The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey for the week ending March 5, 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: Gabe Vinal, goaltender, Aberdeen Wings
It was literally a perfect weekend for the Aberdeen Wings and goaltender Gabe Vinal. The 6’2/185 lbs. native of East Syracuse, New York, posted back-to-back shutouts of the Austin Bruins to help Aberdeen increase their Central Division lead to six points. On Friday, Vinal, 19, stopped all 20 shots that came his way in a 3-0 shutout. On Saturday, he faced even more shots and stopped all 29 of them that came his way in another 3-0 win. Earlier in the week, Vinal played for the East Division team at the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament where he gave up only one goal in two appearances. In 26 games played this season, Vinal has a 16-8-1 record with a 2.15 goals against average and 91.8% save percentage. “Gabe has been a great addition since we acquired him. He is very athletic and highly competitive goaltender that rises to big game challenges. His weekend goes hand in hand with his ability to practice and prepare the right way,” said Wings head coach Scott Langer.
2nd Star: Connor Koviak, F, Brookings Blizzard
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jonathan Bendorf, F, Aberdeen Wings – Adam Brizgala, G, Brookings Blizzard – Gino Lucia, F, Minnesota Wilderness – CJ Regula, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Ryan Ullan, G, Bismarck Bobcats – Mitch Walinski, F, Bismarck Bobcats
East Division Star of the Week: Jack Olmstead, forward, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights
In three games this past week against the Northeast Generals, Knights forward Jack Olmstead, 20, helped his team pick up two wins and recorded four points in the process. On Saturday, the University of Michigan recruit had an assist in a 4-3 shootout win. On Sunday, the 5’10/170 lbs. native of Troy, Michigan, had another assist in a 5-2 loss. In Monday morning’s rescheduled game from Friday, Olmstead had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win. For the season, Olmstead leads the Knights in scoring with 44 points in 47 games played. “Jack played big a major role in the Knights success this weekend. The team has had trouble scoring lately and Jack got us going in game one of a three-game weekend. He kept it up in game two and then helped us finish strong with a goal and highlight-worthy assist in the final game. We've been able to rely on him all year when we need a big goal and he continues to be one of our leaders offensively. We hope Jack's and our team's performance over the last couple of days is an indicator of things to come down the home stretch,” said Tom Kowal.
2nd Star: Cam Gaudette, D, Northeast Generals
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): David Fessenden, G, Northeast Generals – Mike Gelatt, F, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights – Matt Ladd, G, New Jersey Titans – Carson Moniz, D, Philadelphia Rebels – Adam Peck, F, Philadelphia Rebels
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Charlie Weiand, defenseman, Minnesota Magicians
Minnesota Magicians defenseman Charlie Weiand, 20, helped his club pick up 3 of 4 points over the weekend in a series with the Coulee Region Chill. The 5’11/190 lbs. native of Rosemount, Minnesota, scored a goal in Friday’s 5-4 overtime loss. On Saturday, he added another goal from the blueline in a 3-2 overtime win. Earlier in the week, Weiand played for the Midwest Division team at the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament where he was a +3 in two games. For the season, Weiand has 19 points in 46 games played. “Charlie has been a steady piece of our defensive group all season and has been doing the little things right as of late and he's been getting rewarded for it. He’s been a great leader both in the locker room and on the ice,” said Magicians assistant coach Nick Klaren.
2nd Star: Gavin Holland, F, Coulee Region Chill
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Logan Neaton, G, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Colin Price, F, Coulee Region Chill – Noah Wilson, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
South Division Star of the Week: Ture Linden, forward, Lone Star Brahmas
RPI recruit and Lone Star Brahmas forward Ture Linden, 20, had a big week as he helped his club to three wins in three games. The 6’0/181 lbs. native of Great Falls, Virginia, had six points (4 goals, 2 assists) and was a +3 in the three wins. On Friday, Linden had two goals, including the game-winner in a 3-1 win over the visiting Kenai River Brown Bears. On Saturday, Linden had a goal and two assists in a 5-0 win. On Sunday, he scored another game-winning goal in a 2-0 shutout win over division-leading Shreveport. For the season, Linden has 37 points in 40 games played, which ranks tied for 2nd on the team. “Ture has been playing really well for us. He has challenged himself to prepare for the next level of playing NCAA Division I hockey and has done the necessary things on and off the ice to become a better and more well-rounded player,” said Brahmas head coach Dan Wildfong.
2nd Star: Ricky Carballo, F, Odessa Jackalopes
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Roberts Baranovskis, F, Shreveport Mudbugs – Derek Contessa, F, Shreveport Mudbugs – Brett Epp, G, Odessa Jackalopes – Harrison Feeney, G, Lone Star Brahmas