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 January 31, 2021. 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: Ryan Taylor, Forward, Bismarck Bobcats
It was a big weekend for the Bobcats and 19-year-old forward Ryan Taylor. The 6’3/190 lbs. native of St. Louis, MO, helped the Bobcats pick up a weekend road sweep of the Fairbanks Ice Dogs as he recorded four points (3 goals, 1 assist) and was a +2 in the series. On Saturday, Taylor had two goals, including the game-winner, and an assist in a 9-4 win. On Sunday, he again scored the game-winning goal in a 6-3 win. For the season, Taylor is 2nd in team scoring with 18 points in 22 games played. “Ryan has been awesome for us the last couple of weekends. He’s playing the game the right way and with his skill set as a big man, he’s been getting rewarded and that great to see,” said Bobcats head coach Layne Sedevie.
2nd Star: Jacob Zacharewicz, G, Minnesota Wilderness
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Grant Docter, D, Minnesota Wilderness – Isaac Henkemeyer-Howe, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Tyler Shea, G, Austin Bruins – Alex Trombley, F, Austin Bruins
East Division Star of the Week: Jay Ahearn, Forward, Johnstown Tomahawks
Johnstown Tomahawks forward Jay Ahearn, 19, helped his club move into 1st place in the East Division with a three-game weekend home sweep of the Northeast Generals. The 5’11/180 lbs. native of Staten Island, NY, had six points (3 goals, 3 assists) and was a +4 in the three wins. On Friday, Ahearn had a goal and two assists in a 6-2 win. On Saturday, he added another goal and assist in a 4-3 win. On Sunday, he had the game-winning goal in a 3-1 win. For the season, Ahearn not only leads the Tomahawks in scoring with 34 points, but he is first in the NAHL with 17 goals and 2nd overall in league scoring. “Jay has been an instrumental part of our team since Day 1. His ability to impact the game night in and night out has been enjoyable to watch. More importantly his love for the game is infectious and I think he truly relished the moment this weekend providing an impact in all three games. When he makes a commitment to an NCAA Division I team, I have no doubt they will love the player and person that he is,” said Tomhawks head coach Mike Letizia.
2nd Star: Stephen Willey, F, New Jersey Titans
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brendan Clark, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Tyler Cooper, F, Northeast Generals – Jake LaRusso, F, New Jersey Titans – Liam McCanney, F, Northeast Generals – James Philpott, D, Maine Nordiques – Jack Strauss, F, Maine Nordiques
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Luke Pavicich, Goaltender, Kenai River Brown Bears
Kenai River Brown Bears goalie Luke Pavicich, 18, picked up both wins for his team this weekend as Kenai River brought home two wins in a three-game weekend road series in Janesville. The 6’3/175 lbs. native of Clarence Center, NY, stopped 72 of a possible 74 shots in the two wins. On Friday, Pavicich made 34 saves in a 6-1 win, and then on Sunday, he made 38 saves in a 5-1 win. For the season, Pavicich has a sparkling 9-2-0 record in 12 appearances and ranks 2nd in the NAHL with a .944 save percentage and 6th in goals against average with a 2.18 mark. “Luke has been very good for our team so far and this weekend was no exception. He’s consistently been a calming influence for our team all season for a young goalie and continues to get better every week thanks to his work ethic and his daily approach,” said Brown Bears head coach Kevin Murdock.
2nd Star: Brandon McNamara, F, Kenai River Brown Bears
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brendan Murphy, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Billy Renfrew F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
South Division Star of the Week: Guy Blessing, Goaltender, Lone Star Brahmas
New Lone Star Brahmas goalie Guy Blessing, 19, had an impressive weekend of his return to the NAHL as he helped backstop the Brahmas to two wins in Shreveport against the Mudbugs. The 6’3/160 lbs. native of Chandler, AZ, posted shutouts in both games as the Brahmas moved back into 1st place in the South Division. The Air Force recruit stopped all 63 shots that came his way in the two wins, which included 35 saves in a 3-0 win on Friday and 28 saves in a 2-0 win on Saturday. “Guy was a goalie I thought very highly of last year while he was in Topeka. He had a really good week of practice. He played with confidence, was calm the entire weekend, and made some big and timely saves. In addition, he was great at helping to play the puck and assist with some breakouts,” said Brahmas head coach Dan Wildfong.
2nd Star: Owen Bartoszkiewicz, Goaltender, Wichita Falls Warriors
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Cade Lemmer, F, Wichita Falls Warriors – Harrison Scott, F, Amarillo Bulls – Joey Trazzera, D, Lone Star Brahmas – Jere Vaisanen, F, Amarillo Bulls