The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey for the week ending November 19, 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: Alex Mella, forward, Austin Bruins
The Austin Bruins kept their hot play going this past weekend with a home-and-home sweep of the Minnesota Wilderness. Bruins forward Alex Mella, 18, had his best weekend in a Bruins uniform as the native of Stamford, Connecticut, recorded five points (3 goals, 2 assists) in the two wins. On Friday, Mella (6’0/187) chimed in with a pair of assists, including one on the game-winning goal in a 4-2 road win in Cloquet. On Saturday, he posted his first career NAHL hat-trick, which included the game-winning goal, in a 5-3 home win to complete the weekend sweep. In 13 games with the Bruins so far this season, the Northeastern commit has nine points. “Alex has been getting a lot of chances but the bounces haven’t been going his way. It’s good to see him get rewarded this past weekend. We expect him to keep up his hard work and continue to make good things happen,” said Bruins head coach Steve Howard.
2nd Star: Jonathan Bendorf, F, Aberdeen Wings
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jimmy Elser, F, Brookings Blizzard – Travis Kothenbeutel, F, Austin Bruins – Doug Larson, F, Brookings Blizzard – Kosta Likourezos, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Samu Lonkila, G, Minot Minotauros – Gino Lucia, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Miroslav Mucha, F, Minot Minotauros – Zach Noble, F, Aberdeen Wings – Jared Resseguie, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Johnny Roberts, G, Bismarck Bobcats
East Division Star of the Week: Donovan Ott, forward, Johnstown Tomahawks
Since his return to Johnstown, forward Donovan Ott, 20, had his best weekend of the 2017-18 season as he racked up five points (3 goals, 2 assists) and was a +3 as the Tomahawks split a weekend road series with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The 6’1/204 lbs. native of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, had a hat-trick in Friday’s 6-4 loss and picked up two assists in Saturday’s 4-1 win. Since joining the Tomahawks back in late November, Ott has eight points in nine games. “Donovan showed up in a big way to help us split a road weekend with Wilkes-Barre. He was making plays all weekend, while making his teammates around him better and being hard to defend. Additionally, he was very responsible in all three zones with his great hockey sense, smart 200-foot play, and helping to preserve our lead at the end of Saturday’s game. Since he has returned to Johnstown, he has really helped our offense as a whole and has provided veteran leadership for our group on and off the ice. We will definitely need to continue to count on his play and leadership as we progress and battle in our very tough, competitive division,” said Tomahawks head coach Mike Letizia.
2nd Star: Justin Jallen, F, Northeast Generals
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Mat Demelis, F, Northeast Generals – Aaron Maguyon, F, Philadelphia Rebels – Ryan Patrick, F, Philadelphia Rebels – Samuel Solensky, F, Johnstown Tomahawks
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Nick Bowman, forward, Coulee Region Chill
The Coulee Region Chill are unbeaten in regulation in their last eight games and that included a win and a shootout loss this past weekend in a road series against the Springfield Jr. Blues. Forward Nick Bowman, 19, was one of the main contributors as the native of Shelby Township, Michigan, had six points (1 goal, 5 assists) in the two games. On Friday, Bowman (6’0/195) had three assists in a 7-1 win on Friday night. On Saturday, he had a goal and two assists in a 4-3 shootout loss. For the season, Bowman is tied for the team lead in scoring with 16 points in 14 games played to date. “We are excited for Nick. He has been a spark for us since he arrived in Coulee and has been very consistent in his play,” said Chill head coach Ryan Egan.
2nd Star: Tanner Schachle, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): David Kaplan, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Jarrett Lee, F, Minnesota Magicians – Kyle Mayhew, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Isaiah Saville, G, Minnesota Magicians – Tomas Vochozka, F, Coulee Region Chill
South Division Star of the Week: Matt Acciaioli, defenseman, Corpus Christi IceRays
Thanks to taking three of four points during their weekend home series against the Lone Star Brahmas, the Corpus Christi IceRays are now 5-0-1 in their last six games. Defenseman Matt Acciaioli, 20, continues his hot play as he piled up six points (1 goal, 5 assists) in the two games. On Friday, the 5’9/163 lbs. native of Rochester Hills, Michigan had three assists in a 4-2 win over the Brahmas. On Saturday, he had a goal and two assists in a 4-3 shootout loss. For the season, Acciaioli is tied for 2nd in team scoring with 12 points in 21 games played. “We as an organization are extremely happy and proud of Matt to be the recipient of this weekly award. This is Matt’s third year in the league and he has improved every year into a bigger role. Matt is a great role model as a 20-year-old assistant captain for our younger as he is one of the last guys off the ice everyday and his hard work has paid off. This weekend was a big series for the team and I felt he did a great job leading by example, ”said IceRays head coach Brad Flynn.
2nd Star: Will Schlagenhauf, F, Topeka RoadRunners
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Cameron Cook, F, Shreveport Mudbugs – Gueorgui Feduolov, F, Shreveport Mudbugs - Nick Granowicz, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Kimball Johnson, D, Lone Star Brahmas – Larry Jungwirth, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Connor Stuart, D, Lone Star Brahmas