FRISCO, TEXAS - The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced its Players of the Week, sponsored by SBK Hockey, for the week ending Oct. 10.
SBK HOCKEY NORTH PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Michael Szmatula - Traverse City North Stars
Traverse City forward Michael Szmatula struck for two goals and an assist as the North Stars skated to a two-game sweep over Port Huron. On Friday, the Commerce Township, Mich., native rang up a pair of goals, including the game-winner, in a 7-1 victory. The next night, the 18-year-old assisted on forward Michal Toman’s game-winning marker as the North Stars bested the Fighting Falcons, 5-3. He was also a plus-5 on the weekend.
“Mike was one of our hardest-working players last weekend and it showed in his performance,” said North Stars head coach Anthony Palumbo. “He gave us great energy and his line was a big part of our success.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Chicago forward Vincent Somma; Janesville forward Connor McBride; Port Huron forward Jeremy Humenny; Springfield forward Ethan Nauman
SBK HOCKEY SOUTH PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ralfs Freibergs - Texas Tornado
Texas defenseman Ralfs Freibergs recorded six assists as the Tornado skated to a two-game sweep over Amarillo. On Friday, the Riga, Latvia, native picked up an assist on Rock Einersen’s game-tying goal in a 3-2 victory. The next night, the 19-year-old came alive for five more assists, including one on Einersen’s game-winning goal, as the Tornado doubled up the Bulls, 8-4.
“Ralfs has great vision and the ability to create offense for his teammates,” said Tornado head coach Tony Curtale. “I believe he’s one of the most skilled defensemen in the NAHL and will play at a very high level one day.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Topeka forwards Michael Hill, Andrew O’Leary and Ryan White
SBK HOCKEY CENTRAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Zac Frischmon - Coulee Region Chill
Coulee Region forward Zac Frischmon put home two goals and two assists as the Chill split a two-game series against Aberdeen. On Friday, the Blaine, Minn., native tallied a goal and assisted on forward David Ripple’s game-winning marker in a 4-2 victory. The next night, the 19-year-old came through with another goal and an assist as the Chill fell to the Wings, 6-4. He was also a plus-2 on the weekend.
“Zac has really taken his game to a new level this season,” said Chill head coach Garrett Strot. “He’s getting a lot of attention from Division I schools right now, and it’s well deserved.”
SBK HOCKEY WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Brandon Brossoit - Alaska Avalanche
Alaska forward Brandon Brossoit collected two goals and two assists as the Avalanche celebrated a three-game sweep over Dawson Creek. On Thursday, the Los Alamitos, Calif., native recorded the game-winning goal in a 2-1 triumph. The next night, the 18-year-old connected for another game-winning marker as the Avalanche again downed the Rage, 2-1. Brossoit wrapped up the series with two assists, including one on forward Jacob Barber’s game-winning goal, in a 4-1 victory. He was also a plus-4 for the weekend.
“Brandon scored some timely goals for us and also set up some others,” said Avalanche head coach Brian Huebel. “His point production and overall play was very consistent and we were able to use him in a variety of situations to help us get three wins.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Fresno forward Josh Obregon and defenseman Walker Hyland
SBK HOCKEY GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK
Ryan Faragher - Bismarck Bobcats
Bismarck goaltender Ryan Faragher backstopped the Bobcats to a two-game sweep over Austin, turning aside 51 of 52 shots. On Friday, the Fort Francis, Ontario, native made all 25 saves as the Bobcats blanked the Bruins, 2-0. The next night, the 20-year-old Dartmouth College (ECAC) recruit stopped 26 shots in a 3-1 victory.
“Ryan has been a huge key to our success early in the season,” said Bobacats head coach Layne Sedevie. “He's emerging as one of the best goaltenders in the league and gives us a chance to win every time he’s in the net.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Alaska’s Landon Peterson; Fresno’s Louis Puig; Springfield’s Andrew Martin; Texas’ Jimmy Kruger; Topeka’s Eric Rohrkemper; Traverse City’s Tyler Marble