The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton Hockey for the week ending February 1, 2015. 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: Alex Pettersson, forward, Austin Bruins
The Austin Bruins kept pace in the Central Division with a weekend home-and-home sweep of the Minnesota Magicians, as well as, picking up a point in an shootout loss against the Minnesota Wilderness on Wednesday. 20-year-old forward Alex Pettersson was a big factor for the Bruins as the 5’10/190 lbs. native of Gothenburg, Sweden, registered at least a point in all three games and totaled six assists during the week. On Wednesday, Pettersson assist on Austin’s first goal in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Wildernes. On Friday, he picked up the lone assist on the overtime-winning goal as Austin beat the Magicians, 4-3. On Saturday, Petterson picked up four assists in an 8-1 win. He was also a +5 during the weekend and now has 31 points in 39 games played this season. “Alex has quietly put together a solid performance since the Christmas break. He has a renewed confidence that has really helped his ability to make plays,” said Austin head coach Chris Tok.
2nd Star: Nate Colwell, F, Brookings Blizzard
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Colton Kramer, F, Minot Minotauros – Viktor Lindell, F, Brookings Blizzard – Nick Monfils, F, Minot Minotauros – Victor Ostling, F, Aberdeen Wings – Jared Pike, F, Bismarck Bobcats – JM Piotrowski, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Michael Soucier, F, Aberdeen Wings
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Brogan Rafferty, defenseman, Coulee Region Chill
The Coulee Region Chill managed to pick up three of a possible six points this weekend in a three-game set in Fairbanks with 19-year-old defenseman Brogan Rafferty leading the way from the blueline. The 6’1/185 lbs. native of West Dundee, Illinois registered at least a point in all three road games. On Thursday, Rafferty had an assist in a 3-2 shootout loss against the Ice Dogs. On Friday, Rafferty picked up an assist on the game-winning goal as the Chill came away with a 3-2 win. On Saturday, Rafferty assisted on both Coulee Region goals in a 5-2 loss. In 41 games this season, Rafferty has 21 points. “Brogan has been a big time leader on the back end for our team. He shows a lot of poise with the puck and is a very good vocal leader for our younger players,” said Coulee Region head coach AJ Degenhardt.
2nd Star: Tyler Cline, F, Minnesota Wilderness
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Maurin Bouvet, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Dawson DiPietro, F, Coulee Region Chill – Hans Gorowksky, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Alex Jackstadt, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Janis Jaks, D, Minnesota Wilderness – Johnny Mueller, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
North Division Star of the Week: Brandon Schultz, forward, Janesville Jets
The high-flying Janesville Jets won again this past weekend with a sweep in the Soo against the Eagles and they are just a couple games away from clinching the league’s first playoff berth. Forward Brandon Schultz, 18, led the way this past weekend as the 5’7/155 lbs. forward from Fort Meyers, Florida racked up six points (4 goals, 2 assists) in the weekend wins of 6-1 and 6-4. On Friday, Schultz put up two goals and an assist and was a +3 in a 6-1 win and on Saturday, Schultz again had two goals and an assist in a 6-4 win. For the season, Schultz is 3rd on the team in scoring with 45 points in 41 games played and he leads the team with 22 goals, which ranks tied for 4th in the NAHL. “Brandon is playing with a lot of confidence. He makes things happen both when he has the puck and when he is without the puck. The game is fun for everyone right now and it is because of the efforts that guys like Brandon are giving night in and night out,” said Jets head coach Joe Dibble.
2nd Star: Steven Quagliata, D, Johnstown Tomahawks
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alex Archibald, D, Keystone Ice Miners – AJ Coleman, F, Keystone Ice Miners – Michael Crowley, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Kevin Dineen, F, Janesville Jets – Casey Linkenheld, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Brad Pung, F, Soo Eagles – Anthony Scarsella, D, Springfield Jr. Blues
South Division Star of the Week: Kyle Stephan, forward, Wenatchee Wild
The Wenatchee Wild picked up a big three-game road sweep of the Kenai River Brown Bears this past week and scored 20 goals in the three wins. Forward Kyle Stephan was front and center with the team’s production as the 19-year-old forward from Barrie, Ontario recorded seven points in the three wins, which included four goals and three assists. On Thursday, Stephan (6’2/180) had a hat-trick in a 6-3 win, which also included the game-winning goal. On Friday, he picked up an assist in a 5-1 win and on Saturday, he scored another goal and had two assists in a 9-3 win. Since being traded to Wenatchee from Rio Grande Valley right after Christmas, Stephan has recorded nine points in seven games played with the Wild. “Kyle has come in and has done a nice job building chemistry with his line mates David Powlowski and Andre Pison. As a team we were effective in creating offense and Kyle was one of our offensive leaders this weekend,” said Wild assistant coach Chris Clark.
2nd Star: Anthony Cortese, D, Corpus Christi IceRays
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jake Ahlgren, F, Wenatchee Wild – Austin Beaulieu, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Charlie Combs, F, Amarillo Bulls – Ryan Cusin, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Ludvig Larsson, F, Lone Star Brahmas – Tristan Rostagno, D, Amarillo Bulls – Jake Townsend, D, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Sebastian Vidmar, F, Lone Star Brahmas