The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey for the week ending January 28, 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: Jonathan Bendorf, forward, Aberdeen Wings
Now 9-0-2 in their last 11 games, it was another successful week for the 1st place Aberdeen Wings, who brought home five of a possible six points in three games this past week. 18-year-old forward and RPI recruit Jonathan Bendorf (6’0/180) had a huge week as the native of Yardville, New Jersey, struck for seven points in the three games, which included 2 goals and 5 assists. On Wednesday, Bendorf had two assists in a 3-2 home win over Brookings. On Friday, Bendorf had a goal and two assists in a 5-2 road win against the Minnesota Wilderness, and then on Saturday, he added another goal and assist in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Wilderness. In 35 total NAHL games this season, Bendorf has recorded 30 points. “Jonathan steadily contributes more and more every day since joined the Wings. He has the ability to make plays under pressure and makes the players around him better. His week was exceptional and one of the best I have seen from a Wings player this season,” said Wings head coach Scott Langer.
2nd Star: Mitch Walinski, F, Bismarck Bobcats
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Evan Cholak, F, Austin Bruins – Austin Dollimer, F, Minot Minotauros - Ed Lindelow, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Samu Lonkila, G, Minot Minotauros - Johnny Roberts, G, Bismarck Bobcats - Jake Sibell, G, Minnesota Wilderness - Mads Sogaard, G, Austin Bruins - Gabe Vinal, G, Aberdeen Wings
East Division Star of the Week: Kade Phipps, goaltender, Johnstown Tomahawks
Thanks to a weekend sweep of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights, the Johnstown Tomahawks are officially in the playoff hunt. Leading the way this past weekend was goaltender Kade Phipps. The 6’1/190 lbs. native of Perrysburg, Ohio, was a brick wall this past weekend as the 19-year-old stopped 61 of a possible 63 shots in the two wins. On Friday, Phipps made 30 saves in a 2-1 win, and then on Saturday he made 31 saves in a 2-1 overtime win, which completed the sweep for the Tomahawks. In 13 games played with the Tomahawks so far this season, Phipps has an 8-5-0 record with a 2.15 goals against average and a 92.7% save percentage. “Kade was a big part of our weekend sweep on the road against a really good Knights team. Both scores were 2-1 and in each night the only goal he allowed came with the Knights having a man advantage. Besides the two goals, he was perfect in net for us. He has continued to provide us with solid, consistent goaltending and we will look to him to be a major contributor of more success for our team moving forward,” said Johnstown head coach Mike Letizia.
2nd Star: Adam Peck, F, Philadelphia Rebels
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Carson Briere, F, Johnstown Tomahawks - Eric Olson, F, Philadelphia Rebels
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Daniel Lebedeff, goaltender, Janesville Jets
Janesville Jets goalie and University of Wisconsin recruit Daniel Lebedeff, 18, allowed just a single goal in two games this weekend as the Jets picked up three of a possible four points. The 6’2/188 lbs. native of Helsinki, Finland, stopped 58 of a possible 59 shots in the two games. On Friday, Lebedeff and the Jets took on the 1st place Fairbanks Ice Dogs, where he made 30 saves in a 2-1 shootout loss. On Saturday, he posted his second shutout of the season as he stopped all 28 shots that came his way in a 3-0 win in Springfield against the Jr. Blues. For the season, the former NAPHL’er has played in 20 gams and posted a 11-6-3 record with a 2.33 goals against average and a 92.5% save percentage. “Daniel was very focused and was solid this weekend. He gave us a chance to win on Friday, but we came up short in the shootout. He came back on Saturday and continued his strong play with a shutout. Both nights he controlled his rebounds and played big in the net. He’s been stellar in goal the past month,” said Jets head coach Gary Shuchuk.
2nd Star: Kyler Grundy, F, Minnesota Magicians
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Josh Benson, G, Fairbanks Ice Dogs - Cameron Buhl, F, Minnesota Magicians - Jackson Decker, D, Coulee Region Chill - Alex Klekotka, F, Kenai River Brown Bears - Markuss Komuls, D, Kenai River Brown Bears - Logan Neaton, G, Fairbanks Ice Dogs - Emil Zetterquist, G, Coulee Region Chill
South Division Star of the Week: Garrett Hallford, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays
Corpus Christi IceRays forward Garrett Hallford, 20, helped his club maintain a solid playoff position in the South Division thanks to a weekend split of their series in Odessa this past weekend. The 5’10/190 lbs. native of McKinney, Texas had three points (1 goal, 2 assists) in the two games and was a +2. On Friday, Hallford assisted on both IceRays goals in a 6-2 loss. He and his team rebounded on Saturday as Hallford scored one of his team’s two goals in a 2-1 overtime win. For the season, the veteran forward has 21 points in 42 games played. “We as an organization and especially myself as Garrett's coach are extremely proud of him to be recognized as player of the week. Garrett is the epitome of an IceRay, as he is a veteran junior player that shows up everyday with a smile on his face and an extremely high work ethic. Good things happen to good people and Garrett hard work and determination gave him the opportunity to be acknowledged,” said IceRays head coach Brad Flynn.
2nd Star: Ryan Burnett, F, Shreveport Mudbugs
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Blake Coffey, D, Corpus Christi IceRays - Jake Transit, F, Shreveport Mudbugs