The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey for the week ending December 10, 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 Adams, forward, Minot Minotauros
This past weekend, the Minot Minotauros helped out their cause taking three of a possible four points in a home-and-home series against Bismarck. Forward Alex Adams, 19, continued his hot play as the native of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, recorded five points (1 goal, 4 assists) in the two games over the weekend. Adams (6’1/200) had three assists in a 6-2 home win on Friday night. On Saturday night in Bismarck, Adams had a goal and an assist in a 4-3 shootout loss. Adams is currently riding a six-game point streak and has 17 points (7 goals, 10 assists) in 19 regular season games played so far this season. “Alex had another strong weekend for our club. After coming off injury, he’s back to the level of being a premier power forward. As our captain, he’s led by example over the last few weeks and been a major contributor to our team’s success,” said Minot head coach Marty Murray.
2nd Star: Travis Kothenbeutel, F, Austin Bruins
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Nick Altmann, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Jonathan Bendorf, F, Aberdeen Wings – Evan Cholak, F, Austin Bruins – Zach Noble, F, Aberdeen Wings – Patrick O’Connor, D, Bismarck Bobcats - Johnny Roberts, G, Bismarck Bobcats – Nolan Swachuk, D, Minot Minotauros – Ben Ward, F, Minnesota Wilderness
East Division Star of the Week: Kade Phipps, goaltender, Johnstown Tomahawks
Johnstown Tomahawks goalie Kade Phipps, 19, stopped 44 of 46 shots this past weekend as the Tomahawks posted a weekend home split against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. The 6’1/190 lbs. native of Perrysburg, Ohio, began the weekend making 19 saves in a 2-1 loss to the Knights on Friday. On Saturday, he rebounded to stop all 25 shots that came his way for his first shutout of the season in a 2-0 win. Since joined the Tomahawks in early December, Phipps has been lights out, posting a 3-1 record with a 1.51 goals against average and 95.1% save percentage. “We had a tight and low scoring series this weekend with Wilkes-Barre and Kade was very solid in net for us keeping the game in a position for us to get wins on both nights. Friday he was very solid when we may not have been at our best and we dropped a tight 2-1 game. He and the team bounced back with a 2-0 shutout on Saturday night where he came up with some big stops, especially on our penalty kill. He is a very strong competitor but also very composed in the net and has been really good for our team over the last two weekends since arriving in Johnstown,” said Tomahawks head coach Mike Letizia.
2nd Star: Donovan Ott, F, Johnstown Tomahawks
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Samuel Ruffin, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
The Fairbanks Ice Dogs continued to widen their Midwest Division lead this weekend with a convincing road sweep of the Minnesota Magicians. Recent Alaska-Fairbanks commit Samuel Ruffin, 19, was all over the ice for the Ice Dogs during the weekend as the 5’10/170 lbs. native of Westfield, Indiana, recorded seven points (5 goals, 2 assists) and was a +5 in the two wins. On Friday, Ruffin had two goals and an assist in a 4-1 win, and then on Saturday, Ruffin had a hat-trick and an assist in an 8-3 win. For the season, Ruffin is tied for the team lead in team scoring with 27 points in 27 games played. “Sam was all over the ice this weekend. He had good jump and made plays at high speeds,” said Fairbanks head coach Trevor Stewart.
2nd Star: Evan Fear, G, Springfield Jr. Blues
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Kasey Fitzjerrells, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Sacha Guillemain, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Matt Hines, D, Coulee Region Chill – Jax Murray, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Colin Price, F, Coulee Region Chill – Gabe Wahl, F, Kenai River Brown Bears
South Division Star of the Week: Kieran Durgan, forward, Shreveport Mudbugs
In a weekend that featured several notable performances in the South Division, Shreveport Mudbugs forward Kieran Durgan’s performance over the weekend stood out as the Mudbugs widened their lead in the South Division with a weekend road sweep in Amarillo against the Bulls. The Air Force recruit and native of St. John’s, Michigan, scored four goals, including both game-winners over the weekend and was also a +3. On Friday, Durgan (6’1/190) scored the game-winning goal in overtime in a 4-3 win. The next night, Durgan had a hat-trick, which also included the game-winning goal in a 5-0 shutout win. In 15 games played so far this season, Durgan has 17 points (13 goals, 4 assists). “We are very happy for Kieran to earn this award. He has provided great leadership since returning to our team in late October. Kieran is a responsible two-way player and it is nice that he is being rewarded for it offensively,” said Mudbugs assistant coach Casey Kirley.
2nd Star: Chad Veltri, G, Corpus Christi IceRays
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ryan Burnett, F, Shreveport Mudbugs – Alex Camarre, G, Odessa Jackalopes – Evan Somoza, F, Odessa Jackalopes – Rylee St. Onge, F, Corpus Christi IceRays