The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey for the week ending March 18, 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: Gino Lucia, forward, Minnesota Wilderness
The Minnesota Wilderness moved to the brink of securing a playoff spot in the Central Division thanks to a big weekend road sweep in Bismarck against the Bobcats. 19-year-old forward Gino Lucia had a big weekend as the 5’11/180 lbs. native of St. Cloud, Minnesota, totaled four points in the two wins. On Friday, Lucia had his team’s second goal of the game in a 4-3 win. On Saturday, he was even better as he scored another goal and added two assists in a 6-2 win. For the season, Lucia is 2nd in team scoring for the Wilderness with 39 points (15 goals, 24 assists) in 51 games played. “Gino was a big part of our success last weekend. We expect him to continue to elevate his game at this important time of the season,” said Wilderness head coach Tim Madsen.
2nd Star: Nick Grabko, G, Minot Minotauros
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jonathan Bendorf, F, Aberdeen Wings - Adam Brizgala, G, Brookings Blizzard – Evan Cholak, F, Austin Bruins – Devon Fields, D, Austin Bruins – Isaac Moberg, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Zach Noble, F, Aberdeen Wings – Alex Pollock, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Michael Talbot, F, Minot Minotauros – Mitch Walinski, F, Bismarck Bobcats
East Division Star of the Week: Tate Singleton, forward, New Jersey Titans
A big weekend for New Jersey Titans forward and Army recruit Tate Singleton, 19, no only earned him star of the week honors, but it also secured a playoff spot in the East Division for his club. The 5’8/175 lbs. native of West Lebanon, New Hampshire, had eight points in two games over the weekend. On Saturday, Singleton had a hat-trick and an assist in a close 7-6 loss against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. On Sunday, Singleton had two goals and two assists in a 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Rebels. For the season, Singleton is now tied for the team scoring lead with 42 points (17 goals, 25 assists) in in 51 games played. “Tate has worked hard all year to develop his overall game. This weekend, he set the tone for our team offensively especially on the power play. His overall hard work and tenacity created opportunities all weekend long. Tate, along with his line mates, had a great weekend and we look forward to their continued strong play throughout the rest of rest of the regular season and playoffs,” said Titans head coach Craig Doremus.
2nd Star: Matt Kidney, F, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Carson Briere, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – David Fessenden, G, Northeast Generals – Patrick Harrington, D, Northeast Generals – Jack Leavy, G, Johnstown Tomahawks – Carson Moniz, D, Philadelphia Rebels – Auggie Moore, F, Philadelphia Rebels – Jack Olmstead, F, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Luke Orysiuk, defenseman, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
Thanks to a three-game weekend home sweep of the Janesville Jets, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs captured the Midwest Division regular season title. Defenseman and Bentley recruit Luke Orysiuk, 20, was a major factor in all three games as he made himself a factor on the offensive and defensive sides of the puck. The 5’11/180 lbs. native of Edmonton, Alberta had five points on the weekend and recorded at least a point in all three wins. On Thursday, Orysiuk had the game-winning goal and two assists in a 7-3 win. On Friday, he scored another game-winning goal, this time in overtime, in a 2-1 win. On Saturday, Orysiuk assisted on the overtime-winning goal in a 3-2 win. Orysiuk, who was also a +7 in the three wins, has recorded 33 points in 55 games to date this season. “Luke has really stepped up his offensive play as of late. His team relies on him for his leadership skills. It was great to see him factor in on some big goals this past weekend,” said Ice Dogs head coach Trevor Stewart.
2nd Star: Calvin Dybicz, D, Minnesota Magicians
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Max Brainin, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Caleb Hite, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Brandon Puricelli, F, Springfield Jr. Blues
South Division Star of the Week: Brendan Miller, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays
Air Force Academy recruit and Corpus Christi IceRays forward Brendan Miller, 21, helped his team close in on a playoff spot this past weekend with a home split with the Amarillo Bulls. The 6’1/183 lbs. native of Buffalo, New York, had five points in the two games, which included extending his current point steak to four straight games. On Friday, Miller had two goals and an assist in a 6-3 loss. On Saturday, he had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win. For the season, Miller is 3rd in team scoring with 38 points in 50 games played. “As an organization and a team we are very happy for Brendan. There is a reason he wears the 'C' for our club, because he is a high character big time team guy. He knew the importance of this weekend and did what all leaders do, lead by example through hard work and a team first mentality and his efforts were rewarded and recognized by the league,” said IceRays head coach Brad Flynn.
2nd Star: Austin Bottrell, F, Lone Star Brahmas
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ryan Burnett, F, Shreveport Mudbugs – Grayson Gavin, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Cole Quisenberry, F, Shreveport Mudbugs – Jakub Sirota, D, Lone Star Brahmas