The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey for the week ending September 30, 2018. The Divisional Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2018-19 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: Jon Bendorf, forward, Aberdeen Wings
RPI recruit and Aberdeen Wings forward Jon Bendorf, 19, helped his team to a weekend road sweep against the Minnesota Wilderness. The 6’0/180 lbs. native of Yardville, New Jersey, recorded six points in the weekend sweep, which included two goals, four assists, and a +3 rating. On Friday, Bendorf had a goal and an assist in a 4-3 overtime win and on Saturday, he had a goal and three assists in a 5-4 win. In six games played this season, Bendorf is tied for the team scoring lead with seven points. “Jon’s leadership showed this weekend. He was a big part of the success and wins we had. He has the ability to take over games,” said Wings head coach Scott Langer.
2nd Star: Lincoln Erne, D, Minot Minotauors
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Gino Lucia, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Jed Pietila, D, Austin Bruins - Nick Portz, F, Minnesota Wilderness – David Raisanen, F, Minot Minotauros – John Roberts, G, Bismarck Bobcats – Dante Sheriff, F, Austin Bruins - Nic Sicoly, F, Aberdeen Wings – Ryan Taylor, F, Bismarck Bobcats
East Division Star of the Week: Zach Stejskal, goaltender, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights
Knights goalie and Minnesota-Duluth recruit Zach Stejskal, 18, helped his team to a weekend home sweep of the Maryland Black Bears. The 6’4/215 lbs. native of Cohasset, Minnesota, stopped 78 of 81 shots in the two wins. On Friday, Stejskal made 30 saves in a 2-1 win and on Saturday, he made 48 saves in a 3-2 overtime win. In four regular season games this season, Stejskal has a 2-1-1 record with a 2.44 goals against average and 93.9% save percentage. “Zach made all the saves he needed to make to give our team a chance to win this weekend. He saw a lot of shots and was up to the task each night. His performance is well deserving of this award,” said Knights head coach Tom Kowal.
2nd Star: Carson Briere, F, Johnstown Tomahawks
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Oliver Benwell, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Tyrone Bronte, F, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights – Freddie Macciocchi, F, Northeast Generals – Marko Sturma, G, Northeast Generals
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Jonathan Sorenson, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
Fairbanks Ice Dogs forward Jonathan Sorenson, 19, helped his team to a weekend split of their road series against the Minnesota Magicians. The 6’1/175 lbs. native of St. Louis Park, Minnesota, had three points on the weekend. On Friday, Sorenson scored the game-winning goal in a 3-0 win and on Saturday he assisted on both of Fairbanks’ goals in a 3-2 loss. In eight games played this season, Sorenson has recorded four points. “Jonathan continues to get better. He was great this weekend and brings energy each ice session,” said Ice Dogs head coach Trevor Stewart.
2nd Star: Garrett Nieto, G, Janesville Jets
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Parker Brown, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Gavin Enright, G, Kenai River Brown Bears – Ethan Haider, G, Minnesota Magicians - Zach Krajnik, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Cam Thiesing, F, Chippewa Steel – Tomas Vochozka, F, Chippewa Steel
South Division Star of the Week: Brenden Datema, defenseman, Amarillo Bulls
Thanks to a weekend home sweep of the Topeka Pilots, the Amarillo Bulls now sit atop the NAHL and South Division standings. Bulls defenseman Brenden Datema, 19, had four points in the weekend sweep. The 6’5/220 lbs. native of Sterling Heights, Michigan, had a goal and an assist each night and was also a +3 on the weekend. That included the game-winning goal in Friday’s 5-4 win. For the season, Datema leads all NAHL defensemen in scoring with 11 points. “Brenden has taken tremendous strides from Year 1 to Year 2. He has taken on a leadership role with our team and been a steady presence in all situations. We are proud of him for his commitment to his game and our group and look forward to seeing where he commits to play NCAA Division I hockey,” said Amarillo head coach Rocky Russo.
2nd Star: Blake Bennett, F, Corpus Christi IceRays
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brett Abdelnour, F, Amarillo Bulls – Josh Barraclough, F, Shreveport Mudbugs – Sam Best, G, Corpus Christi IceRays – Leo Chuard, G, Shreveport Mudbugs – Harrison Feeney, G, Lone Star Brahmas – Max Finner, D, Topeka Pilots – Kyle Herbster, F, Odessa Jackalopes – Nick Siffringer, F, Lone Star Brahmas – Dallas Tulik, F, Topeka Pilots