The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton Hockey for the week ending October 4, 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: Kris Carlson, goalie, Austin Bruins
The Austin Bruins kept things rolling the right direction as they posted a weekend home-and-home sweep of the Brookings Blizzard. Getting the start in goal both games was rookie goalie Kris Carlson. The 18-year-old native of Centerville, VA, stopped 51 of a possible 55 shots in two games. On Friday, Carlson (6’2/180) stopped 24 of 25 shots in a 4-1 road win in Brookings. On Saturday, he made 27 saves in a 6-3 home win over the Blizzard. For the season, Carlson is 3-1 with a 2.50 GAA and a 91.9% save percentage. “Kris has come in and in a short amount of time has established himself as a hard working, competitive and confident young man. While our group continues to grow and mature on the ice, Kris has been there to have our backs and we look forward to a successful season from him,” said Austin head coach Kyle Grabowski.
2nd Star: Jared Brandt, D, Minot Minotauros
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Dawson DiPietro, F, Austin Bruins – Lucas Murray, G, Minot Minotauros – Jared Pike, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Alex Strand, F, Bismarck Bobcats
East Division Star of the Week: Anthony Cusanelli, forward, New Jersey Titans
For the second consecutive week, New Jersey forward Anthony Cusanelli is the East Division Star of the Week, and for good reason. The 19-year-old native of Homdel, NJ, had five points (four goals) in a pair of weekend home games against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Johnstown. On Friday, Cusanelli (6’1/174) had a hat-trick, including the game-winning goal and an assist in a 6-0 win over the Knights. On Saturday, he had a goal in a 4-3 loss against the Tomahawks. Cusanelli is now 5th in league scoring with 11 points in eight games played. “We are very proud of what Anthony is accomplishing on and off the ice. He is student of the game and his worth ethic is getting rewarded. He is a threat every time he steps onto the ice and we are very fortunate to have him,” said New Jersey head coach Rich McKenna.
2nd Star: Evgeny Yakovlev, F, Aston Rebels
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jack Berry, G, New Jersey Titans – Gvido Jansons, D, Aston Rebels – Tommy Horn, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Kelly O’Brien, F, Johnstown Tomahawks
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Michael Houle, forward, Springfield Jr. Blues
Springfield forward Michael Houle, 19, helped his club to a weekend sweep of the Coulee Region Chill during Springfield’s home opening weekend. The native of Oxford, MI, had four points in the two wins and was a +3. On Friday, Houle (6’2/190) had a goal and two assists in a 3-2 win. On Saturday, the Bowling Green recruit had an assist in another 3-2 win. For the season, Houle has six point in six games played. “Mike was an impact player for us this weekend getting a point on all 3 goals on Friday night along with an assist Saturday in helping us with our sweep. The great thing was that as a veteran and he helped us not only by putting up points, but contributed defensively along with helping our special teams,” said Jr. Blues head coach Tony Zasowski.
2nd Star: Tyler Vold, D, Minnesota Wilderness
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Koby Bender, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Cam Cook, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Josef Ingman, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Adam Kresl, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Tommy Nappier, G, Springfield Jr. Blues – Tyler Tomberlin, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
South Division Star of the Week: Tyler Hayes, defenseman, Topeka RoadRunners
The Topeka RoadRunners are back on track thanks to a weekend home sweep of the Lone Star Brahmas. Veteran defenseman Tyler Hayes, 19, was a factor in both wins as the native of Brighton, MI, played well at both ends of the ice. On Friday, Hayes (5’11/175) had an assist and was +3 in a 4-3 win. On Saturday, Hayes scored a goal and was +1 in a 3-2 win. For the 2015-16 season, Hayes is tied for the team lead in points with six. "Tyler has been a solid veteran presence on our blue line so far this season. He is competing hard and has been rewarded for his efforts. He is proving to be true leader on and off the ice," stated Topeka assistant coach Josh Kamrass.
2nd Star: Max Reisinger, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Anton Martinsson, G, Amarillo Bulls – Andy McGlynn, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Dryden McKay, G, Corpus Christi IceRays – Joey Molinaro, F, Amarillo Bulls – Michael Rounds, D, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Marcus Russell, F, Topeka RoadRunners