The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced its Players of the Week, sponsored by SBK Hockey, for the week ending Jan. 23.
SBK HOCKEY/NORTH PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Alex Brooks - Janesville Jets
Janesville defenseman Alex Brooks connected for two goals and two assists as the Jets skated to a two-game sweep over Springfield. On Friday, the Grand Rapids, Mich., native scored the game-winning goal in overtime and added an assist in a 3-2 victory. The next night, the 19-year-old put forth another one-goal, one-assist effort as the Jets again bested the Jr. Blues, 3-2.
“Alex has been very good for us the last few weeks and he’s taken his game to the next level,” said Jets head coach Dane Litke. “He’s playing with a lot of confidence and we hope he’ll continue his good play down the stretch.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Port Huron’s Rudi Pino; St. Louis forward Evan Stibbard and defenseman Grant Gettinger
SBK HOCKEY/SOUTH PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Sean Keane - Amarillo Bulls
Amarillo forward Sean Keane rang up four assists as the Bulls skated to a 2-0 record. On Saturday, the Rockford, Mich., native picked up a pair of assists, including one on Derek Hills’ game-winning goal, as the Bulls blanked Wichita Falls, 3-0. The next night, the 20-year-old racked up two more assists in Amarillo’s 6-3 triumph over the Corpus Christi IceRays. Keane, who was recently acquired from the Wildcats, was also a plus-1 on the weekend.
“Sean is a fantastic addition to our organization,” said Bulls head coach Dennis Williams. “He creates offense every shift and plays with a physical presence every game. He’ll be a big piece to our team during the second half of the season.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Texas forward J.D. Howard; Topeka forward Davey Middleton
SBK HOCKEY/CENTRAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Nick Widing - Owatonna Express
Owatonna forward Nick Widing rang up two goals and two assists as the Express celebrated a two-game sweep over Alexandria. On Friday, the Somerset, Wis., native tallied a pair of goals, including the game-winner, and an assist in a 3-1 victory. The next night, the 19-year-old added another assist as the Express doubled up the Blizzard, 4-2. He was also a plus-4 on the weekend.
“Nick creates opportunities because he’s so strong on the puck,” said Express head coach Chuck Linkenheld. “His speed is deceptive and he’s tough to knock off the puck, which is why he plays so well in traffic.”
SBK HOCKEY/WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Alec Hajdukovich - Fairbanks Ice Dogs
Fairbanks forward Alec Hajdukovich unleashed for two goals and nine assists as the Ice Dogs rolled to a three-game sweep over Texas. On Thursday, the Fairbanks native recorded a goal and three assists, including one on Alexander Jensen’s game-winning marker, in a 5-2 victory. The next night, the 19-year-old tallied a goal and four assists as the Ice Dogs bested the Tornado, 6-5. Hajdukovich, a graduate of the North American Prospects Hockey League, wrapped up the series with a two-assist performance, including one on Gabe Levin’s game-winning goal, in a 3-2 triumph on Saturday. He was also a plus-6 on the weekend.
"Alec has really found his groove and has been performing at a very high level," said Ice Dogs head coach Josh Hauge. "He has a high-end skill level and a great shot, and he and his linemates have paved the way for our recent success."
SBK HOCKEY/GOALIE OF THE WEEK
Tyler Marble - Traverse City North Stars
Traverse City goaltender Tyler Marble backstopped the North Stars to a two-game sweep over Chicago, turning aside 48 of 50 shots. On Friday, the Howell, Mich., native made 25 saves in a 5-1 victory. The next night, the 18-year-old Lake Superior State University recruit stopped 23 shots as the North Stars downed the Hitmen, 6-1.
“Tyler provided us with the type of goaltending you need to win games while challenging for a playoff spot in the tough North Division,” said North Stars head coach Anthony Palumbo. “He competed very hard all weekend and was rewarded for his efforts.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Amarillo’s Nikifor Szczerba; Janesville’s David Jacobson; Motor City’s Jimmy Hamby; Port Huron’s Alex Cantrell; St. Louis’ Tom Comunale; Topeka’s Rasmus Tirronen