The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey for the week ending January 7, 2018. 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: Travis Kothenbeutel, forward, Austin Bruins
Austin Bruins forward Travis Kothenbeutel, 20, not only helped his team to a weekend home sweep of the Minot Minotauros, but he also cemented his place in the Bruins history books. With his five-point effort in the two wins, Kothenbeutel (5’10/170) tied for the all-time Bruins scoring lead. The native of Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, and Nebraska-Omaha commit, had a goal and an assist in a 4-3 shootout win on Friday and then had a goal and two assists effort in a 5-2 win on Saturday. For the season, the former NA3HL’er Kothenbeutel currently leads in the NAHL in scoring with 40 points in 31 games played. “Travis has been a spark plug for us all season. He is now tied for the most points in Austin Bruins history with Jay Dickman. We look forward to Travis continuing his leadership both on and off the ice in the second half,” said Bruins head coach Steve Howard.
2nd Star: John Sladic, F, Aberdeen Wings
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Fritz Belisle, F, Minot Minotauros – Evan Cholak, F, Austin Bruins - Sam Fuss, F, Minot Minotauros – Cooper Haar, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Zach Noble, F, Aberdeen Wings – Ryan Ullan, G, Bismarck Bobcats
East Division Star of the Week: Carson Moniz, defenseman, Philadelphia Rebels
Philadelphia Rebels defenseman Carson Moniz, 19, helped his club pick up five of a possible six points this past weekend as the Rebels moved back into 1st place in the East Division. The 5’11/180 lbs. native of London, Ontario, was a factor in each game, also posting a +1 during the weekend. On Thursday, Moniz had an assist in a 3-2 overtime loss. On Friday, he picked up another assist in a 50-1 win. On Saturday, he had one of his best games of the season as he scored twice, including the overtime-winner as the Rebels came away with a 4-3 win. For the season, Moniz has nine points in 23 games played. “Carson fought the injury bug in the first half of the season. He has played very well of late and we are expecting even more from him in the second half of the season,” said Rebels head coach Joe Coombs.
2nd Star: Kade Phipps, G, Johnstown Tomahawks
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Carson Briere, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – David Fessenden, G, Northeast Generals – Ryan Patrick, F, Philadelphia Rebels – Matt Wieser, F, Northeast Generals
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Josh Benson, goaltender, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
The Fairbanks Ice Dogs concluded their eight-game road trip with another weekend sweep, this time against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights, which pushed the Ice Dogs winning streak to eight straight games. Goaltender Josh Benson, 20, started and won both games this past weekend, stopping 60 of a possible 64 shots on goal. On Friday, Benson (6’1/190) made 29 saves in a 5-3 win. On Saturday, the former NA3HL’er and native of Stillwater, Minnesota, made 31 saves in a 4-1 win. Benson currently leads the NAHL in wins with 14 and ranks 5th in goals against average with a 2.06 mark. “Josh was solid in net for us the entire weekend. We were not a very tight unit in front of him and he bailed us out quite a bit in several instances,” said Fairbanks head coach Trevor Stewart.
2nd Star: Emil Zetterquist, G, Coulee Region Chill
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Nick Bowman, F, Coulee Region Chill – Connor Chilton, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Gil Garcia, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Luke Radetic, F, Kenai River Brown Bears
South Division Star of the Week: Aleksi Peltonen, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays
It was a productive week for the Corpus Christi IceRays and forward Aleksi Peltonen. The 19-year-old native of Helsinki, Finland, helped his team pick up three of a possible six points in three road games this past week. Peltonen (5’10/178) had seven points (1 goal, 6 assists) in the three games and was a +2. On Tuesday, the University of Wisconsin recruit had a pair of assists in a 6-5 shootout loss in Corpus Christi. On Friday, Peltonen had the game-winning overtime goal and three assists in a 4-3 win at Lone Star. On Saturday, he had an assist on the IceRays’ lone goal in a 5-1 loss. For the season, Peltonen has 20 points in 27 games played. “We are very proud of as an organization for Aleksi to win this award. He played big minutes this past week and him along with his line mates had good success for due to their skill and work ethic. As the season has progressed, Aleksi’s game and confidence at the junior level has gotten better each and every week,” said IceRays head coach Bran Flynn.
2nd Star: Jon Russell, F, Lone Star Brahmas
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Michael Montambault, F, Lone Star Brahmas – Rylee St. Onge, F, Corpus Christi IceRays