The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey for the week ending October 1, 2017. The Bauer Hockey Divisional Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2017-18 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: Gino Lucia, forward, Minnesota Wilderness
In their lone game of the weekend, the Minnesota Wilderness picked up their first win of the season with a 4-2 win in Austin against the Bruins on Saturday night. Wilderness forward Gino Lucia, 19, had two goals in the win, including the game-winner, and was also a +1. The 5’11/180 lbs. forward from St. Cloud, Minnesota has five points, including four goals, in his team’s first five games of the season. “Gino played exceptional hockey on the defensive side of the puck, which translated into opportunities on the offensive side of the puck. We look for him to continue his production on both ends of the ice,” said Wilderness head coach Tim Madsen.
2nd Star: Joe Strada, F, Aberdeen Wings
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Trevor Micucci, G, Minnesota Wilderness – Ryan Ullan, G, Bismarck Bobcats
East Division Star of the Week: Carter Wooley, forward, Philadelphia Rebels
The Philadelphia Rebels remained the lone unbeaten team in the NAHL with a weekend sweep of the Johnstown Tomahawks as the Rebels opened up play in their new home at the Class of 1923 Arena. Forward Carter Wooley, 20, played a big role in the sweep with three points (1 goal, 2 assists) during the weekend. The 6’0/185 lbs. native of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, had an assist in Saturday’s 3-1 win and on Sunday he had a goal and an assist in a 5-2 win. The points were Wooley’s first of the season. “Carter has been a great player for two years and it’s nice for him to finally be getting some recognition for his hard work,” said Rebels head coach Joe Coombs.
2nd Star: Justin Jallen, F, Northeast Generals
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ryan Bogan, D, Northeast Generals – Justin Smith, D, Philadelphia Rebels
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Blake Ripley, forward, Janesville Jets
Janesville Jets forward Blake Ripley, 19, helped his team to a weekend home sweep of the Minnesota Magicians to remain in 1st place in the Midwest Division with a 6-1 record. The 6’0/180 lbs. native of Waunakee, Wisconsin, had a goal in regulation and then the shootout winner in Friday’s come-from-behind 5-4 shootout win. On Saturday, Ripley scored another goal in a 4-2 win. The goals were Ripley’s first of the season. “Blake really stepped it up and played very well this weekend. He played in key situations when I needed him to and he responded in a very positive way this past weekend. From scoring on the power play to blocking shots on the penalty kill,” said Jets head coach Gary Shuchuk.
2nd Star: Luke Posner, F, Kenai River Brown Bears
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Robert Blueger, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Nikita Kozyrev, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Jordan Muzzillo, D, Springfield Jr. Blues – Jakov Novak, F, Janesville Jets – Luke Radetic, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Erkka Vanska, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
South Division Star of the Week: Brett Epp, goaltender, Odessa Jackalopes
The Odessa Jackalopes moved into 2nd place in the South Division thanks to a weekend road sweep in Corpus Christi. Goaltender Brett Epp, 19, started and won both games for the Jacks in the series. The 6’1/182 lbs. native of Edmonton, Alberta, began the weekend with 35 saves in a 2-1 overtime win on Friday and followed that up with a 30-save performance in a 5-3 win on Saturday. For the weekend, Epp stopped 65 of a possible 69 shots and improved his season record to 3-2-0 overall. “Winning in a tough place like Corpus Christi this past weekend was great for the team and Brett had great weekend for us. He has given our team a lot of confidence so far this season,” said Odessa head coach Greg Gatto.
2nd Star: Jon Russell, F, Amarillo Bulls
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Julian Biondo, F, Lone Star Brahmas – James Durham, G, Shreveport Mudbugs – Jason Grande, G, Amarillo Bulls – Nick Granowicz, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Nigel Nelson, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Austin O’Rourke, F, Lone Star Brahmas – Cole Quisenberry, F, Shreveport Mudbugs – Evan Rochowiak, F, Odessa Jackalopes