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 October 31, 2021. The Divisional Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2021-22 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: Brandon Lajoie, Forward, St. Cloud Norsemen
St. Cloud Norsemen veteran forward Brandon Lajoie, 20, was an offensive force in both games this past weekend as the Norsemen split a series against Minot. The 5’11/180 lbs. native of Eagle River, AK, totaled five points in the two games, which included four goals. On Friday, the former Team NAHL member had two goals and an assist in a 6-2 win. On Saturday, he scored two more goals in a 5-4 loss. For the season, Lajoie is 4th in team scoring with 10 points in 11 games played so far during the 2021-22 season. “Brandon has been a great addition to our program and brings a lot of experience. He is a great kid and teammate,” said Norsemen head coach Corey Millen.
2nd Star: Jens Richards, F, Austin Bruins
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Nik Hong, F, St. Cloud Norsemen – Cade Neilson, F, Aberdeen Wings – Patrick O’Connell, F, Aberdeen Wings – Alex Trombley, F, Austin Bruins
East Division Star of the Week: Andrew Takacs, Goaltender, New Jersey Titans
New Jersey Titans goalie Andrew Takacs, 20, backstopped his team to two more wins this weekend in Johnstown against the Tomahawks. The 6’3/190 lbs. native of Bowie, MD, allowed just three goals in the two wins, stopping 51 of a combined 54 shots. On Friday, Takacs made 27 saves through regulation and overtime and then stopped four of six shooters in the shootout in a 3-2 win. On Saturday, he made 24 saves in a 3-1 win. For the season Takacs is tied for the NAHL lead with eight wins and ranks in the Top 8 in both save percentage (.926) and goals against average (2.23). “Andrew has been a stabilizing force for us since joining us after the NAHL Showcase. He is a veteran goaltender who has been a calming presence for our club. Andrew is an extremely talented young man who works hard each day to improve his craft. He was excellent for us this past weekend in Johnstown with timely saves each night. We look forward to him continuing his strong play for our hockey club,” said Titans head coach Craig Doremus.
2nd Star: John Lundy, F, Jamestown Rebels
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ryan Bottrill, F, Maryland Black Bears – Luca Di Pasquo, G, Maryland Black Bears - Zion Green, F, Maine Nordiques – Jake Howard, D, Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks – Brendan Kimball, D, Maine Nordiques – Nick Ring, F, New Jersey Titans - Mike Salandra, F, Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Ethan Benz, Forward, Chippewa Steel
Chippewa Steel forward Ethan Benz, 20, continued his impressive 2021-22 season with five more point in two games this past week. The 6’1/185 lbs. native of Shakopee, MN, had three goals and two assists as he stay amongst the league leaders in scoring. On Thursday, Benz had the game-winning goal and two assists in a 5-3 win over the Minnesota Wilderness. On Saturday, he had two goals in a 6-3 loss to the Minnesota Magicians. For the season, Benz is tied for 3rd in league scoring with 22 points in 18 games played. “Ethan has made some great strides early in the season. He has fully committed to playing a 200-foot game and getting to the hard areas, and it has shown in his production. He has the offensive ability to impact the game every night and has been. We look forward to continued success for Ethan the rest of the year,” said Steel head coach Casey Mignone.
2nd Star: Aiden Westin, F, Anchorage Wolverines
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Drake Albers, F, Anchorage Wolverines – Gavin Best, F, Minnesota Magicians – Grayden Dahl, D, Janesville Jets – Sam Frandina, D, Chippewa Steel – Kayden Hargraves, G, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – William Persson, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Nicholas Rexine, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Jack Ring, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Will Schumacher, F, Minnesota Magicians
South Division Star of the Week: Carter Korpi, Forward, Wichita Falls Warriors
Wichita Falls Warriors forward and Air Force recruit Carter Korpi, 20, had a productive weekend as his team took to the road and ended up with a weekend split against the New Mexico Ice Wolves. The 6’0/190 lbs. native of South Lyon, MI, had four points in the two games. On Friday, Korpi had an assist in a 6-2 loss. On Saturday, he scored the game-winning goal and had two assists in a 5-3 win. For the season, Korpi is 3rd in team scoring with 12 points in 12 games played. “It was great having Carter back in the lineup against a tough opponent this past weekend. He has been on the verge of breaking out offensively and he displayed this weekend how impactful he is to our team’s success. Saturday night was a big game for our team, and he played his best game of the season for us,” said Warriors head coach Garrett Roth.
2nd Star: Tanner Daniels, F, Lone Star Brahmas
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Devon Bobak, G, Shreveport Mudbugs – Beni Halasz, G, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Frank Jenkins, D, Corpus Christi IceRays – Ryan Kelly, F, Odessa Jackalopes – JD Metz, F, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Albin Persson, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Ryan Robinson, F, Wichita Falls Warriors – Burke Simpson, F, Shreveport Mudbugs – Artur Turansky, F, Lone Star Brahmas