NAHL announces Easton Divisional Stars of the Week
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton Hockey for the week ending October 11, 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: Johnny Walker, forward, Minot Minotauros
The Minot Minotauros solidified their spot atop of the Central Division this past weekend with a sweep of the Brookings Blizzard. Forward Johnny Walker, 19, had a standout weekend as the native of Phoenix, AZ, had seven points and was a +4 in the two wins. On Friday, Walker (6’1/195) had a hat-trick and an assist in a 6-1 win. On Saturday, Walker added three assists in a 4-1 win. For the season, Walker leads the Tauros in scoring with 15 points in just nine games played, which ranks tied for 4th in the NAHL. "Johnny is a guy that we'll rely on heavily this season. Beyond scoring points, he brings exceptional leadership both on and off the ice. Johnny's story is a great one as he has only played one year of forward and has since established himself as a premier scorer in our league,” said Minot head coach Marty Murray.
2nd Star: Tyler Jeanson, F, Minot Minotauros
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tucker DeYoung, F, Aberdeen Wings – Brady Heppner, F, Minnesota Magicians – Will Ulrich, G, Minnesota Magicians
East Division Star of the Week: Adam Pilewicz, defenseman, Johnstown Tomahawks
Johnstown Tomahawks defenseman Adam Pilewicz, 19, helped his club take three of a possible six points during a weekend road trip. The native of Sewickly, PA, had seven shots on goal and recorded four points during the three games against the Aston Rebels and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. After being held off the scoreboard in a Friday night loss in Aston, Pilewicz (6’1/195) recorded an assist in a 4-3 overtime loss against the Knights on Saturday. His best game of the weekend came on Sunday, when he had a goal and two assists in a 5-4 overtime win in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. “Adam really came alive this weekend for us. As a first year d-man he has progressed each week improving his game and becoming more adjusted to this league. With some different situations occurring to our d-men, his role increased heavily this weekend and he ran with it. I am very proud of the way he elevated his game and I look forward to watching him continue to progress for us all season,” said Johnstown head coach Mike Letizia.
2nd Star: Dean Balsamo, F, Aston Rebels
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Victor Bergstrom, D, Aston Rebels – Luke Lynch, F Johnstown Tomahawks
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Tommy Nappier, goalie, Springfield Jr. Blues
Thanks to a successful three-game road trip, the Springfield Jr. Blues now are tied for 2nd place in the Midwest Division. Leading the way has been 17-year-old goalie Tommy Nappier, who had another strong showing this weekend in his appearances. On Friday, Nappier (6’3/195) made 29 saves in a 2-1 win in Janesville against the Jets. On Sunday, the native of St. Louis, MO, made 43 saves in a 4-3 shootout loss in Coulee Region. For the season, Nappier remains undefeated in regulation with a sparkling 5-0-1 record and his 94.1% save percentage is currently tops in the NAHL. “Tommy has stepped in and been solid for us all season. He came up big and made some big saves to get the win in Janesville along with have another solid outing in Coulee Region to cap off a very good three-game weekend,” said Jr. Blues head coach Tony Zasowski.
2nd Star: Casey Gilling, F, Minnesota Wilderness
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Cam Cook, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Jeff Fasegha, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Ryner Gorowsky, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Trevor Stone, F, Springfield Jr. Blues - Tyler Tomberlin, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Alex Toscano, F, Minnesota Wilderness
South Division Star of the Week: Justin Kapelmaster, goalie, Wichita Falls Wildcats
Sitting atop the South Division is the Wichita Falls Wildcats, thanks in part to their convincing weekend road sweep of the IceRays in Corpus Christi. Getting the start and wins in both contests was 19-year-old goalie Justin Kapelmaster. The native of Coral Springs, FL, allowed just two goals all weekend on 57 shots as he moved his record on the season to a perfect 6-0-0 mark. On Thursday night, Kapelmaster (6’1/195) made 21 saves in a 4-1 win. On Friday night, he stopped 34 of 35 shots in a 7-1 win. Kapelmaster currently ranks tied for 1st in wins with six and ranks 5th in both goals against average (1.67) and save percentage (93.6%). "We recruited Justin very hard because of his success at the junior level and his ability to take a team a long way. We're excited he's already become comfortable in this league. We couldn't be happier with the adjustment he's been able to make in such a short amount of time. Not only have we been thrilled with his ability to lead, but his ability to win games for us, as well,” said Wichita Falls head coach John LaFontaine.
2nd Star: Gunner Rivers, G, Odessa Jackalopes
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): JB Baker, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Joey Fallon, F, Lone Star Brahmas – Jake Houston, D, Amarillo Bulls – Dominic Lutz, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Martin Mellberg, F, Lone Star Brahmas – Aleksi Poikola, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Keenan Sabatini, D, Amarillo Bulls – Hampus Sjodahl, F, Odessa Jackalopes