The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton Hockey for the week ending January 17, 2016. 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
The Austin Bruins picked up two big wins over the weekend in a home-and-home series with the Brookings Blizzard. Forward Jade Miller, 20, made an impact with five points over the weekend, including four goals. The native of Minot, ND, began his weekend by scoring four goals, which tied an NAHL single-game high in a 7-0 home win on Friday. The next night, Miller (5’9/180) picked up an assist in a 3-2 overtime win on the road in Brookings. For the season, Miller is 2nd in team scoring for the Bruins with 30 points in 36 games played. “Jade has stepped up and lead our team on the ice this season as he continues to play in critical roes both offensively and defensively. His scoring ability has been a big factor in our success this season,” said Austin head coach Kyle Grabowski.
2nd Star: Pierce Crawford, F, Minnesota Magicians
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jake Cass, D, Minnesota Magicians – Derek Frentz, F, Minot Minotauros - Aaron Herdt, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Christian Mohs, F, Minot Minotauros - Matt Pulver, F, Aberdeen Wings – Kyle Siemers, D, Aberdeen Wings - Hunter Shepard, G, Bismarck Bobcats
East Division Star of the Week: Niko Coffman, defenseman, Johnstown Tomahawks
The Tomahawks picked up two important road wins over the weekend and defenseman Niko Coffman, 20, was a major contributor. The three-year NAHL veteran totaled three points and was a +5 in the two wins. On Friday, the native of Chelsea, MI, had a goal in a 5-2 win in Aston against the Rebels. The next night, Coffman (5’11/180) had a goal and an assist in a 6-4 win in New Jersey against the Titans. The veteran of 125 career NAHL regular season games has 13 points in 28 games played with the Tomahawks this season. “This was a very successful weekend for us against the two teams just ahead of us in the division by coming away with two wins on the road. Niko was instrumental in both victories, both defensively and chipping in offensively with two goals and an assist over the weekend. He was great defensively this weekend as well with a +5 over two games. I was happy with our team game over the weekend and Niko was right in the middle of it with his two-way game,” said Johnstown head coach Mike Letizia.
2nd Star: Bruno Birzitis, F, New Jersey Titans
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Casey Linkenheld, F, Johnstown Tomahawks
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Reggie Lutz, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
The 1st place Fairbanks Ice Dogs maintained their lead in the Midwest with a convincing home sweep of the Springfield Jr. Blues and forward Reggie Lutz, 19, was the latest player to step up. The native of Elk River, MN, had a five-point weekend, which included four goals. Lutz (5’10/175) began the weekend with a goal on Friday in a 3-2 win. On Saturday, he exploded for a hat-trick and added an assist in a 7-0 win. For the season, Lutz has 27 points in 36 games played. “Reggie had a great weekend, really contributing on Saturday evening. He is slowly coming out of his shell and we look forward to his continued development,” said Ice Dogs head coach Trevor Stewart.
2nd Star: Dawson DiPietro, F, Janesville Jets
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Connor Bucsis, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Ashton Calder, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Dominik Florian, F, Coulee Region Chill – Kip Hoffman, F, Janesville Jets – Tommy Nappier, G, Springfield Jr. Blues – Isaac Theisen, F, Coulee Region Chill – Tyler Tomberlin, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
South Division Star of the Week: Marshall Bowery, forward, Topeka RoadRunners
The Topeka RoadRunners got back on track this past weekend with three home wins in a sweep of the Odessa Jackalopes. 19-year-old forward Marshall Bowery had his best weekend of the season as the native of Rochester Hills, MI, went off for four points and was a +6 in the three victories. After going scoreless in a 4-3 win on Friday, Bowery (5’10/182) had two goals (his first two of the season) in a 4-1 win on Saturday. On Sunday, Bowery had two assists in a 6-4 win. Of his eight points to date, four of them came in the last two games alone. “Marshall played very well in all three games and we were really excited to see him step up to this level. He is the ultimate team guy and does whatever we ask him to do. A few weeks ago, he was playing defense because we needed a steady player back there and now he has risen to the level on contributing up front in a consistent fashion. We are excited about the progress he is making has a player,” said Topeka head coach Josh Kamrass.
2nd Star: Graham Hunt, G, Corpus Christi IceRays
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Austin Beaulieu, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Alex Berardinelli, F, Lone Star Brahmas – Ryan Burnett, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Andrew Hart, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Carter Johnson, F, Corpus Christi IceRays