The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey for the week ending February 4, 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: Alex Schilling, goaltender, Austin Bruins
The Austin Bruins managed to stay right on the heels of the 1st place Aberdeen Wings by taking three of four points in their road series in Aberdeen this past weekend. 20-year-old netminder Alex Schilling was in goal for both games and the Air Force recruit stopped 66 of a possible 69 shots in the series. On Friday, the 6’1/185 lbs. native of Medina, Minnesota, made 33 saves in a 4-1 win. On Saturday, Schilling came up with another 33-save performance in a close 2-1 overtimes loss. To date, Schilling has a 14-9-4 record with a 2.26 goals against average and 92.2% save percentage. “Alex played very well this weekend. He made some timely saves to keep us in both games. Aberdeen did a good job of outshooting us and generated some good Grade A chances, which made Schilling earn this reward for the week. Alex likes the pressure and he has managed to stay composed all year,” said Bruins head coach Steve Howard.
2nd Star: Jake Rosenbaum, D, Minot Minotauros
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Nathan Burke, F, Aberdeen Wings – Samu Lonkila, G, Minot Minotauros – Joe Mancuso, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Ryan Ullan, G, Bismarck Bobcats – Gabe Vinal, G, Aberdeen Wings
East Division Star of the Week: Ryan Naumovski, forward, New Jersey Titans
In a home-and-home sweep of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights, the New Jersey Titans got a great weekend out of 18-year-old forward Ryan Naumovski. The 6’0/150 lbs. native of Shelby Township, Michigan, had five points (3 goals, 2 assists) and was a +5 in the two wins, which also included scoring the game-winning goal in both games. Naumovski is tied for 2nd on the team in scoring so far this season with 26 points in 31 games played. “Ryan’s game has come a long way this year. He has developed into a 200-foot center with high-end offensive ability. Ryan has worked extremely hard on and off the ice to raise his game and become in my opinion one of the top uncommitted prospects in our league. In addition to being good in the faceoff circle, Ryan has the ability to create plays for him and his line mates. He is extremely cerebral in his approach on the ice and has quickly become a force for our team day in and day out. We look forward to Ryan continuing to grow and mature as we approach the Robertson Cup Playoffs,” said Titans head coach Craig Doremus.
2nd Star: Brandon Perrone, G, New Jersey Titans
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Matt Demelis, F, Northeast Generals – David Fessenden, G, Northeast Generals – Aaron Maguyon, F, Philadelphia Rebels – Ryan Patrick, F, Philadelphia Rebels
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Carter Ekberg, defenseman, Janesville Jets
Janesville Jets defenseman Carter Ekberg, 20, had a big weekend to help his team pick up two more wins with victories over Kenai River and Coulee Region. On Friday, the 6’1/180 lbs. native of McMurray, Pennsylvania, had a pair of assists in a 6-2 win over the Brown Bears. The next night, the NAPHL grad had two more assists in a 3-1 win over the Chill. For the season, Ekberg leads all Jets defensemen in scoring with 18 points in 29 games played. “Carter has been playing some of his best hockey since Christmas and had a great weekend for us. He's been a leader for our young defense and he's been doing it by leading by example on and off the ice,” said Jets head coach Gary Shuchuk.
2nd Star: Marshal Plunkett, D, Coulee Region Chill
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Emils Ezitis, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Caleb Hite, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Filip Karlsson, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Dylan Raut, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Tanner Schachle, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Nick Schultze, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Emil Zetterquist, G, Coulee Region Chill
South Division Star of the Week: Steven Ipri, forward, Lone Star Brahmas
Since his arrival with the Lone Star Brahmas, forward Steve Ipri, 19, has been on fire, which included a big weekend this past week as the Brahmas picked up a sweep of the Topeka RoadRunners. The 5’11/180 lbs. native of Broadview Heights, Ohio, recorded five points (3 goals, 2 assists) and was a +4 in the two wins. On Friday, the Mercyhurst recruit had a goal and an assist in a 4-2 win. On Saturday, he added two goals and an assist in an 8-1 win. For the season, Ipri has 29 points in 33 NAHL regular season games. “Steven is playing some really good hockey. He is playing the right way every shift and playing at both ends of the ice. He has really fit in nicely with our team and will be an important part of the stretch run,” said Brahmas head coach Dan Wildfong.
2nd Star: Jakob Sirota, D, Lone Star Brahmas
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None