The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton Hockey for the week ending February 7, 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: Griff Jeszka, forward, Brookings Blizzard
The Brookings Blizzard stayed in the race for the final playoff spot in the Central Division with a weekend split of road games against the Austin Bruins and Minnesota Magicians. Forward Griff Jeszka, 20, was one of the main point producers for Brookings as the native of Muskego, WI totaled four points in the two games. On Friday, Jeszka assisted on the only Blizzard goal of the night in a 6-1 loss in Austin. On Saturday night, Jeszka (6’1/195) had three assists and was a +3 in a 5-2 win in Richfield against the Magicians, which kept the Blizzard in 4th place. For the season, Jeszka leads the Blizzard in scoring with 35 points in 41 games played. “Griff continues to work harder than everyone else on and off the ice he is the first one on the ice and the last of off. The extra work is paying off for him, as he has been our best player over the last couple months,” said Blizzard head coach Dan Daikawa.
2nd Star: Peter Thome, G, Aberdeen Wings
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Aaron Herdt, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Lucas Murray, G, Minot Minotauros – Max Reisinger, F, Minot Minotauros – Hunter Shepard, G, Bismarck Bobcats – Matt Sherman, D, Minnesota Magicians
East Division Star of the Week: Michael Merulla, forward, Aston Rebels
Another week and another East Division Star of the Week honor for Aston Rebels forward Michael Merulla. The 20-year-old native of Kennett Square, PA, played in just one game over the weekend, but he made it count as he scored four goals and added an assist in a 7-1 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights on Saturday. The four goals in a single game tied an NAHL season-high and Merulla (6’0/190) also had the game-winning goal. Merulla is riding a six-game point streak and has 12 points in his last three games. “Mike just continues to get better and better. It is very surprising he remains uncommitted at this point. I could not be more proud of the strides he has made in his game and off the ice since his arrival back in October,” said Aston head coach Joe Coombs.
2nd Star: Bruno Birzitis, F, New Jersey Titans
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ryan Cusin, F, Aston Rebels – Roberts Smits, F, New Jersey Titans
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Kyle Meeh, defenseman, Springfield Jr. Blues
The Springfield Jr. Blues moved into 3rd place over the weekend with a home sweep of the Kenai River Brown Bears. Defenseman Kyle Meeh, 20, had a big weekend from the blueline as the native of St. Louis, MO, recorded four points and was a +6 in the two wins. On Friday, Meeh (6’1/190) had a pair of assists in a 6-4 win and on Saturday, Meeh scored the game-winning goal and added an assist in a 4-0 shutout win. For the season, the NA3HL and St. Louis Jr. Blues alum has 19 points in 42 games played. “Kyle has been an anchor for us all season on the blue line. This weekend he was rewarded for doing things right all season with four points in two games, including the game winning goal Saturday night,” said Jr. Blues head coach Tony Zasowski.
2nd Star: Trevor Stone, F, Springfield Jr. Blues
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ryan Bloom, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Todd Burgess, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Scott Corbett, F, Coulee Region Chill – Taylor Fernandez, F, Janesville Jets - Josef Ingman, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Larry Jungwirth, F, Coulee Region Chill – Chase Munroe, G, Minnesota Wilderness – Shane Sellar, F, Janesville Jets
South Division Star of the Week: John O’Connor, defenseman, Topeka RoadRunners
Topeka RoadRunners defenseman John O’Connor, 20, helped his club to a weekend road sweep of the Amarillo Bulls. The native of Moorhead, MN had one of his best weekends of the year as he helped out of four points (1 goal, 3 assists) in two games and was also a +4. On Friday, O’Connor (6’3/175) had an assist in a 6-4 win and on Saturday, he had the game-winning goal and two more assists in a 4-2 win. For the season O’Connor has 16 points in 45 games played for the RoadRunners. “John has been very steady for us all season long. He has been able to play in all key situations and has really evolved into a leader on our blue line. We are happy to see his consistent efforts pay off this past weekend in helping the team earn hard fought road wins,” said Topeka head coach Josh Kamrass.
2nd Star: Alex Berardinelli, F, Lone Star Brahmas
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Trent Dillinger, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Tyler Gernhofer, F, Amarillo Bulls – Corbin Kaczperski, G, Lone Star Brahmas – Dryden McKay, G, Corpus Christi IceRays – George Mika, F, Amarillo Bulls – Michael Rounds, D, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Hampus Sjodahl, F, Odessa Jackalopes – Cam Strong, F, Topeka RoadRunners