NAHL announces Bauer Hockey Divisional Stars of the Week
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey for the week ending December 31, 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: Austin Jouppi, forward, Bismarck Bobcats
Bismarck Bobcats forward Austin Jouppi, 18, has been on a tear as of late and that continued this past week in a three-game series against Minot. The 5’8/170 lbs. native of Duluth, Minnesota, recorded six points (2 goals, 4 assists) and was a +5 in three games against the Minotauros as Bismarck won two of the three match-ups. On Friday, Jouppi had two goals and an assist in a 5-4 home win. On Saturday, he recorded an assist in a 4-2 road loss and then on Monday night he assisted on both goals in a 2-1 home win. Jouppi has vaulted into the team scoring lead with 27 points in 27 games played and is currently riding an 11-game point streak. “Austin is one of the hardest working players that has worn a Bobcat Jersey. He is a true 200-foot player and that's the reason he has an 11-game point streak and 26 points in his last 15 games,” said Bobcats head coach Layne Sedevie.
2nd Star: Ondrej Trejbal, D, Minnesota Wilderness
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brad Belisle, F, Aberdeen Wings – Connor Close, G, Aberdeen Wings – Willy Stauber, D, Bismarck Bobcats – Andrew Willis, F, Austin Bruins
East Division Star of the Week: Samuel Solensky, forward, Johnstown Tomahawks
The NAHL’s leading scorer and Bemidji State University commit was at it again this past weekend as Solensky, 20, put up six more points in a weekend home sweep of the Northeast Generals. The 5’10/170 lbs. native of Michalovce, Slovakia, scored two goals and two assists in a 5-3 win on Sunday, and then scored the overtime-winner and had an assist in a 3-2 win on Monday night. For the season, Solensky leads the NAHL in scoring with 56 points in 34 games played. “Sam continues to provide us with outstanding play helping us win hockey games. It was a special weekend for him setting a new franchise high for goals on his OT-winner Monday night after setting the franchise mark for points and assists earlier this year. In an important series to close out 2018, he was a huge part of us picking up two wins by factoring in six of our eight goals,” said Tomahawks head coach Mike Letizia.
2nd Star: Louis Boudon, F, Northeast Generals
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Michael Higgins, D, Northeast Generals – Roman Kramer, F, Johnstown Tomahawks
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Alex Klekotka, forward, Kenai River Brown Bears
Thanks to a weekend split on the road in Janesville, the Kenai River Brown Bears moved back into the fourth and final playoff spot in the Midwest Division standings. Forward Alex Klekotka, 20, played a big role in both of the games. The 6’0/195 lbs. native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, had a pair of goals and an assist and was +2 in the two games. On Friday, Klekotka had the game-winning goal and an assist in a 5-4 win. On Saturday, he scored again in a close 3-2 loss. For the season, Klekotka is 5th in team scoring with 16 points in 33 games played. “Alex has been a huge piece to the change in our culture. He is a tireless worker and 200-foot player, that has a great mind for the game in both ends of the rink. We are extremely proud for him to earn this award and look for him and the whole team to have a big second half to the season,” said Brown Bears head coach Josh Petrich.
2nd Star: Igor Samokhvaolov, G, Chippewa Steel
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Erik Bargholtz, F, Janesville Jets – Jack Johnston, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Trey LaBarge, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Sam Metcalf, G, Janesville Jets – Isaac Moberg, F, Chippewa Steel – Luke Mobley, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
South Division Star of the Week: Jason Brancheau, forward, Amarillo Bulls
Amarillo Bulls forward and Ferris State commit Jason Brancheau, 19, was on fire this past weekend as the South Division-leading Bulls continued their hot play with a weekend home sweep of the Topeka Pilots. The 5’9/177 lbs. native of River Rouge, Michigan, had five points (2 goals, 3 assists) and was a +3 in the two wins. On Sunday, Brancheau had a pair of assists in a 6-4 win, and then on Monday night he had two goals and an assist in a 10-2 win. Brancheau, who has seven points in his last four games, is currently 3rd in team scoring this season with 30 points in 29 games played. “Jason is such an important part of our team. He plays in all situations, and multiple positions. His skill set, skating and compete level are elite. This weekend was a great example of what he is capable of. Coach Daniels and his staff at Ferris State will be very pleased with what Jason brings to their team as he moves on to college Hockey in the fall,” said Bulls head coach Rocky Russo.
2nd Star: Harrison Feeney, G, Lone Star Brahmas
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Leo Chuard, G, Shreveport Mudbugs – Gueorgui Feduolov, F, Shreveport Mudbugs – Matt Guerra, F, Lone Star Brahmas – Ryan Lautenbach, F, Amarillo Bulls