’1/180) answered the call and stepped in, stopping all 15 shots that came his way as Wenatchee won, 6-1. The next night, Quinn got the start and stopped all 25 shots that came his way for his first shutout of the season as the Wild blanked the Brown Bears, 4-0. Since joining the Wild in late October, Quinn has a goals against average of 2.03 and a save percentage of 91.7%. “He ignited the bench with his play on Friday and made a big save coming in cold. He was very solid on Saturday and Zach has gotten better as the season has gone along. He is starting to find his grove and is now very consistent,” said Wenatchee assistant coach Chris Clark.
2nd Star: Sebastian Vidmar, F, Lone Star Brahmas
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Anthony Cortese, D, Corpus Christi IceRays – Mike Coyne, F, Wenatchee Wild – Nick Farmer, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Mike Gornall, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Tanner Lomsnes, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Daniel Rzavsky, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Jesper Synnelius, D, Amarillo Bulls – Jake Townsend, D, Wichita Falls Wildcats