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 16, 2022. The Divisional Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2022-23 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: Hunter Longhi, Forward, Minot Minotauros
Minot forward Hunter Longhi, 20, had a big week as he helped his club pick up a weekend road sweep of the 1st place North Iowa Bulls. The 5’8/175 lbs. native of Collinsville, IL, had six points in the two wins, which included three goals and three assists to go along with a +5 rating. On Friday, Longhi had a hat-trick in a 4-0 win, and then on Saturday, he assisted on three goals in a 4-3 win. For the season, Longhi leads the Minotauros in scoring with 14 points in 11 games played. “Hunter has been fantastic for us all season long. His play away from the puck is what I have been most impressed with, and it is turning into offense for him. We are happy for Hunter to be recognized and look forward to continuing to help him on his path to NCAA D1 hockey,” said Minot head coach Cody Campbell.
2nd Star: Ethan Robertson, G, Austin Bruins
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Blake Johnson, F, North Iowa Bulls – Willy Johnson, F, North Iowa Bulls – Chase LaPinta, F, Minot Minotauros – Cole Moore, G, Aberdeen Wings
East Division Star of the Week: Zach Aben, Forward, Johnstown Tomahawks
Johnstown forward Zach Aben, 18, helped his team get back on track this past weekend with a home sweep of the Philadelphia Rebels. The 5’10/186 lbs. native of Dallas, PA, had five points in the two wins and was +2. On Friday, Aben assisted on the game-winning goal in a 2-1 win. On Saturday, he put up two goals and two assists in a 6-4 win. For the season, Aben has seven points in nine games played. “Zach was outstanding this weekend displaying the 200-foot game that he excels in so well. Additionally, he found a lot of offense for us which was much needed for our group. Grabbing two wins was vital for our team this past weekend and Zach was an instrumental part of that success. With his all-around game, very strong academics, and superior character I believe he is certainly a player that NCAA Division 1 programs should be looking very closely at,” said Tomahawks head coach Mike Letizia.
2nd Star: Branden Piku, F, Maryland Black Bears
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tyler DesRochers, D, Johnstown Tomahawks – Robert Hyde, F, New Jersey Titans – Sean Kilcullen, D, Maryland Black Bears – Logan Nickerson, F, Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks – Ben Yurchuk, F, New Jersey Titans
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Kayden Hargraves, Goaltender, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
Hargraves, 20, got the Ice Dogs back on track with a weekend road sweep of the 1st place Kenai River Brown Bears. The 6’1/175 lbs. native of Cheyenne, WY, stopped 74 of 79 shots in the two wins. On Friday, he made 49 saves in a 5-4 overtime win. On Saturday, Hargraves made 25 saves in a 3-1 win. For the season, Hargraves has a 8-3-0 record with a 2.36 goals against average and a .931 save percentage. “Kaden is a lighthouse for our group, meaning that he provides security regardless of the weather and circumstances. That’s what he has done for us all year thus far,” said Ice Dogs head coach Dave Allison.
2nd Star: J.J. Grainda, F, Chippewa Steel
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Bryant Marks, G, Kenai River Brown Bears – Brady Welsch, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Carter Wishart, G, Chippewa Steel
South Division Star of the Week: Simon Bucheler, Goaltender, Shreveport Mudbugs
Bucheler, 20, helped the Mudbugs to a weekend road sweep of the previously unbeaten Amarillo Wranglers. The 6’2/185 lbs. native of Saint-Laurent, PQ, stopped 54 of 58 shots and had an assist in the two wins. On Friday, Bucheler made 30 saves and then stopped 4 of 5 shooters in the shootout in a 4-3 win. On Saturday, he made 24 saves in a 3-1 win. For the season, Bucheler is now 3-0 with a 1.61 goals against average and .936 save percentage. “This type of weekend is what Simon has so patiently waited for and worked for dating back to last season. Unfortunately, an injury in training has kept him out of the lineup until two weeks ago. He showed poise, leadership, and the ability to come up big when his team needed him. His contribution to the team helped us get two wins that we really needed. Chipping in with an assist was just icing on the cake,” said Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell.
2nd Star: Emerson Goode, F, Odessa Jackalopes
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Preston Brighton, D, Amarillo Wranglers – Tommy Chunchukov, F, Amarillo Wranglers – Matthew MacDonald, F, Lone Star Brahmas – Drake Morse, F, Shreveport Mudbugs – Ivan Zadvernyuk, F, Lone Star Brahmas