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 13, 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: Ryan O’Neill, Forward, St. Cloud Norsemen
St. Cloud Norsemen forward Ryan O’Neill, 20, helped his team move into sole possession of 1st place in the Central and run their winning streak to 10 straight games thanks to a weekend home-and-home sweep of the Austin Bruins. The 5’10/175 lbs. native of Roseville, MN, racked up four goals in the two wins. On Friday, O’Neill had a hat-trick in a 6-2 win. On Saturday, he scored the overtime-winning goal in a 4-3 home win. For the season, the University of St. Thomas recruit leads the Norsemen in scoring with 48 points in 36 games played so far this season. “Ryan had a nice weekend. We rely on him to provide offensive punch,” said Norsemen head coach Corey Millen.
2nd Star: Will Gilson, D, Aberdeen Wings
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jack Campion, F, North Iowa Bulls – Chase Freiermuth, F, St. Cloud Norsemen – Byron Hartley, F, North Iowa Bulls – Jake McLean, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Anthony Menghini, F, Austin Bruins – Cade Neilson, F, Aberdeen Wings – Quinn Rudrud, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Walter Zacher, F, Austin Bruins
East Division Star of the Week: John Lundy, Forward, Jamestown Rebels
Jamestown Rebels forward John Lundy, 20, had a huge weekend as he helped his club pick up a weekend home sweep of the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks. The 5’9/164 lbs. native of Brooklyn, NY, put up seven points (4 goals, 3 assists) in the two wins. On Friday, Lundy had his most productive game of the season, as he recorded two goals and three assists in a 7-0 win over Danbury. The next night, he had two more goals in a 5-2 win. For the season, Lundy, who played for the East Division in the 2022 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, currently leads the Rebels in scoring with 37 points in 42 games played to date. “It was an awesome weekend by John. These games the rest of the way are huge and he certainly stepped it up this weekend and lead by example. He has been tremendous all year and it's why we gave him the Captaincy from Day 1. He’s a phenomenal player and person some school is going to get a future All-American,” said Rebels head coach Joe Coombs.
2nd Star: Aidan Connolly, F, Maine Nordiques
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Laker Aldridge, F, Maryland Black Bears – Ryan Bottrill, F, Maryland Black Bears – Brendan Gibbons, F, Maine Nordiques – Ryan Gordon, F, Northeast Generals – Stephen Kyrkostas, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Evan Orr, D, Northeast Generals – Egan Schmitt, F, Johnstown Tomahawks
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Lucas Kanta, Forward, Minnesota Magicians
Minnesota Magicians forward Lucas Kanta, 20, put up some points this weekend as the Magicians took three of four points in a weekend home series against Kenai River. The 6’2/195 lbs. native of Grand Forks, ND, had three goals and an assist in the series. On Friday, Kanta scored two goals, including the game-winner, and added an assist in a 6-2 win. On Saturday, he had another goal in a 4-3 overtime loss. For the season, Kanta, who played in the 2022 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for the Midwest Division team, is 4th in team scoring with 38 points in 40 games played thus far. “Lucas has been great for us all year. He’s a leader on and off the ice and a player you love to coach. He goes to the hard areas and is great down low. I know exactly what I’m getting from him day in and day out. He plays on our top line and in every situation. I look for him to continue his good play and whoever picks him up for next year is getting a heck of a player and an even better person,” said Magicians head coach Nick Bydal.
2nd Star: Aksel Reid, G, Springfield Jr. Blues
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Cole Crusberg-Roseen, D, Minnesota Wilderness – Cole Dubicki, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Jack Ford, F, Janesville Jets - Noah Holt, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Kevin Marx-Noren, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Owen Millward, G, Janesville Jets - William Persson, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Billy Renfrew, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Talon Sigurdson, F, Anchorage Wolverines – Will Svenddal, D, Minnesota Magicians – Aiden Westin, F, Anchorage Wolverines
South Division Star of the Week: Beni Halasz, Goaltender, New Mexico Ice Wolves
It was another big weekend for New Mexico Ice Wolves goalie Beni Halasz, 20, who was in goal for two of his team’s three wins in a weekend home sweep of Amarillo. The 6’0/180 lbs. native of Budapest, Hungary, allowed just a single goal in two starts this weekend, stopping 50 of 51 shots in the process. On Friday, Halasz stopped all 24 shots that came his way for his league-tying 5th shutout of the season in a 1-0 win. On Sunday, Halasz, who recently played for the South Division at the 2022 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, made 26 saves in a 5-1 win. For the season, Halasz currently leads the NAHL with a 1.85 goals against average and ranks 2nd in wins (21) and save percentage (.933). “Beni has been unbelievable for us all year. He’s been a huge part of our team’s success thus far and will continue to be. He was great last weekend. He made saves when we needed them and gave us a chance to win each night,” said New Mexico head coach Phil Fox.
2nd Star: Austin Brimmer, F, Shreveport Mudbugs
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Riley Brueck, F, Wichita Falls Warriors – Nikolai Dulak, F, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Connor Gatto, F, Shreveport Mudbugs – Jude Kurtas, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Cade Lemmer, F, Wichita Falls Warriors – Nicholas Niemo, F, Lone Star Brahmas – Logan Tobias, F, Lone Star Brahmas – Trey Zagrzebski, F, Corpus Christi IceRays