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 February 6, 2022. 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: Chase Freiermuth, Forward, St. Cloud Norsemen
The St. Cloud Norsemen moved their winning streak to eight straight games thanks to a weekend home sweep of the Bismarck Bobcats. 20-year-old forward Chase Freiermuth played a role in both wins. The 6’2/208 lbs. native of Hastings, MN, scored the game-winner in Friday’s 4-1 win, and then on Saturday, had another game-winning goal in a 1-0 win. For the season, Freiermuth has recorded 17 points (7 goals, 10 assists) in 36 games played. “Chase has been working hard and it is great to see him get rewarded,” said Norsemen head coach Corey Millen.
2nd Star: Ocean Wallace, F, Austin Bruins
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Hunter Bulger, F, North Iowa Bulls – Kyle Gaffney, F, Aberdeen Wings – Payton Hanson, F, St. Cloud Norsemen – Huston Karpman, F, Minot Minotauros – Jake LaRusso, F, North Iowa Bulls – Connor McGrath, F, Minot Minotauros – Jens Richards, F, Austin Bruins – Landry Schmuck, F, Aberdeen Wings
East Division Star of the Week: David Matousek, Forward, Johnstown Tomahawks
Johnstown Tomahawks forward David Matousek, 19, helped his club to a weekend road sweep of the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks. The 6’0/175 lbs. native of West Chester, PA, had seven points in two games, which included three goals and four assists. On Friday, he had two goals and three assists in a 7-2 win. On Saturday, he had a goal and an assist in a 4-2 win. For the season, Matousek has 26 points in 38 games played. “David was outstanding for us in both games this past weekend. He provided for us on the scoresheet but did a lot of good things without the puck that it takes to win. Even though he is a rookie, he can be an offensive difference maker for us with his knack for scoring. Our division is extremely tight right now, so we certainly need David to continue playing strong and impacting the game every weekend moving forward for us down the stretch,” said Johnstown head coach Mike Letizia.
2nd Star: Billy Feczko, F, New Jersey Titans
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Gabe Dombrowski, F, Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks – Jazz Krivtsov, F, Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks – Elliott Lareau, F, Maryland Black Bears – Paul Minnehan, F, Northeast Generals – Holt Oliphant, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Michael Young, F, New Jersey Titans – Tyler Young, F, Maryland Black Bears
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Croix Kochendorfer, Goaltender, Chippewa Steel
Chippewa Steel goaltender Croix Kochendorfer, 18, helped his club to a weekend home sweep of the Kenai River Brown Bears. The 6’4/220 lbs. native of St. Paul, MN, allowed just two goals in two wins, stopping 51 of 53 shots on the weekend. On Friday, he made 31 saves in a 4-1 win. On Saturday, he mad 20 saves in a 2-1 win. For the season, Kochendorfer has a 12-11-1 record in 27 games played, which includes a 2.68 goals against average .908 save percentage. “We are thrilled with Croix’s development this season. He has grown so much, both on and off the ice. He has taken his mental and physical preparation to the next level and is being rewarded with some good results,” said Steel head coach Casey Mignone.
2nd Star: Kayden Hargraves, G, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alexander Malinowski, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Nick Sajevic, F, Chippewa Steel
South Division Star of the Week: Dylan Smith, Forward, Lone Star Brahmas
Lone Star Brahmas forward Dylan Smith, 20, had a big week as he helped the Brahmas to three wins and a tie for 1st place in the South Division. The 6’0/185 lbs native of Plainfield, IL, had six points in the three wins, which included five goals and an assist. On Thursday, Smith had a goal in a 4-3 shootout win in Odessa. On Friday, he had a hat-trick, which included the game-winning goal in a 4-2 win in El Paso. On Saturday, he had a goal and an assist in a 4-0 win. For the season, Smith is 3rd in team scoring with 27 points in 38 games played. “Dylan is playing like an NCAA Division I hockey player. He competed hard on the defensive end and that translated into success in creating offense and getting some points this past weekend,” said Brahmas head coach Dan Wildfong.
2nd Star: Dayne Hoyord, F, Odessa Jackalopes
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Dillan Bentley, F, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Christopher Duclair, F, Odessa Jackalopes – Danylo Korzhyletskyi, F, Amarillo Wranglers – Jude Kurtas, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Charlie Merkley, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Joe Prouty, D, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Kristaps Skrastins, F, Amarillo Wranglers – Logan Tobias, F, Lone Star Brahmas