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 February 3, 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: Jared Christy, forward, Austin Bruins
Newly acquired forward Jared Christy, 20, paid immediate dividends with his new team as he helped the Bruins to a weekend home-and-home sweep of the Minnesota Magicians. The 5’11/185 lbs. native of Cypress, California, totaled six points (2 goals, 4 assists) and was a +2 in the two wins. On Friday, Christy, who was selected to play in the 2019 Top Prospects Tournament, had four assists in a 6-5 win over the Magicians, and then on Saturday, he scored twice in a 5-4 overtime win. For the season, Christy has 43 points in 41 games played. “Jared was big for us this weekend. He’s a veteran player that is going to make the most of his last few months at the junior level and try to earn that scholarship to an NCAA Division I program. We are expecting him to continue to play hungry and help the organization earn a spot in the playoffs,” said Bruins head coach Steve Howard.
2nd Star: Justin Kelley, F, Minot Minotauros
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Daniel Chladek, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Nick Grabko, G, Minot Minotauros - Kyle Herbster, F, Austin Bruins – Jack Johnson, F, Minnesota Wilderness – John Roberts, G, Bismarck Bobcats – Nic Sicoly, F, Aberdeen Wings – Joe Strada, F, Aberdeen Wings – Jack Suchy, F, Minnesota Wilderness
East Division Star of the Week: Carter McPhail, goaltender, Johnstown Tomahawks
Thanks to two wins over 2nd place Jamestown this past weekend, the Johnstown Tomahawks not only increased their lead atop the East Division, but also because the first NAHL team to clinch a spot in the Robertson Cup Playoffs. Backstopping the team to both wins was 20-year-old goalie Carter McPhail. The 5’11/176 lbs. native of Fenton, Michigan, allowed just two goals on 59 shots in the two wins, which included 29 saves in a 2-1 shootout win on Friday and 28 saves in a 3-1 win on Saturday. McPhail is currently tied for the NAHL lead in save percentage with a .937 mark, ranks 2nd in wins with 21, and is 3rd with a 1.93 goals against average. “Carter was rock solid in our two games this weekend as we picked up two very important wins. He has continued to provide us with strong play in goal, week in and week out. I am very proud of Carter for how he stepped up this weekend for our hockey team,” said Tomahawks head coach Mike Letizia.
2nd Star: Cam Gaudette, D, Northeast Generals
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Carter Dwyer, D, Johnstown Tomahawks – Luke Mountain, F, Maryland Black Bears – Trevor Smith, F, Northeast Generals
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Josh Langford, goaltender, Chippewa Steel
University of Maine recruit Josh Langford, 17, helped his team to a weekend home-and-home sweep of the Minnesota Wilderness from the NAHL’s Central Division. The 6’5/185 lbs. native of Frisco, Texas, stopped 55 of 59 shots in the two wins. On Friday, Langford made 33 saves in a 3-2 home win, and then on Saturday, he made 22 saves, had an assist, and stopped all four Wilderness shooters in the shootout in a 3-2 shootout win to complete the sweep. For the season, Langford has an 8-18-1 record with a 3.24 goals against average and a .899 save percentage. “Josh has been a great teammate all year long and continues to work hard on and off the ice. It's great to see him get rewarded for doing things the right way. He made some big saves and was a huge part of our success against the Wilderness,” said interim Steel head coach Carter Foguth.
2nd Star: Brandon Puricelli, F, Springfield Jr. Blues
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tanner Edwards, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Justin Engelkes, F, Janesville Jets – Zach Krajnik, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Trey LaBarge, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Grant Ledford, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Sam Metcalf, G, Janesville Jets – Ben Schmidling, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Connor Szmul, F, Chippewa Steel
South Division Star of the Week: Maiszon Balboa, goaltender, Shreveport Mudbugs
Although he only played in one game this past weekend, Shreveport Mudbugs goalie Maiszon Balboa, 18, made it count. The 6’1/190 lbs. native of Colorado Springs, Colorado, led Shreveport to their lone win of the weekend, which was a 2-1 win on Friday night, where he made 19 saves in the win. Balboa has now won his last three starts, giving up just four goals in those three games. For the season, Balboa has a 8-5-1 record with a 2.76 goals against average and a .908 save percentage. “I thought Maiszon played very well and made the big saves when he had to. We are going to need goaltending depth down the stretch and I think he is getting better and more confident every game,” said Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell.
2nd Star: Seth Eisele, G, Lone Star Brahmas
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jason Grande, G, Amarillo Bulls – Quinn Green, F, Topeka Pilots – Santeri Hartikainen, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Logan Jenuwine, F, Amarillo Bulls – Conor Witherspoon, F, Shreveport Mudbugs