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 January 13, 2019. 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: Thomas Rocco, forward, Aberdeen Wings
The Aberdeen Wings faced a big challenge this weekend as they went on the road to square off against the 2nd place Austin Bruins and after the smoke cleared, the Wings extended their franchise-best winning streak to 14 straight games with two more wins. Forward Thomas Rocco, 19, played a big role in both wins as the 5’9/160 lbs. native of Downingtown, Pennsylvania, racked up four points (2 goals, 2 assists). On Friday, Rocco had the game-winning goal and an assist in a 6-3 win, and then on Saturday he had another goal and an assist in a 4-3 shootout win. For the season, Rocco has 22 points in 31 games for the 1st place Wings. “Thomas is a very dynamic forward that plays at a very high pace. His hockey IQ allows him to play in every key situation for this year’s team. He is one of our most consistent players each and every night and this weekend was no different,” said Wings head coach Scott Langer.
2nd Star: Atticus Kelly, G, Bismarck Bobcats
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brad Belisle, F, Aberdeen Wings – Fritz Belisle, F, Minot Minotauros – Daniel Chladek, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Kendrick Frost, F, Brookings Blizzard – Ryan Green, F, Brookings Blizzard – Dylan Johnson, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Lane Krenzen, D, Austin Bruins – Keenan Lund, F, Minot Minotauros – Dante Zapata, F, Austin Bruins
East Division Star of the Week: Connor Marshall, forward, Northeast Generals
Brown University commit Connor Marshall, 20, had a big weekend as he helped the Northeast Generals move into sole possession of the 4th and final playoff spot in the East Division with a weekend home sweep of the New Jersey Titans. The 6’0/184 lbs. native of Parkland, Florida, recorded five points (2 goals, 3 assists) and was a +4 in the two wins. On Saturday, Marshall had the game-winning goal and assisted on the other two goals in a 3-2 win. On Sunday, he had another game-winning goal and an assist in a 4-2 win. For the season, Marshall is tied for 3rd in team scoring with 21 points in 32 games played. “Connor had a great weekend. He used his speed really well and was able to put in few goals. However, he really stood out in the defensive zone, on the penalty kill, and on the forecheck. His line has been our most consistent line over the past six games, which has given the team a huge lift,” said Generals GM Bryan Erikson.
2nd Star: Oliver Benwell, F, Johnstown Tomahawks
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tyrone Bronte, F, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights – David Fessenden, G, Northeast Generals – Cooper Lukenda, G, Johnstown Tomahawks
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Igor Samokhvalov, goaltender, Chippewa Steel
Newly acquired goaltender Igor Samokhvalov, 18, has been on fire since joining the Steel at the end of December. The 6’1/185 lbs. native of St. Petersburg, Russia, started and won both road games this past weekend as the Steel picked up a weekend sweep in Alaska of the Kenai River Brown Bears. In two games, Samokhvalov stopped 62 of 64 shots, which included a 37-save shutout in a 4-0 win on Saturday and 25 saves in a 6-2 win on Friday. For the season, Samokhvalov has a perfect 3-0 record for the Steel with a 1.00 goals against average and a .969 save percentage. “Igor has impressed our staff since he joined our team with his competitiveness and preparation. He is playing with a lot of confidence right now and the rest of the team has fed off of that. He was very steady for us this past weekend and gave us the chance to win two games against a tough team on the road,” said Interim Steel head coach Carter Foguth.
2nd Star: John Keranen, F, Minnesota Magicians
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jake Hale, F, Minnesota Magicians – Jack Johnston, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Killian Kiecker-Olson, F, Chippewa Steel – Jax Murray, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Nick Nardella, F, Janesville Jets – Erik Palmqvist, F, Janesville Jets – Aaron Swanson, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Janis Voris, G, Springfield Jr. Blues
South Division Star of the Week: Harrison Feeney, goaltender, Lone Star Brahmas
With his team needing a couple of wins to stay in the playoff hunt in the South Division, Lone Star Brahmas goalie Harrison Feeney, 20, came through with a couple of big performances to help his club sweep the Topeka Pilots and move into a tie for 3rd place in the South Division. The 6’2/213 lbs. native of Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, faced 57 shots and made 53 saves in the two wins. On Friday, Feeney made 20 saves in a 4-2 win, and then on Saturday was even better with 33 saves in a 3-2 shootout win, which also included shutting the door on all three Pilots shooters. For the season, Feeney has now won his last four starts and in 29 appearances has a 11-10-6 record with a 2.05 goals against average and .931 save percentage. “Harrison has stuck with the process of development and has been getting better every week. He has been one of our best players all season long and this weekend was a great example of that. He has been a great leader on and off the ice and we are very happy for him,” said Brahmas head coach Dan Wildfong.
2nd Star: Brian George, G, Corpus Christi IceRays
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Blake Bennett, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Blake Evennou, D, Lone Star Brahmas – Logan Jenuwine, F, Amarillo Bulls