The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced its Players of the Week, sponsored by SBK Hockey, for the week ending Nov. 28.
SBK HOCKEY/NORTH PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Chris Ciotti - St. Louis Bandits
St. Louis forward Chris Ciotti put home five goals and three assists as the Bandits skated to a three-game sweep over Janesville. On Friday, the Romeo, Mich., native tallied two goals and two assists, including one on Patrick Sheehan’s game-winning marker, in a 5-1 triumph. The next night, the 20-year-old struck for two more goals as the Bandits edged the Jets, 4-3. Ciotti scored another goal and assisted on Kevin Walters’ game-winner in a 2-0 victory on Sunday. The NAHL Top Prospects Tournament selection was also a plus-4 on the weekend.
“Chris was exceptional last weekend and has been a consistent leader this season,” said Bandits assistant coach Trevor Stewart. “He produces offensively and is responsible defensively. He’ll make a very good Division I hockey player."
HONORABLE MENTION: Chicago forward Gabe Gervais; Janesville forward Ross Mauermann; Motor City forward Andrew Graves; Port Huron forward Jeremy Humenny; St. Louis defensemen Patrick Sheehan and Kevin Zehnder; Traverse City defenseman Connor Schmidt
SBK HOCKEY/SOUTH PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Charles Baldwin - New Mexico Mustangs
New Mexico forward Charles Baldwin connected for five goals and two assists as the Mustangs celebrated a two-game sweep over Wichita Falls. On Saturday, the Santee, Calif., native notched the game-winning goal in a 4-3 triumph. The next night, the 18-year-old unleashed for four goals and a pair of assists as the Mustangs outlasted the Wildcats, 8-6. He was also a plus-4 on the weekend.
“It was awesome to see Charles use his speed and capitalize on his chances,” said Mustangs head coach Bill Muckalt. “Without question, he was the catalyst for our team last weekend.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Texas forward Rock Einersen; Topeka forward Ryan White
SBK HOCKEY/CENTRAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
David Ripple - Coulee Region Chill
Coulee Region forward David Ripple struck for two goals and three assists as the Chill skated to a 2-1 record last week. After picking up an assist in a 6-1 loss to the Janesville Jets on Wednesday, the Winter Springs, Fla., native registered two more assists, including one on Lucas Dillon’s game-winning goal, in the Chill’s 5-1 triumph over the Austin Bruins on Thanksgiving. The 19-year-old tallied two goals on Saturday - a 4-3 victory over the Alexandria Blizzard. He was also a plus-4 for the week.
“David is a big, strong forward who likes to play in front of the net,” said Chill head coach Garrett Strot. “He continues to get better every game.”
SBK HOCKEY/WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jake Williams - Alaska Avalanche
Alaska defenseman Jake Williams rang up two goals and three assists as the Avalanche skated to a three-game sweep over Fresno. On Wednesday, the Duluth, Minn., native registered a goal and an assist in a 7-5 victory. Two nights later, the 20-year-old picked up an assist as the Avalanche downed the Monsters, 4-1. Williams scored the game-winning goal and added another assist in a 3-2 triumph on Saturday. The NAHL Top Prospects Tournament selection was also a plus-4 for the week.
“Jake is beginning to display his abilities at a high level,” said Avalanche head coach Brian Huebel. “He’s taking care of both ends of the ice and, as a defenseman, has been a big impact player for us.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Alaska forward Matt Friese
SBK HOCKEY/GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK
Tom Comunale - St. Louis Bandits
St. Louis goaltender Tom Comunale backstopped the Bandits to a pair of wins in his two starts against Janesville, turning aside 34 of 35 shots. On Friday, the Pittsburgh native made 15 saves in a 5-1 victory. Two nights later, the 19-year-old stopped all 19 shots he faced as the Bandits blanked the Jets, 2-0.
"Tom has steadily improved this season,” said Bandits assistant coach Trevor Stewart. “He competes hard and his confidence is continuing to grow.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Chicago’s Peter Mason; Texas’ Jimmy Kruger