The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Three Stars of the Week presented by Combat Hockey for the week ending January 8, 2012. The Three Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2011-12 regular season that honors the top performing players each week of the regular season as nominated by their respective teams.
1st Star: Peter Traber, goaltender, Topeka RoadRunners
For the second straight week, Topeka RoadRunners netminder Peter Traber, 18, has been honored as the league’s #1 star of the week, and for good reason. The Houston, Texas native shined once again as helped lead his RoadRunners to a weekend home sweep of the red-hot St. Louis Bandits and increase Topeka’s winning streak to four games. On Friday, Traber extended his shutout streak to 180 minutes by shutting out the Bandits 4-0 with 21 saves en route to his third consecutive shutout in as many starts, equaling the NAHL season-high. The next night, Traber’s (6’1/180) shutout streak ended at an amazing 217 minutes and 59 seconds, but he still managed to allow just the one goal on 23 shots as Topeka won again, 4-1. For the weekend, Traber stopped a combined 43 of 44 shots for a 97.7% save percentage and a goals against average of 0.50. “It was a new experience for Peter to be a part of a great rivalry with St. Louis and he answered the challenge,” said Topeka head coach Scott Langer. “St. Louis had some great opportunities and Peter was able to shut the door and give us some much needed momentum. The guys played with a lot of confidence because they know that Peter was there to back them up.”
2nd Star: Frederick Leisner, goaltender, Aberdeen Wings
Aberdeen Wings netminder Frederick ‘Hunter’ Leisner, 19, netted his first three stars award of the season thanks to helping the Wings sweep a key road series at Coulee Region this past weekend to stay in the thick of the Central Division playoff hunt. On Friday, the Garland, Texas native made 44 saves through regulation and overtime, and then stopped three of four Chill shooters to pick up the 4-3 win in the shootout. The next night, Leisner (6’0/170) stopped all 30 shots for his second shutout of the season as the Wings blanked Coulee Region, 3-0. For the weekend, Leisner stopped 74 of a possible 77 shots for a 96.1% save percentage and posted a goals against average of 1.44. Despite having a record of11-11-3 this season, Leisner has a 93.2% save percentage this season, good for 4th best in the NAHL. “In his two years here in Aberdeen, Frederick has grown tremendously as a goaltender,” said Wings head coach Pete Sauer. “He does a great job of not only stopping the first shot, but controlling his rebounds as well to limit those second chances for the opponent. He was huge for us this past weekend.”
3rd Star: TJ Sarcona, forward, Amarillo Bulls
Now in his second season with the team, Amarillo Bulls forward TJ Sarcona, 19, has been an integral part of helping the Bulls to the top record in the league so far this season, and this weekend was no exception. The West Islip, New York native recorded six points (2 goals, 4 assists) and was +6 in two games this past weekend, as Amarillo earned three of four points to increase their South Division lead to 15 points. Both of Sarcona’s goals over the weekend were shorthanded and came in the same game, Friday’s 10-3 win over Corpus Christi. His two shorties were part of Amarillo’s four shorthanded goals in Friday’s win, which set a new Amarillo hockey record at the pro or junior level. Sarcona is currently 2nd on the Bulls in scoring this season with 36 points (15 goals, 21 assists) in 34 games played. “I think TJ has really learned a lot in his time in Amarillo,” said Bulls head coach Dennis Williams. “He is the one of, if not the best all-around hockey player we have on the roster. He plays and works hard at both ends of the rink enabling us to utilize him in all situations we have during a game.”
Other players nominated were (alphabetical): Brooks Behling, forward, Amarillo Bulls – Brandon Brossoit, forward, Alaska Avalanche - Tommy Burke, goaltender, Bismarck Bobcats – Lawrence Cornellier, forward, Odessa Jackalopes – Wehebe Darge, forward, Alaska Avalanche - Dan Dupell, forward, Topeka RoadRunners – Tanner Fahlstedt, forward, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Brandon Flood, forward, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings – Brock Kautz, goaltender, Janesville Jets – Ken MacLean, goaltender, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings – Connor McBride, forward, Janesville Jets – Mike Moroso, forward, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Josh Obregon, forward, Odessa Jackalopes – Sean O’Rourke, defenseman, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Nolan Valleau, defenseman, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Beau Walker, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays – Dan Zawacki, forward, Bismarck Bobcats.