The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton Hockey for the week ending March 15, 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: Trevor Boyd, forward, Austin Bruins
Austin forward Trevor Boyd, 20, helped his team pick up two big home wins over the weekend to widen their lead atop the Central Division. The native of Muskegon, Michigan, was a factor in both games as Boyd (6’3/200) scored four goals in the two wins and had a +3 rating over the weekend. On Friday, Boyd scored the first goal of the game as the Bruins went onto win, 4-1. On Saturday, Boyd scored the final three goals of the game, including the game-winner, in a 5-2 win. Boyd, who played in the 2015 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for the Central Division, leads the Bruins in scoring this season with 44 points and 53 games played. “Trevor was instrumental to our offense this past weekend. His hard work and willingness to play in the hard areas was rewarded with points and production,” said Austin head coach Chris Tok.
2nd Star: Evan Smith, G, Austin Bruins
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Luke Kania, G, Aberdeen Wings – Tanner Salsberry, D, Bismarck Bobcats – Bjorn Sigurdarson, F, Aberdeen Wings – Jared Spooner, F, Bismarck Bobcats
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Kevin Aldridge, goalie, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
The Fairbanks Ice Dogs took over sole possession of 1st place in the Midwest Division thanks to a weekend series sweep in Bismarck against the Bobcats this weekend. Veteran goalie Kevin Aldridge, 21, got the start in both games and only gave up three goals during the weekend, while facing 62 shots in the two games. On Friday, the native of Beverly Hills, Michigan, stopped all 27 shots that came his way for his second shutout of the season as Fairbanks blanked Bismarck, 2-0. On Saturday, Aldridge (5’8/165) made 32 saves in a 5-3 win over the Bobcats. In 15 appearances with the Ice Dogs this season, Aldridge has a 10-3-1 record with a 1.93 goals against average and a 93% save percentage. “Kevin was solid between the pipes all weekend. He showed great leadership and came up with some very timely saves when we needed them,” said Fairbanks head coach Trevor Stewart.
2nd Star: Richard Zehnal, F, Coulee Region Chill
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Todd Burgess, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Alec Derks, G, Kenai River Brown Bears – Joseph Kaszupski, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Nico Luka, D, Coulee Region Chill – Ian Mansfield, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Nikita Milekhin, F, Minnesota Magicians – Aaron Miller, F, Minnesota Wilderness
North Division Star of the Week: Alex Blankenburg, goalie, Keystone Ice Miners
Keystone goalie Alex Blankenburg, 20, ended up making three appearances this weekend as the Ice Miners traveled to Soo to take on the Eagles. On Friday, the two teams continued a postponed game from February and despite the eventual 2-1 loss, Blankenburg (5’9/167) was credited with 45 saves in the loss. Later that night in the regularly scheduled game, the native of Washington, Michigan, made 39 saves in a 4-1 win. On Saturday, Blankenburg didn’t start, but came in after the Ice Miners went down 4-0 and didn’t give up a goal on 15 shots and over 38 minutes of action. For the weekend, Blankenburg faced a total of 102 shots and stopped 99 of them. Blankenburg, who ranks tied for 3rd in the NAHL with a 93% save percentage, also played in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for the North Division earlier this season. “Alex was good for us in all three games. It is tough to come in cold in some situations. He made some saves that gave us some momentum and kept us in the game when we were down,” said Keystone head coach Michael Gershon.
2nd Star: Alex Alger, F, Johnstown Tomahawks
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Drew Callin, F, Janesville Jets – Trevor Cope, F, Soo Eagles – Tyler Groat, F, Michigan Warriors – Tommy Horn, F, Keystone Ice Miners – Colin Horton, F, Michigan Warriors – Lester Lancaster, D, Springfield Jr. Blues – Grant Meyer, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Brad Pung, F, Soo Eagles – Nils Rygaard, F, Janesville Jets
South Division Star of the Week: AJ Vanderbeck, forward, Lone Star Brahmas
17-year-old rookie forward AJ Vanderbeck was on fire this past weekend as the Lone Star Brahmas picked up five of a possible six points in three-game road swing and increased their South Division lead to four points. Vanderbeck (5’11/180) had six points (4 goals, 2 assists) in the three games and was a +4. The native of Colorado Springs, Colorado began the week with a bang as he scored all three Brahmas goals in regulation in a 4-3 overtime loss at Corpus Christi on Wednesday. On Friday, Vanderbeck picked up an assist in a 3-0 shutout win in Rio Grande Valley against the Killer Bees. The next night, Vanderbeck had a goal and an assist in a 3-2 overtime win against the Killer Bees. For the season, the Colorado College recruit has 33 points in 52 games played and also played in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for the NAHL Selects Team. “AJ was great in all three games this past week. He has really come on strong lately and scoring big goals. He will be a big factor in our success this season moving forward,” said Brahmas head coach Dan Wildfong.
2nd Star: Maskim Dzhioshvili, F, Corpus Christi IceRays
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jasen Fernsler, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Ryan Gotelaere, D, Wenatchee Wild – Cody Gylling, F, Amarillo Bulls – Jake Kupsky, G, Lone Star Brahmas – Wes Michaud, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Stathis Soumelidis, F, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees – Colin Staub, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Cam Strong, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Jesper Synnelius, D, Amarillo Bulls – Jake Townsend, D, Wichita Falls Wildcats – August Von Ungern-Sternberg, F, Wenatchee Wild