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 12, 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: Alexander Gullichsen, Forward, Aberdeen Wings
Aberdeen Wings forward Alexander Gullichsen, 20, helped his team stay in 2nd place in the Central Division with a big weekend road sweep of the Minot Minotauros. The 6’3/195 lbs. native of Turku, Finland, had five points and was a +3 in the two wins. On Friday, he collected three assists in a 4-1 win. On Saturday, he scored two goals in a 4-3 win. For the season, Gullichsen, who played in the 2023 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, is tied for 3rd in team scoring with 26 points in 37 gamed played to date. “Alexander is a player that really works on his craft and the time he puts into the game will pay dividends. This week Alexander was a big part of our two-game success,” said Wings head coach Scott Langer.
2nd Star: Gavin Morrissey, F, Austin Bruins
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Julian Beaumont, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Logan Dombrowsky, F, North Iowa Bulls – Braden Fischer, F, Minot Minotauros – Cole Moore, G, Aberdeen Wings – Kade Peterson, F, St. Cloud Norsemen - Adam Pietila, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Blake Ulve, F, North Iowa Bulls – Walter Zacher, F, Austin Bruins
East Division Star of the Week: Aidan Coupe, Forward, Maine Nordiques
Maine Nordiques forward Aidan Coupe, 21, played a big role in helping his team pick up three of a possible four points in a weekend road series against 1st place Maryland. The 5’11/165 lbs. native of Gilbert, AZ, had three points and was +2 during the weekend. On Friday, he had the only goal, which was the game-winner, in a 1-0 win. On Saturday, he scored another goal and added an assist in a 5-4 overtime loss. For the season, Coupe has 20 points in 36 games played to date. “Aidan is in a full stride version of his game. He is a 200-foot centerman, that possesses many attributes to contribute on both sides of the puck. He has been embraced by our organization and community since Day 1. Like all the players on our team, he carries himself like a leader on and off the ice. Every day he pushes himself and his team to get one step closer,” said Nordiques head Matt Pinchevsky.
2nd Star: Luke Van Why, D, Maryland Black Bears
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Kael DePape, G, Maine Nordiques – Max Hamstad, F, Philadelphia Rebels – Toby Hopp, G, Northeast Generals – Ryan Panico, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Connor Sedlak, F, Philadelphia Rebels – Johnny Ulicny, F, Johnstown Tomahawks
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Adam Gajan, Goaltender, Chippewa Steel
Chippewa Steel goalie Adam Gajan, 18, kept his perfect month of February going with two more wins this weekend in a sweep of the Springfield Jr. Blues. The 6’3/176 lbs. native of Poprad, Slovakia, allowed just two goals during the two wins and stopped 57 pf 59 shots. On Friday, Gajan made 27 saves in a 3-2 win. On Saturday, he stopped all 30 shots that came his way for his first shutout of the season in a 2-0 win. For the season, the Minnesota-Duluth commit has an 11-8-1 record with a 2.80 goals against average and a .916 save percentage. “Adam’s play this weekend was outstanding. It is great to see him playing at such a high level. When he is playing like this, he exudes a confidence that our team builds off. I don’t know if I have ever been around another kid who could have handled what has been thrown at Adam this year. It is a testament to his preparation and his level of commitment to being the best player he can be,” said Steel head coach Casey Mignone.
2nd Star: Shane Soderwall, G, Anchorage Wolverines
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Joe Cesario, F, Anchorage Wolverines – Sam Rice, F, Chippewa Steel
South Division Star of the Week: Eric Vitale, Forward, Shreveport Mudbugs
The Shreveport Mudbugs moved into 3rd place in the South Division thanks to a weekend road sweep of the New Mexico Ice Wolves. Mudbugs forward Eric Vitale, 20, played a big part in the weekend wins, putting up five points and a +3 rating in the two games. On Friday, the 6’2/187 lbs. native of Markham, ON, had a goal in a 5-4 win. On Saturday, he had a goal and three assists in a 4-2 win. For the season, Vitale is tied for 3rd in team scoring with 27 points in 36 games played. “Eric is the type of player that can put up points and has been working on rounding out the other parts of his game. His points were great but I’m proud of his +3 rating. With the exception of the penalty kill, he played in all situations and was a big part of the team’s success this past weekend,” said Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell.
2nd Star: William Lawson-Body, F, Oklahoma Warriors
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Carter Clafton, G, Amarillo Wranglers – Daniel Duris, G, Oklahoma Warriors – Jack Ivey, F, Amarillo Wranglers – Alfred Lindberg, F, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Tyler Samodral, F, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Garrett Steele, F, Shreveport Mudbugs