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 March 31, 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: Aaron Myers, forward, Minnesota Wilderness
Minnesota Wilderness forward Aaron Myers, 19, is putting a great cap on his rookie season in the NAHL. The 5’11/176 lbs. native of Thief River Falls, Minnesota, continued his point production this past weekend in a weekend road split against the Minot Minotauros, totaling six points in two games. On Friday, Myers had a goal and four assists in a 5-4 overtime win. On Saturday, he picked up an assist on the lone goal for the Wilderness in a 5-1 loss. For the season, Myers leads the team in scoring with 50 points 55 games played. “Aaron is an outstanding 200-foot player. He showed again last weekend why he is one of the best all-around players to ever play for the Wilderness,” said Wilderness head coach Dave Boitz.
2nd Star: Adam Pitters, F, Aberdeen Wings
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Luke Aquaro, F, Brookings Blizzard – Jonathan Bendorf, F, Aberdeen Wings – Daniel Chladek, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Ben Garrity, G, Minot Minotauros – David Raisanen, F, Minot Minotauros – Willy Stauber, D, Bismarck Bobcats – Gabe Wahl, F, Brookings Blizzard
East Division Star of the Week: Kyle Jeffers, forward, New Jersey Titans
Winners of their last three straight games, including two this weekend against the Maryland Black Bears, the New Jersey Titans are trying to catch fire at the right time of year. This past weekend, it was forward Kyle Jeffers, 20, leading the charge. The 5’11/180 lbs. native of Old Bridge, New Jersey, and American International College recruit had five points in the two wins and sweep. On Friday, the NAPHL grad had the game-winning goal and an assist in a 4-3 win, and then on Saturday he had three assists in a 7-3 win. For the season, Jeffers is second in team scoring with 51 points in 58 games played. “Kyle had a monster offensive weekend for us against Maryland. He was a consistent threat for us along with his linemates Kyler Head and Mitch Machlitt. I thought his work 5 on 5 and on the power play was a big difference. Kyle has been one of leading scorers throughout the season and we need him to continue to be a leader for us as we head towards the Robertson Cup Playoffs,” said New Jersey head coach Craig Doremus.
2nd Star: Chris Garbe, F, New Jersey Titans
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Ben Schmidling, forward, Springfield Jr. Blues
Springfield Jr. Blues forward Ben Schmidling, 21, helped his team to a weekend home sweep of the Chippewa Steel. The 5’10/172 lbs. native of St. Joseph, Missouri, racked up six more points in the two wins and extended his point steak to eight straight games. On Friday, Schmidling had two goals, including the game-winner, in a 7-3 win. On Saturday, Schmidling had a goal and an assist in a 5-1 win. For the season, Schmidling is second in team scoring with 65 points in 58 games played. “Ben has been on quite a roll for us the past month. He has been a leader offensively for us and we will need him to continue that heading into the playoffs,” said Jr. Blues head coach Tyler Rennette.
2nd Star: Matt Hanewall, F, Janesville Jets
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Sean Driscoll, D, Janesville Jets – Jack Jensen, F, Minnesota Magicians – Matt Koethe, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Brandon Puricelli, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Ben Schultheis, D, Minnesota Magicians – Trenton Woods, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
South Division Star of the Week: Brendan West, forward, Amarillo Bulls
Amarillo Bulls forward Brendan West, 19, helped his club win two of three home games this weekend against the Corpus Christi IceRays. The 5’8/165 lbs. native of Plymouth, Michigan, totaled six points, including five goals in the three games and scored at least a goal in each game of the series. On Friday, West had a goal and an assist in an 8-2 win. On Saturday, he had a hat-trick in an 8-3 win, and then on Sunday he scored another goal in a 4-3 loss. For the season, West has 24 points in 50 games played. “Brendan has continued to work on his game and his offensive production as of late has been very important for our team. He also defends very well and is an important penalty killer for us. I am confident that he is going to be an excellent player at the NCAA Division I level,” said Bulls head coach Rocky Russo.
2nd Star: Jason Brancheau, F, Amarillo Bulls
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Blake Evennou, D, Lone Star Brahmas – Zach Heintz, F, Lone Star Brahmas – Jack Jaunich, F, Shreveport Mudbugs – Che Landikusic, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Warren Natyshak, F, Shreveport Mudbugs – Mitch Walinski, F, Corpus Christi IceRays