The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton Hockey for the week ending September 27, 2015. The Easton Hockey Divisional Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2015-16 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: Jade Miller, forward, Austin Bruins
Thanks to the play of players like forward Jade Miller, 20, the Austin Bruins got right back on track with a 3-1 record at the NAHL Showcase. The veteran from Minot, ND, was a scoring machine at the Showcase as he registered eight points in the four games. Miller (5’9/180) began the Showcase in style with a hat-trick and an assist in an 8-0 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the first game. After going scoreless in the team’s only loss the next day against Springfield, Miller had two goals in both wins over Aston and Kenai River. Of his eight points at the Showcase, seven of those were goals. Miller’s seven goals to date in tied for tops in the NAHL. “Jade has been terrific for us. Off the ice, he has stepped up and really been a good veteran leader. He is worked very hard to get to this point and have success,” said Austin head coach Kyle Grabowski.
2nd Star: Peter Thome, G, Aberdeen Wings
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Willie Brown, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Mikael Hakkarainen, F, Brookings Blizzard – Aaron Herdt, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Max Mettler, D, Minot Minotauros – Gavin Payne, F, Aberdeen Wings – TJ Samec, D, Brookings Blizzard – Johnny Walker, F, Minot Minotauros
East Division Star of the Week: Anthony Cusanelli, forward, New Jersey Titans
The New Jersey Titans made quite the impression this past week at the NAHL Showcase as they were crowned co-Champions thanks to a perfect 4-0 record, which put them atop the East Division. Forward Anthony Cusanelli, 19, is tied for the team scoring lead thanks to a five-point performance at the event. The native of Holmdel, NJ, scored a goal in each of the first three wins and added two assists. He was also a +4 during the event. Cunanelli is a rookie in the NAHL this season and is the product of the New Jersey Jr. Titans of the NAPHL, where he has spent the last four seasons. “We are very happy for Anthony because he has worked extremely hard to get this this point. He was one of our top contributors this past weekend and we are pleased that a local player is having the type of success that he is experiencing right now,” said New Jersey head coach Rich McKenna.
2nd Star: Darren Brady, D, New Jersey Titans
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alex Alger, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Kelly O’Brien, F, Johnstown Tomahawks
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Chase Munroe, goaltender, Minnesota Wilderness
Minnesota Wilderness goalie Chase Munroe, 20, was busy this past week at the NAHL Showcase appearing in all four games. The native of Naperville, IL, faced a total of 78 shots in the better part of four games and stopped 74 of them for a 94.8% save percentage and a 1.09 goals against average during the event. Munroe (6’4/216) allowed just a single goal in wins over Odessa and Amarillo. He then was perfect in a relief appearance in a 3-2 loss against Lone Star. He allowed two goals in a 2-1 overtime loss to Aberdeen on the final day. Munroe is in his third and final season in the NAHL. “Chase had very solid showcase. That kind of play gives us a chance to win every game,” said Wilderness head coach Corey Millen.
2nd Star: Jack LaFontaine, G, Janesville Jets
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ryan Bloom, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Cayden Cahill, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Cam Cook, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Tommy Napier, G, Springfield Jr. Blues – Gavin Nieto, G, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Joey Sardina, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Martin Sundberg, F, Janesville Jets – Isaac Theissen, F, Coulee Region Chill – Brady Tomlak, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Hunter Vorva, G, Coulee Region Chill
South Division Star of the Week: Ben Lown, forward, Wichita Falls Wildcats
Wichita Falls forward Ben Lown, 17, helped the Wildcats to a 3-0-1 record while at the Showcase and a 1st place tie in the South Division. The native of Newport Coast, CA, had six points in the four games, which included five assists and a +6 rating. After going scoreless in an opening win over Minot, Lown (5’7/150) had an assist in a win over Coulee Region and two multi-point games in a win over Kenai River and shootout loss against New Jersey. Lown currently leads the Wildcats in scoring with nine points in six games played. “Ben got more confident each game and showed improvement each game. He is blessed with tremendous speed. The biggest thing he did was finding his open teammates, which created a lot of scoring chances this past week,” said Wildcats head coach John LaFontaine.
2nd Star: Brandon Tucker, F, Odessa Jackalopes
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Adam Goodsir, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Tyler Hayes, D, Topeka RoadRunners – Carter Johnson, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Martin Mellberg, F, Lone Star Brahmas - George Mika, F, Amarillo Bulls – Conor O’Brien, G, Lone Star Brahmas – Gunner Rivers, G, Odessa Jackalopes – Cam Strong, F, Topeka RoadRunners