The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced its Players of the Week, sponsored by SBK Hockey, for the week ending Jan. 9.
SBK HOCKEY/NORTH PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Connor McBride - Janesville Jets
Janesville forward Connor McBride struck for four goals and two assists as the Jets celebrated a three-game sweep over Motor City. On Thursday, the Hartland, Wis., native recorded a hat trick, including the game-winning goal, in a 5-0 victory. The next night, the 19-year-old picked up an assist as the Jets skated to another 5-0 triumph over the Metal Jackets. McBride tallied another goal and assisted on Derek Jacobson’s game-winning marker in a 3-1 triumph on Saturday. He was also a plus-3 on the weekend.
“It was nice to see Connor have a good weekend,” said Jets head coach Dane Litke. “He hadn't scored in awhile and I know it was bothering him. Hopefully, he’ll continue to stay hot.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Chicago forward Jim Albrecht; Motor City forward Cody Wydo; Port Huron defenseman Erik Soderlund; St. Louis forwards Evan Stibbard and Chris Ciotti and defenseman Blake Edwards; Traverse City forward Kelin Ainsworth
SBK HOCKEY/SOUTH PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Andrew O’Leary - Topeka RoadRunners
Topeka forward Andrew O’Leary unleashed for two goals and seven assists as the RoadRunners skated to a three-game sweep over Corpus Christi. On Thursday, the Norwich, Vt., native tallied a goal and two assists, including one on Andrew White’s game-winning marker, in a 7-1 victory. The next night, the 19-year-old picked up a goal and assisted on Nate Milam’s game-winner as the RoadRunners doubled up the IceRays, 6-3. O’Leary wrapped up his weekend with a three-assist performance in a 9-4 triumph on Sunday. He was also a plus-4 on the weekend.
“Andrew had a great weekend for us,” said RoadRunners assistant coach R.J. Enga. “He’s a very talented player who works hard everyday so it’s definitely nice to see him get rewarded on the scoresheet.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Amarillo forward Matt Johnson and defenseman Brandon Lubin; Topeka defenseman Bob Marx; Wichita Falls forward Mikhail Sentyurin
SBK HOCKEY/CENTRAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Matthew Gates - Bismarck Bobcats
Bismarck forward Matthew Gates connected for two goals and two assists as the Bobcats forged a 1-0-1 record against Aberdeen. On Friday, the Palantine, Ill., native recorded a pair of assists, including one on Nikolaj Rosenthal’s game-winning goal, in a 3-1 victory. The next night, the 20-year-old put home two goals as the Bobcats fell to the Wings in a shootout, 3-2.
“Matt has been a leader for us all year,” said Bobcats head coach Layne Sedevie. “Along with being a big power forward, he has great skill. It’s nice to see him get rewarded for all the hard work he puts in.”
SBK HOCKEY/WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Zach Smith - Alaska Avalanche
Alaska forward Zach Smith struck for three goals and an assist as the Avalanche went 2-1 against Kenai River. On Thursday, the Anchorage native notched a goal in a 2-1 victory. The next night, the 20-year-old picked up an assist as the Avalanche bested the Brown Bears, 3-1. Smith racked up two more goals in the Avs’ 6-4 loss on Saturday. He was also a plus-1 on the weekend.
“As the captain of our team, Zack demonstrated very good leadership last weekend and benefited from his hard work, along with his linemates,” said Avalanche head coach Brian Huebel. “We fully expect him to continue to progress over the second half of the season and lead our team with these types of efforts.”
SBK HOCKEY/GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK
David Jacobson - Janesville Jets
Janesville goaltender David Jacobson backstopped the Jets to a pair of 5-0 shutout victories in his two starts against Motor City, turning aside all 45 shots he faced. On Thursday, the Janesville native made 25 saves. The next night, the 20-year-old stopped 20 shots.
“David continues to be steady in net for us,” said Jets head coach Dane Litke. “He was very good last weekend and we’re looking for him to continue his solid play down the stretch.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Alaska's Landon Peterson; Amarillo’s Steve Bolton; St. Louis’ Matt Green; Owatonna’s Charles Williams; Topeka's Eric Rohrkemper