NAHL announces Players of the Week
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced its Players of the Week, sponsored by SBK Hockey, for the week ending Feb. 13.
SBK HOCKEY/NORTH PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Kevin Gibson - Michigan Warriors
Michigan defenseman Kevin Gibson struck for two goals and an assist as the Warriors celebrated a two-game sweep over Chicago. On Friday, the Grosse Pointe, Mich., native recorded an assist in a 4-0 victory. The next night, the 21-year-old notched a pair of goals, including the game-winner, as the Warriors bested the Hitmen, 7-2. He was also a plus-3 on the weekend.
HONORABLE MENTION: Janesville forward John Olen; Motor City forward Petus Sipila
SBK HOCKEY/SOUTH PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Nathan Sliwinski - Texas Tornado
Texas forward Nathan Sliwinski rang up a goal and three assists as the Tornado put together a 2-0-1 mark last weekend. On Thursday, the Castle Rock, Colo., native notched the game-winning goal (shorthanded) and a pair of assists in a 6-3 victory over Corpus Christi. The next night, the 20-year-old recorded another assist as the Tornado downed the IceRays in overtime, 4-3. An NAHL Top Prospects Tournament selection, Sliwinski, who was held scoreless in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Amarillo Bulls on Saturday, was a plus-1 on the weekend.
“Nate has been one of most consistent players the past couple of months," said Tornado head coach Tony Curtale. "He's a threat to score every time he steps on the ice, but has also developed into one of our best two-way players.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Amarillo forwards Cody Freeman and Zach Smoot; Topeka forwards Justin Hussar and Michael Hill
SBK HOCKEY/CENTRAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Alex Altenbernd - Alexandria Blizzard
Alexandria forward Alex Altenbernd connected for four goals and an assist as the Blizzard split a two-game series with Aberdeen. On Friday, the Moorhead, Minn., native unleashed for four goals in a 6-3 victory. The next night, the 20-year-old picked up an assist as the Blizzard fell to the Wings, 5-3. He was also a plus-2 on the weekend.
“Alex has really picked up his game during the second half of the season and has been a leader for us, on and off the ice,” said Blizzard assistant coach Jeff Crouse. “We’re look forward to him continuing his success the rest of the season.”
SBK HOCKEY/WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jacob Barber - Wenatchee Wild
Wenatchee forward Jacob Barber recorded a hat trick and assisted on Blake Saylor’s game-winning goal in the Wild’s 6-0 triumph over Fresno on Thursday. The 19-year-old from Dardenne Prairie, Mo., who was held scoreless the next night - a 2-1 loss to the Monsters - was also a plus-2 on the weekend.
“Jacob has been a great fit with our group since arriving last weekend (in a trade from Alaska),” said Wild head coach John Becanic. “He brings energy, passion and an obvious scoring touch to our group of forwards.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Fairbanks forward John Stampohar
SBK HOCKEY/GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK
Jimmy Hamby - Motor City Metal Jackets
Motor City goaltender Jimmy Hamby backstopped the Metal Jackets to a two-game sweep over Port Huron, turning aside 58 of 60 shots. On Friday, the Ann Arbor, Mich., native made 29 saves in a 4-1 triumph. The next night, the 20-year-old put forth another 29-save effort as the Metal Jackets again bested the Fighting Falcons, 4-1.
“Jimmy has been providing us with solid, dependable goaltending lately,” said Metal Jackets head coach David Cole. “He’s coming up with a lot of big saves and his teammates are playing with a lot of confidence in front of him.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Amarillo’s Nikifor Szczerba; Janesville’s Tony Kujava; Texas’ Jimmy Kruger; Topeka’s Eric Rohrkemper