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 March 27, 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: Byron Hartley, Forward, North Iowa Bulls
North Iowa Bulls forward Byron Hartley, 19, had a big week to help the Bulls stay in the Central Division playoff race as they earned three of four points in a weekend home series against Minot. The 6’0/185 lbs. native Philadelphia, PA, had four points in the two games and was a +3. On Friday, the NAPHL grad had two goals and an assist in a 5-3 win. On Saturday, Hartley had an assist in a 4-3 shootout loss. For the season, Hartley is currently tied for 3rd in team scoring with 35 points in 49 games played. “Byron is consistent in bringing us positive energy and has been a reliable player offensively. We will not be surprised if he earns an NCAA Division 1 commitment soon,” said Bulls head coach Todd Sanden.
2nd Star: Carson Riddle, F, Austin Bruins
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brady Egan, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Will Gilson, D, Aberdeen Wings – Jake McLean, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Cade Neilson, F, Aberdeen Wings – Blake Perbix, F, St. Cloud Norsemen – Carter Rapalje, F, North Iowa Bulls – Nick Young, D, St. Cloud Norsemen
East Division Star of the Week: Conor Cole, Forward, Maryland Black Bears
Maryland Black Bears forward Conor Cole, 20, had a big week as the Black Bears brought home three of four points in a weekend road series in Maine. On Friday, the 5’10/183 lbs. St. John’s, NL, had two assists in regulation and then scored the shootout-winning goal in a 6-5 shootout win. On Saturday, Cole had a goal and an assist in a 3-2 shootout loss. For the season, the Alaska-Anchorage recruit is 3rd in team scoring with 33 points in 49 games played. “Conor had a big week for us on the road and helped lead the way in an important weekend. As our captain, he really stepped up and took control and produced for us when it mattered most,” said Maryland head coach Clint Mylymok.
2nd Star: Avery Sturtz, G, Maine Nordiques
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tommy Bannister, F, New Jersey Titans – Elliot Lareau, F, Maryland Black Bears – Johnny Meiers, F, Maine Nordiques – Michael Young, F, New Jersey Titans
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Spencer Bellina, Defenseman, Chippewa Steel
Chippewa Steel defenseman Spencer Bellina, 20, continued his hot play as he helped the Steel pick up a weekend split of their series in Fairbanks. On Friday, the 6’2/196 lbs. native of Medina, OH, had the game-winning goal in a 3-1 win. On Saturday, he scored another goal in a 6-3 loss, which extended his point streak to four straight games. Since joining the Steel, Bellina has eight points in 12 games played. “Spencer has been a welcomed addition to our group. His leadership and character are top notch. He is an extremely hard-nosed defender, who has made it a point to continue to improve the offensive side of his game, upon arriving here. It is great to see his hard work pay off and get rewarded with a few big goals for us this weekend. We are excited to see what the future holds for Spencer,” said Steel head coach Casey Mignone.
2nd Star: Haden Kruse, F, Minnesota Wilderness
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Leo Bacallao, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Kayden Hargraves, G, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Noah Marino, D, Springfield Jr. Blues – Nick Sajevic, F, Chippewa Steel – Brady Welsch, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Ethan Wolthers, F, Minnesota Wilderness
South Division Star of the Week: Matt McQuade, Forward, Lone Star Brahmas
Lone Star Brahmas forward Matt McQuade, 20, was able to help his team pick up a weekend home sweep of the El Paso Rhinos and in the process, clinch a spot in the 2022 Robertson Cup Playoffs. The 5’11/185 lbs. native of Stittsville, ON, had three goals and was a +2 on the weekend. On Friday, McQuade had two goals in an 8-1 win. On Saturday, he scored the game-winning goal in a 4-2 win. For the season, McQuade has 37 points in 55 games, which includes 12 points in 23 games since joining the Brahmas. “Matt is playing great 200-foot hockey right now and scoring timely goals. We are excited for his future as he is playing like an NCAA Division I hockey player right now and only getting better,” said Brahmas head coach Dan Wildfong.
2nd Star: Burke Simpson, F, Shreveport Mudbugs
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Davis Borozinskis, F, Corpus Christi IceRays - Austin Brimmer, F, Shreveport Mudbugs – Michael Casey Jr., F, Corpus Christi IceRays – William Lawson-Body, F, Wichita Falls Warriors – Tony Leahy, F, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Carsen Stokes, G, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Logan Tobias, F, Lone Star Brahmas – Philip Tornqvist, D, Wichita Falls Warriors