The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey for the week ending March 19, 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: Austin Park, goaltender, Minot Minotauros
The Minot Minotauros closed in on a division title this past weekend with two wins on the road in Austin against the Bruins. In goal both nights was netminder Austin Park, 18, who is the reigning NAHL goaltender of the month. The 5’11/174 lbs. native of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, kept his hot streak going with two more wins, allowing just four goals on 58 shots during the weekend. On Friday, Park made 26 saves in a 3-1 win. On Saturday, he made 29 saves through regulation and overtime and then stopped both Bruins shooters in a 4-3 shootout win. For the season, Park has a sparkling 14-3-1 record and ranks 4th in the NAHL in save percentage at 92.8%. “Austin continued his strong play over the weekend. He has made huge strides in the New Year and is playing with a lot of confidence. His play has earned him more responsibility and we feel we have a strong tandem in goal going into the playoffs,” said Minot head coach Marty Murray.
2nd Star: Carter Roo, F, Aberdeen Wings
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alex Adams, F, Minot Minotauros – Nick Altmann, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Zach Kennedy, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Jake Kucharski, G, Austin Bruins – Michael Mahan, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Tim Nicksic, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Joey Strada, F, Aberdeen Wings
East Division Star of the Week: Nick Bruce, forward, Johnstown Tomahawks
Johnstown forward Nick Bruce, 20, helped his team to a weekend home split against the 1st place Aston Rebels. The 6’2/178 lbs. native of Fall River, Nova Scotia, had four points (3 goals, 1 assists) in the two games. On Friday, Bruce had a goal and assisted on the overtime-winner in a 2-1 win. On Saturday, he had both of Johnstown’s goals in a 3-2 loss. For the season, Bruce, who played in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, is tied for the team lead with 50 points. “Nick had an outstanding weekend for our hockey team. We obviously wanted to get wins on both nights against a very good Aston team, but Nick contributed and factored in on every one of our team's goals in the two games. He was a difference maker in all three zones, he played extremely hard and given some of the key players that are missing from our lineup, he brought his game to a new level. He has shown this season that he is an elite player and I look forward to seeing his continued success over the last few weeks of the season and during our playoff run,” said Johnstown head coach Mike Letizia.
2nd Star: Donovan Ott, F, Johnstown Tomahawks
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Erik Gordon, goaltender, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
Fairbanks Ice Dogs goalie Erik Gordon, 18, was literally perfect this weekend as he got the start in both games against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. The native of Duluth, Georgia, posted shutouts in both wins and in the process, stopped all 43 shots that came his way in the two games. On Friday, Gordon (5’10/160), made 21 saves in a 7-0 win and on Saturday, he made 22 saves in a 6-0 win. Since joining the Ice Dogs in February, Gordon has put together a 9-1 record with three shutouts and a 94.7% save percentage. “Erik played very well, but our team defense was very good in front of him. That is the type of defense and goaltending we are going to have to have if we hope to have playoff success. Erik made the big saves when called upon this weekend,” said Fairbanks head coach Trevor Stewart.
2nd Star: Ivan Prosvetov, G, Minnesota Magicians
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Hampus Eriksson, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Jordan Muzzillo, D, Springfield Jr. Blues – Brandon Puricelli, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Caleb Schroer, F, Coulee Region Chill – Joey Sofo, F, Coulee Region Chill
South Division Star of the Week: Ryan Snowden, goaltender, Topeka RoadRunners
The Topeka RoadRunners took two of three games this past weekend while in Alaska against the Kenai River Brown Bears. Goaltender Ryan Snowden, 19, played very well on the trip as he got the call in two of the three games. The 6’3/179lbs. native of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, faced a total of 69 shots in his two starts and made 66 saves. On Thursday, Snowden, who played in the 2017 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, made 32 saves and allowed just two goals in a 3-1 loss. On Saturday, he was even better, making 34 saves in a 4-1 win. The rookie netminder has been a bright spot for the RoadRunners this season, which includes a 91.1% save percentage. “Ryan has been one of our best players since January and has given our team a chance to win every night. This weekend was no different. Ryan has learned a lot about what it takes to compete at the next level and his competitiveness and desire to be the best will only help him in that area,” said Topeka head coach Josh Kamrass.
2nd Star: Andrew Lane, D, Shreveport Mudbugs
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alex Frye, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Steven Ipri, F, Amarillo Bulls – Carson Kelley, F, Lone Star Brahmas – Brad Power, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – John Roberts, G, Shreveport Mudbugs – David Thomson, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Brendan Walkom, F, Amarillo Bulls – Jake Zielinski, D, Lone Star Brahmas