The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced its Players of the Week, sponsored by SBK Hockey, for the week ending Oct. 3.
SBK HOCKEY NORTH PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jim Albrecht - Chicago Hitmen
Chicago forward Jim Albrecht connected for three goals and three assists as the Hitmen celebrated a two-game sweep over Port Huron. On Friday, the Geneva, Ill., native unleashed for a hat trick, including the game-winning marker, and two assists in a 13-3 victory. The next night, the 19-year-old picked up another assist as the Hitmen downed the Fighting Falcons, 5-1. He was also a plus-3 on the weekend.
“Jim’s play has established him as a bona fide top player in the NAHL,” said Hitmen head coach Steve Pronger. “He gets better each game and the example and leadership he sets for his team will no doubt put him in a position to be noticed by top NCAA teams."
HONORABLE MENTION: Janesville forward Jake Horton; Port Huron forward Adam Frank; St. Louis defenseman Grant Gettinger
SBK HOCKEY SOUTH PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Sean Keane - Wichita Falls Wildcats
Wichita Falls forward Sean Keane struck for three goals and two assists as the Wildcats picked up three of four points in two games against Corpus Christi. On Friday, the Rockford, Mich., native picked up a pair of assists in a 4-3 shootout loss. The next night, the 19-year-old recorded a hat trick, including the game-winning marker, as the Wildcats doubled up the IceRays, 8-4. He was also a plus-1 on the weekend.
“Veteran leadership has been the key to Sean’s success this season, and he should draw the attention of college coaches because of his strength, size and quick shot release,” said Wildcats head coach Mark LeRose. “He’s our leading scorer for a reason.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Amarillo forward Cody Freeman; Texas forward Rock Einersen; Wichita Falls forward Jason McAloon
SBK HOCKEY CENTRAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Tyler Richter - Bismarck Bobcats
Bismarck forward Tyler Richter recorded two goals and an assist as the Bobcats went 1-1. On Friday, the Bismarck native notched a goal and an assist in a 5-3 loss to the Aberdeen Wings. The next night, the 19-year-old put home the game-winning goal as the Bobcats downed the Alexandria Blizzard, 5-2. He was also a plus-1 on the weekend.
“Tyler has worked extremely hard so far this season,” said Bobcats head coach Layne Sedevie. “With his skill and work ethic, I think he’ll have a great year for us.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Bismarck defenseman Dalton Spicer
SBK HOCKEY WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Blake Huppert - Alaska Avalanche
Alaska forward Blake Huppert came through with two goals and two assists as the Avalanche split a two-game series with Fresno. On Friday, the Wasilla, Alaska, native rang up a goal and an assist in a 5-3 triumph. The next night, the 20-year-old put forth another one-goal, one-assist effort as the Avalanche fell to the Monsters, 3-2. He was also a plus-4 for the weekend.
“Blake controlled the play when he was on the ice and was able to produce for the team and his line,” said Alaska head coach Brian Huebel. “He showed last weekend with his speed and decision-making why he’s a Division I-caliber player.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Fairbanks forward Tyler Voigt
SBK HOCKEY GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK
Nikifor Szczerba - Amarillo Bulls
Amarillo goaltender Nikifor Szczerba backstopped the Bulls to a two-game sweep over New Mexico, turning aside 58 of 60 shots. On Friday, the Poland native made 38 saves in an 8-2 victory. The next night, the 20-year-old stopped all 20 shots he faced as the Bulls blanked the Mustangs, 5-0.
“Nikifor has been excellent in net,” said Bulls assistant coach Rocky Russo. “He’s poised and smart and gives our team confidence every time he steps in the crease.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Bismarck’s Ryan Faragher; Chicago’s Nick Kohn; Faribanks’ Joe Phillippi; Kenai River’s Josh Benton; Port Huron’s Anthony Jacaruso; Texas’ Jim Kruger