The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton Hockey for the week ending February 14, 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: Peter Thome, goaltender, Aberdeen Wings
Wings goalie Peter Thome, 18, who will be at this week’s NAHL Top Prospects, had a good week to help the Wings pick up three of a possible four points in two home games. The native of Minneapolis, MN and University of North Dakota commit, faced 62 shots in games against Brookings and Minot and made a total of 59 saves. On Friday, Thome (6’3/195) stopped all 32 shots through regulation and OT and ultimately lost 1-0 in a shootout. The next night, he made 27 saves in a 4-3 overtime win over 1st place Minot. Thome’s 92.9% save percentage ranks 2nd in the NAHL. “Peter has been very solid for us, in particular since the holiday break. He has been coming up those critical key saves at key moments of the game. He is a competitive kid who practices hard and strives to improve his game everyday,” said Aberdeen head coach Francis Anzalone.
2nd Star: Hunter Shepard, G, Bismarck Bobcats
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jackson Graalum, F, Aberdeen Wings - Tyler Jeanson, F, Minot Minotauros – Gunner Rivers, G, Minot Minotauros – Alex Strand, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Will Ulrich, G, Minnesota Magicians
East Division Star of the Week: Spencer Wright, goaltender, New Jersey Titans
The New Jersey Titans picked up three wins last week and in goal for all three was 18-year-old Spencer Wright. The native of Farmington Hills, MI, started and won all three games against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights, facing a total of 126 shots in the three wins and making 120 saves. In a special Tuesday day game, Wright (6’2/170) stopped all 47 shots that came his way in a 4-0 road shutout of the Knights. It was Wright’s first career NAHL shutout. On Friday, he made 40 saves in a 4-3 win and on Saturday in was 33 saves in a 4-3 shootout win. In 22 games played this season, Wright has a 12-9 record with a 92.0% save percentage, which ranks in the NAHL’s Top 10. “Spencer has played a big role in our current win streak. He has established himself as a NAHL goalie this season and we are fortunate to have him while Jack Berry heals from injury,” said Titans head coach Rich McKenna.
2nd Star: Michael Gelatt, F, New Jersey Titans
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Adam Winborg, forward, Janesville Jets
The Janesville Jets moved into 3rd place in the Midwest Division thanks to a home sweep of the Kenai River Brown Bears. Forward Adam Winborg, 20, had a productive weekend as the native of Stockholm, Sweden, posted four points in the sweep. On Friday, Winborg (6’2/200) had an assist in a 6-3 win and on Saturday he had two goals and an assist in a 6-2 win. Winborg, who will be playing in the 2016 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for the Midwest Team, ranks 2nd on the Jets roster in scoring with 36 points in 41 games played. “Adam had a lot of confidence this weekend and that gave us a lot of momentum. Whether it was offensive production, blocked shots or back-checking, he did a little bit of everything, which is what we need to be successful. He is the type of player that guys follow and we hope to see this type of continued success from him,” said Jets head coach Joe Dibble.
2nd Star: Justin Kendall, F, Coulee Region Chill
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Mitchell Baumann, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Brennan Blaszczak, F, Springfield Jr. Blues - Ryan Bloom, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Kevin Dineen, F, Coulee Region Chill – Taylor Fernandez, F, Janesville Jets – Brian Hurley, D, Minnesota Wilderness – Matt Long, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Jakob Stridsberg, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
South Division Star of the Week: Dryden McKay, goaltender, Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi IceRays and NAHL veteran goalie Dryden McKay had a good weekend in goal to help his team try and stay in the thick of the NAHL playoff race. The 18-year-old native of Downers Grove, IL, made three appearances in a weekend home series against the Lone Star Brahmas. On Thursday, McKay (5’11/170) stopped all 30 shots that came his way for his first shutout of the season in a 3-0 win. The next night, he made 30 saves in a 4-3 shootout loss. On Saturday, McKay came into the game in relief of starting goalie Graham Hunt and stopped all 14 shots he saw in a 4-2 loss. For the weekend, McKay stopped 74 of the 77 shots that came his way. “Dryden had a great weekend against a very good team in Lone Star. He was the main reason we had a chance and that we won on Thursday,” said IceRays head coach Jon Becanic.
2nd Star: Joey Molinaro, F, Amarillo Bulls
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Carter Johnson, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Dominic Lutz, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Bud Madej, D, Lone Star Brahmas – Juho Niku, G, Topeka RoadRunners – Coale Norris, F, Amarillo Bulls