NAHL announces Bauer Hockey 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 13, 2020. The Divisional Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2020-21 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: Kyle Kukkonen, Forward, Minot Minotauros
Minot Minotauros forward Kyle Kukkonen, 18, was a factor in both weekend games as the Minotauros split a home series against the St. Cloud Norsemen. The 5’10/170 lbs. native of Maple Grove, MN, had six points in the two games, which included two goals and four assists. On Friday, the Michigan Tech commit had a shorthanded goal and four assists in an 8-6 win. On Saturday, Kukkonen scored the lone goal in a 3-1 loss. In seven NAHL games this season, Kukkonen has recorded eight points. “Kyle has been a great addition to the program. I always know what kind work I’m going to get out Kyle and it shows with how every game he gets better. I’m happy to see Kyle receive the award and excited to see him keep developing and improving his game,” said Minot head coach Shane Wagner.
2nd Star: Blake Perbix, F, St. Cloud Norsemen
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Paxton Geisel, G, St. Cloud Norsemen – George Grannis, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Hudson Hodges, G, Austin Bruins – Jens Richards, F, Austin Bruins – Ryan Taylor, F, Bismarck Bobcats
East Division Star of the Week: Liam McCanney. Forward, Northeast Generals
Northeast Generals forward and leading scorer Liam McCanney, 20, was on the scoresheet in all three of the Generals games this past week. The 5’11/180 lbs. native of Aidan, PA, had four points in three games, which included three goals and an assist. On Wednesday, McCanney had a goal in a 4-3 overtime loss at Maine. On Friday, he recorded an assist in a 5-1 win over the Nordiques, and then on Saturday, he scored twice in a 4-3 loss at Maine. McCanney’s 16 points in 16 games played leads the Generals in scoring so far this season. “Liam just keeps getting better. He is one of the fastest players in the league and keeps improving his game. He is putting up huge offensive numbers because of how good he is defensively and how well he uses his speed to transition up the ice. He is going to be an absolute steal for the NCAA D1 program that commits him. He’s just a great kid and player,” said Generals head coach Bryan Erikson.
2nd Star: Stefan Owens, F, Maine Nordiques
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jay Ahearn, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Anton Castro, G, Northeast Generals – John Gelatt, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Michael Morelli, G, Maryland Black Bears – Cooper Swift, D, Maine Nordiques – Josh Waters, F, Maryland Black Bears
Midwest Division Star of the Week: No Games
South Division Star of the Week: Cole Hudson, Goaltender, Shreveport Mudbugs
Shreveport Mudbugs goalie Cole Hudson, 20, has picked up in December right where he left off in November as the NAHL’s Goaltender of the Month with two more wins this past weekend. The 6’1/175 lbs. native of Tonawanda, NY, backstopped the Mudbugs to a pair of overtime wins at home over the visiting Odessa Jackalopes, stopping 68 of 72 shots in the process. On Friday, Hudson made 31 saves in a 3-2 overtime win, and then on Saturday, he made 37 saves in another 3-2 overtime win. Hudson is currently 2nd in the NAHL with a .944 save percentage and 3rd in the NAHL with a 1.54 goals against average. “Cole came up big this past weekend as he faced plenty of shots including an OT penalty shot Saturday night. His calmness and confidence in net helped set the table for our OT winners both nights. Another great weekend by great kid and teammate,” said Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell.
2nd Star: Andrew DeCarlo, F, Lone Star Brahmas
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Mitchell Digby, D, Lone Star Brahmas – Chris Hedden, D, Shreveport Mudbugs – Joey Musa, F, Odessa Jackalopes