The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton Hockey for the week ending December 14, 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: Tanner Salsberry, defense, Bismarck Bobcats
The Bismarck Bobcats have moved into 3rd place in the Central Division and played in two more close games over the weekend. 19-year-old defenseman Tanner Salsberry (5’11/189) played well in both games as he scored a goal in each and added an assist for a three-point weekend. On Friday, the native of Plainfield, Illinois had goal in a 5-4 win in Aberdeen against the Wings. On Saturday, Salsberry had a goal and an assist in a 5-4 home loss against Minot. In just 12 games played this season, Salsberry had 10 points. “Tanner has been one of those players that has developed into a very good defenseman over his time in the NAHL. We put him in a role he wasn’t used to last year and he has taken that opportunity and ran with it. He is an important part of our special teams and overall team success this season,” said Bismarck head coach Layne Sedevie.
2nd Star: Ryan Kubic, G, Brookings Blizzard
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Troy Degler, F, Minot Minotauros –– Beau Michaud, F, Brookings Blizzard - John Snodgrass, F, Minot Minotauros – Cullen Willox F, Bismarck Bobcats
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Ivan Chukarov, defense, Minnesota Wilderness
The Minnesota Wilderness closed the gap on 1st place in the Midwest Division with a weekend home sweep of the Kenai River Brown Bears last weekend. 19-year-old defenseman Ivan Chukarov (6’3/200) was arguably the best player on the ice as he scored twice and assisted on two more goals for a four-point weekend. On Thursday night, the native of Des Plaines, Illinois, had two goals, including the game-winner, and an assist in a 5-2 win. On Saturday night, Chukarov picked up an assist on the game-winning goal in a 3-0 shutout win over the Brown Bears. He was also a +6 in the two wins. “Ivan is one of the most talented defensemen in the league and when he plays like he did this weekend, he can be a huge force and difference-maker for us,” said Wilderness head coach Corey Millen.
2nd Star: Kane Durment, F, Minnesota Magicians
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Hans Gorowsky, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Niklas Lehtimaki, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Adam Lovick F, Coulee Region Chill – Patrick Munson, G, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Jack Nickels, D, Kenai River Brown Bears – Tanner Schachle, F, Kenai River Brown Bears
North Division Star of the Week: Matt Jurusik, goalie, Janesville Jets
Janesville rookie goalie Matt Jurusik, 17, helped his red-hot club to another sweep this past weekend as the Jets maintained their lead atop of the North Division with a weekend home sweep of the Keystone Ice Miners. The native of La Grange, Illinois, stopped 44 of 47 shots that came his way and also posted his first career NAHL shutout. On Friday, Jurusik (6’1/195) made 22 saves in a 3-0 shutout of the Ice Miners. On Saturday, Jurusik made another 22 saves in a 4-3 win. Jurusik has won eight of his last nine starts, including his last five in a row. Jurusik is tied for 2nd in the NAHL with 14 wins and ranks in a Top 6 in games/minutes played and goals against average. “Matt has been really good for us all year. He controlled the game on Friday night. He plays with a lot of confidence and composure. He plays with swagger and a positive edge and that makes him a very good teammate,” said Jets head coach Joe Dibble.
2nd Star: Mitch Vanderburg, F, Soo Eagles
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Casey Linkenheld, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Dryden McKay, G, Springfield Jr. Blues – Grant Meyer, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Keegan Miller, F, Soo Eagles – Cullen Munson, F, Janesville Jets
South Division Star of the Week: Jasen Fernsler, forward, Topeka RoadRunners
Topeka heads into a holiday break fresh on the heels of a three-game weekend home sweep of the Wenatchee Wild. The sweep gave the RoadRunners some breathing room in the South, as they now enjoy an eight point lead atop the division. Second year forward Jasen Fernsler, 20, was remarkably consistent in the wins, as the native of Charlotte, Michigan, recorded two points in each victory for a six-point weekend. On Friday, Fernsler (6’0/168) had two assists in a 3-0 shutout of the Wild. On Saturday, Fernsler had a goal and an assist in a 4-3 win. He completed the weekend with another goal and assist on Sunday in a 3-2 win. For the season, Fernsler is 2nd on the RoadRunners in scoring with 30 points in 31 games played. “Jasen is a difference-maker and has a team first mentality. It was so important for us to go into the break with some momentum and he never let up in a three-game series against a very good opponent in Wenatchee,” said RoadRunners head coach Scott Langer.
2nd Star: Sebastian Vidmar, F, Lone Star Brahmas
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ryan Cusin, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – AJ Duggan, F, Amarillo Bulls – Ludvig Larsson, F, Lone Star Brahmas – Wes Michaud, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Sam Rennaker, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Colin Staub, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – David Zevnik, G, Wichita Falls Wildcats