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 1, 2019. The Divisional Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2019-20 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: Nik Armstong-Kingkade, forward, Minot Minotauros
Minot Minotauros forward Nik Armstong-Kingkade, 20, had a big week as he helped his team close the gap in the Central Division with two wins in three games. The 5’9/185 lbs. native of Alexandria, Virginia, had six points (4 goals, 2 assists) in the three games. On Wednesday, Kingkade, who is committed to play NCAA Division 1 hockey for UMass-Lowell, had a hat-trick, which included the game-winning goal, in a 6-3 road win in Bismarck. On Friday, he had an assist in a 5-2 loss against the St. Cloud Blizzard. On Saturday, he had a goal and an assist in an 11-4 win over the Blizzard. For the season, Kingkade leads the Minotauros in scoring with 25 points in 22 games played. “Nik has been a great addition to our team. He plays the game the right way with a strong work ethic and consistency. He understands who he is as a player, and what makes him effective. Aside from being a consistent threat offensively all year, he brings much more to the table for us. He's shown great leadership and is reliable in all situations,” said Minot head coach Marty Murray.
2nd Star: Brady Bjork, F, St. Cloud Blizzard
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ben Almquist, F, Austin Bruins – Brady Bjork, F, St. Cloud Blizzard – Jakub Breault, F, Aberdeen Wings – Mack Byers, F, Aberdeen Wings – Jacob Herter, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Blake Holmes, D, Minnesota Wilderness – Ville Immonen, F, Minot Minotauros – Grant Johnson, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Connor Mylymok, F, Austin Bruins – Adam Stacho, F, Bismarck Bobcats
East Division Star of the Week: Avery Sturtz, goaltender, Maine Nordiques
Maine Nordiques goaltender Avery Sturtz, 18, made his lone start this past weekend count. The 6’1/174 lbs. native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, stopped all 38 shots that came his way for his first NAHL shutout in a 4-0 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights on Wednesday. For the season, Sturtz is 2-2-1 with a 2.96 goals against average and a .904 save percentage. “We are excited to have Avery receive this award. Since the beginning of the season he has worked hard to develop his game and has come a long way from his experiences, both with the Maine Nordiques and during his call up to the USHL. He was tremendous in this game, especially late, with a few huge stops to help preserve the shutout and get our team back in the win column,” said Maine head coach Nolan Howe.
2nd Star: Kyle Jeffers, F, New Jersey Titans
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Trent Grimshaw, F, Maine Nordiques – Valentino Passarelli, F, Jamestown Rebels – Valerii Rykov, F, Jamestown Rebels – Alex Tracy, G, Johnstown Tomahawks
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Grant Boldt, goaltender, Chippewa Steel
Led by goalie Grant Boldt, 19, the Chippewa Steel got back on track this past weekend with a sweep of the Springfield Jr. Blues. The 6’1/183 lbs. native of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, allowed just a single goal in the two wins, stopping 51 of a possible 52 shots on goal. That included a 25-save shutout in Saturday’s 4-0 win. For the season, Boldt, who is also an NAPHL grad, has a 7-0-0 record with a 2.04 goals against average and a .922 save percentage. “Grant was able to step in after not playing for a few weeks and provide us a spark. He made big saves when we needed him and was steady for us all weekend,” said Steel head coach Carter Foguth.
2nd Star: Brendan Murphy, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Lucas Kanata, F, Minnesota Magicians – Matt Koethe, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Chris Konin, F, Minnesota Magicians – Cody Moline, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Logan Ritchie, F, Kenai River Brown Bears
South Division Star of the Week: Vincent Corcoran, defenseman, Topeka Pilots
The Topeka Pilots picked up a weekend road sweep in Odessa against the Jackalopes and defenseman Vincent Corcoran, 18, had his first breakout weekend of the year. The 5’7/145 lbs. native of Plainfield, Illinois, recorded his first points of the year, which included four points (2 goals, 2 assists) in the two wins. On Friday, Corcoran had the game-winning goal and two assists in an 8-2 win. On Saturday, he had another goal in a 3-1 win. “Vincent has been a steady performer for us all season. He has focused on the details in his game and finally saw some offensive production this past weekend. We look for him to bring his tireless work ethic and positive attitude to the rink each day and watch his play on the ice continue to improve,” said Topeka head coach Simon Watson.
2nd Star: Taylor Ewing, F, New Mexico Ice Wolves
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Erik Bargholtz, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Ryan Coughlin, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Austin McCarthy, F, Topeka Pilots