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 January 1, 2023. 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: Chase LaPinta, Forward, Minot Minotauros
It was a big week for the Minot Minotauros and forward Chase LaPinta, 18, as they picked up a three-game sweep against the Bismarck Bobcats. The 5’9/167 lbs. native of Frisco, TX, had five points in the three wins. On Thursday, LaPinta had a goal and an assist in a 4-3 home win. On Friday, he had the game-tying goal in the 3rd period in another 4-3 win. On Saturday, he had a goal and an assist in a 7-5 road win in Bismarck. For the season, the Arizona State recruit is 2nd in team scoring with 25 points in 27 games played. “Chase’s development this season has been fun to watch, and he continues to improve his play away from the puck and he is being rewarded for that. He played a large role in our team’s success this weekend and we are excited for him that his performance is being recognized. We look forward to continuing to help Chase develop as continues to prepare to head to Arizona State in the future,” said Minotauros head coach Cody Campbell.
2nd Star: Calvin Hanson, F, Bismarck Bobcats
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Julian Beaumont, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Simone Dadie, F, North Iowa Bulls – James Goffredo, D, Austin Bruins – Hunter Longhi, F, Minot Minotauros – Jack Malinski, D, Bismarck Bobcats - Jack Mesic, D, North Iowa Bulls – Cole Moore, G, Aberdeen Wings – Gino Pichora G, Aberdeen Wings
East Division Star of the Week: Aidan Coupe, Forward, Maine Nordiques
Maine forward Aidan Coupe, 20, had a big weekend to help his team to a weekend home sweep of Danbury. The 5’11/165 lbs. native of Gilbert, AZ, scored two big goals in the sweep and had one of his more productive weekends of the year. On Friday, Coupe had the game-winning goal in a 5-3 win. On Saturday, he scored another game-winning goal in a 5-1 win. For the season, Coupe has 12 points in 26 regular season games played. “Aidan truly loves the game. He is constantly working on his craft while helping the younger players in our culture grow. He has showcased his versatility throughout the season in many ways. Wing, Center, special teams; he has the tools to make an impact in any situation. What a way to start 2023 with two game-winning goals to help his team get back to work,” said Nordiques head coach Matt Pinchevsky.
2nd Star: Nick Ahern, F, Johnstown Tomahawks
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): David Andreychuk, F, Northeast Generals – Oliver Genest, F, Maine Nordiques – Jackson McCarthy, D, Northeast Generals
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Will Schumacher, Forward, Wisconsin Windigo
Playing in his first game in over a month, Wisconsin forward Will Schumacher, 18, made a big impact as the Windigo picked up a weekend home sweep of the Kenai River Brown Bears. The 5’11/170 lbs. native of Prior Lake, MN, had five points in the two wins. On Friday, he had two assists in a 7-0 win. On Saturday, he had the game-winning goal and two assists in a 4-3 win. For the season, Schumacher is 2nd in team scoring with 22 points in 21 games played. “Will has been an offensive threat for us all season and had another good weekend. He’s been a big part of our recent success and we lean on him in a lot of different situations,” said Windigo head coach Blake Hietala.
2nd Star: Luke Levandowski, F, Wisconsin Windigo
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Clay Allen, D, Anchorage Wolverines – Garett Drotts, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Kayden Hargraves, G, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Shane Soderwall, G, Anchorage Wolverines – Max Wagener, F, Janesville Jets – Brady Welsch, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
South Division Star of the Week: Maksim Sushchynski, Defenseman, Shreveport Mudbugs
Shreveport Mudbugs defenseman Maksim Sushchynski, 19, had a big weekend to help the Mudbugs stay hot with a weekend road sweep of the Corpus Christi IceRays. The 6’4/200 lbs. native of Bobruisk, Belarus, had four points and was a +5 in the two wins. On Thursday, he picked up three assists in a 7-3 win. On Friday, he scored his first goal of the season in a 5-1 win. For the season, Sushchynski had 10 points in 26 games played. “Maksim has been steady all year. Because of his consistency he was able to produce some good offensive numbers, while maintaining a strong defensive game which resulted in a +5 rating. He’s had a great rookie campaign so far and we are excited to see him continue to develop over the coming months,” said Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell.
2nd Star: Alfred Lindberg, F, New Mexico Ice Wolves
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tommy Aitken, G, Shreveport Mudbugs – Carter Clafton, G, Amarillo Wranglers – Will Howard, F, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Will Laychur, F, Lone Star Brahmas – Pierce Patterson, D, Amarillo Wranglers – Dhillon Wilde, F, Lone Star Brahmas