The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton Hockey for the week ending November 30, 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: Zach Driscoll, goalie, Austin Bruins
The Austin Bruins kept pace in the Central Division with a weekend road sweep in Aberdeen against the Wings. It was the team’s first sweep since late October and goaltender Zach Driscoll, 17, played some his best hockey of the year. The St. Cloud State recruit and native of Apple Valley, MN, began the weekend with his second shutout of the season, as he stopped all 27 shots that came his way in a 3-0 win on Friday. On Saturday, Driscoll (5’10/180) allowed just a single goal on 24 shots as the Bruins completed a weekend sweep with a 4-1 win. For the weekend, Driscoll stopped 50 of 51 shots. Driscoll currently has a 2.19 goals against average and a 92.1% save percentage, which both rank in the Top 7 in NAHL goaltending stats. “Anytime you give up one goal on a weekend, you are going to win a lot of games. The series with Aberdeen was very close and some of his key saves enabled our guys to keep the momentum going our way and play aggressive,” said Austin head coach Chris Tok.
2nd Star: Casey Johnson, D, Minot Minotauros
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Evan Giesler, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Tanner Salsberry, D, Bismarck Bobcats – Johnny Walker, F, Minot Minotauros
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Adam Carlson, goalie, Coulee Region Chill
A lot of players can make the case for team MVP, but it may be Coulee Region Chill goalie Adam Carlson, 20, that may have one of the best arguments. The native of Edina, MN, had another huge weekend as the Chill posted a weekend home-and-home sweep with the Minnesota Magicians, winning both games by a 2-1 score. On Friday, Carlson (6’3/180) made 29 saves in a 2-1 win over the Magicians. On Saturday in Minnesota, he was even better as he made 37 saves in another 2-1 win. For the weekend, Carlson stopped 66 of 68 shots. His 11 wins to date ranks tied for 2nd in the NAHL and his 93.5% save percentage ranks 3rd. “Adam was the difference in both games this weekend. He had a lot of NCAA scouting eyes on him and he responded with two awesome performances. He is the backbone of our team and when he plays well we have the chance of winning any game,” said Chill head coach AJ Degenhardt.
2nd Star: Evan Butcher, F, Kenai River Brown Bears
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tobias Bjorklund, D, Minnesota Wilderness – Maurin Bouvet, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Darian Romanko, F, Minnesota Wilderness
North Division Star of the Week: Austin Romzek, forward, Keystone Ice MIners
The only North Division team to get a complete sweep over the weekend was the Keystone Ice Miners, who moved into 3rd place with two wins over the Springfield Jr. Blues. Forward Austin Romzek, 20, was a key factor in both low-scoring wins. On Saturday, the native of Shelby Township, MI, had an assist in a 3-1 win over Springfield. On Sunday, Romzek (6’1/187) scored the game-winning goal in a 3-2 win, completing a weekend sweep of the Jr. Blues. Romzek was also +2 opn the weekend and now has 11 points in 24 games played this season. “I think we are getting back on track and that has coincided with Austin’s continued good play on the ice. He earned his way onto the power play and made some things happen this weekend. It was good to see a veteran step up and if that keeps happening, we are going to continue to get better as a team,” said Keystone head coach Michael Gershon.
2nd Star: Zach Yoder, D, Janesville Jets
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ryan Bednard, G, Johnstown Tomahawks – Darren Brady, D, Soo Eagles – Matt Jones, F, Keystone Ice Miners – Zach Lavalle, F, Janesville Jets – Anthony Scarsella, D, Springfield Jr. Blues – Sandis Zolmanis, F, Soo Eagles
South Division Star of the Week: Mike Coyne, forward, Wenatchee Wild
A recent string of good play and success has seen the Wenatchee Wild move into 5th place in the South thanks in large part to series like this weekend, in which they captured three of four points against Kenai River. Captain and forward Mike Coyne, 19, had a very goof weekend as the forward from Kenmore, NY, scored three goals and added an assist to go along with his +5 rating in the two games. On Friday, Coyne (6’1/185) had an assist in a 3-2 overtime loss. On Saturday, Coyne had a hat-trick, which included the game-winning goal in overtime as Wenatchee defeated Kenai River, 4-3. For the season, Coyne has 12 points in 24 games played. “As the captain of our team, Mike has many roles to fulfill, but on the ice he and his line are playing their best hockey right now. He is a very determined player and he has really stepped up to help us find some recent success and earn some valuable points,” said Wild assistant coach Chris Clark.
2nd Star: Daniel Rzavsky, F, Topeka RoadRunners
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): AJ Duggan, F, Amarillo Bulls – Alex Falconer, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Sam Rennaker, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Jake Townsend, D, Wichita Falls Wildcats