The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey for the week ending January 1, 2017. The Bauer Hockey Divisional Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2016-17 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: Forbes Ploszaj, goaltender, Aberdeen Wings
The Wings resurgence and climb up the Central Division standings can be linked to the addition of veteran junior goalie Forbes Ploszaj. The 20-year-old from Gilbert, Arizona, provided another example of that this past weekend as the Wings swept a home-and-home series against the Brookings Blizzard. Ploszaj faced a total of 62 shots and made 57 saves in the two wins, which included 24 saves in a 4-3 overtime win in Brookings on Friday and 33 saves in a 3-2 home win on Saturday. In nine games with the Wings since late October, Ploszaj (6’1/185) has a 6-3-0 record. “Forbes has been a great addition to the Wings. His success comes from his pro like approach and putting in the work needed each and every day,” said Wings head coach Scott Langer.
2nd Star: Tyler Jeanson, F, Minot Minotauros
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): AJ Drobot, F, Austin Bruins – Kevin Fitzgerald, F, Aberdeen Wings – Derek Frentz, F, Minot Minotauros – Cooper Haar, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Dylan Mills, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Jared Resseguie, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Louis Roehl, D, Minnesota Wilderness – Alex Schilling, G, Austin Bruins
East Division Star of the Week: Drew Hotte, goaltender, Johnstown Tomahawks
Johnstown Tomahawks goalie Drew Hotte, 20, was nearly perfect this weekend as he helped Johnstown to a weekend home sweep of Fairbanks, which ran the Tomahawks current winning streak to 8 straight games. The 6’1/185 lbs. native of Gwynedd, Pennsylvania, stopped 58 of a possible 59 shots this weekend, which also included a 3-0 shutout on Saturday, where Hotte stopped all 32 shots. Hotte has not lost a game since November 19th, winning six straight appearances. “We came off a very long holiday break, so getting the performance we did from Drew was outstanding. We were fortunate to find some offense in the first game of the series, but there were plenty of chances that Drew came up with some big saves to keep the game where it was. In the second game of the weekend, we got an early 1-0 lead and Drew was instrumental in keeping the game where it was coming up with numerous big saves throughout the game leading to a shutout. I was extremely proud of Drew and our club to come out of a long Christmas break and picking up a sweep on home ice,” said Tomahawks head coach Mike Letizia.
2nd Star: Donovan Ott, F, Johnstown Tomahawks
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Paul Maust, F, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights – Reed Robinson, F, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Brad Arvanitis, goaltender, Coulee Region Chill
Newly acquired goalie Brad Arvanitis, 19, made the most of his NAHL debut this past weekend as the netminder from Holliston, Massachusetts, helped the Chill to a weekend split with division-leading Janesville and in the process snap the Jets seven-game winning streak. Arvanitis (6’2/175) faced a total of 78 shots in the two games and made 73 saves. That included 37 saves in a 2-1 loss on Friday and 36 saves in a 4-3 shootout win on the road on Saturday in Janesville, where he stopped all three shootout attempts by the Jets. “Brad was great this past weekend in his NAHL debut against a very good divisional opponent. We are excited about his potential and look forward to seeing what he is capable of moving forward,” said Chill head coach Ryan Egan.
2nd Star: Isaac Theisen, F, Coulee Region Chill
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Kyle Mayhew, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Nolan Schaeffer, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
South Division Star of the Week: Tomas Vomacka, goaltender, Corpus Christi IceRays
Corpus Christi goalie Tomas Vomacka helped his team to a mid-week home sweep of the visiting Shreveport Mudbugs. The 17-year-old native of Trutnov, Czech Republic, was outstanding in two wins as he stopped 61 of a possible 64 shots. Vomacka (6’3/172) made 33 saves in a 3-2 win on Wednesday and made another 28 saves in a 3-1 win on Thursday. He his last five appearances, Vomacka has allowed just seven goals as the IceRays have not lost a game in regulation since December 9th. “Tomas did an outstanding job this week as he has done most of the season. His work ethic in practice and his competitiveness in games matched with his high talent level is a great combination for a young goalie. Our players did a good job defending, but any breakdown Tomas was there with the big save at the right time,” said IceRays goalie Brad Flynn.
2nd Star: Ricky Carballo, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jonathan Bendorf, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats - Alec Calvaruso, G, Lone Star Brahmas – John DeRouche, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Kieran Durgan, F, Shreveport Mudbugs – Gueorgui Feduolov, F, Shreveport Mudbugs – Peyton Frantti, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Garrett Hallford, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Steven Ipri, F, Amarillo Bulls – Carson Kelley, F, Lone Star Brahmas – George Mika, F, Amarillo Bulls – Chase Thudium, F, Odessa Jackalopes – Zach Zech, F, Odessa Jackalopes.