The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Three Stars of the Week presented by Combat Hockey for the week ending January 15, 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: Robert Nichols, goaltender, Wenatchee Wild
Having already earned 3rd star honors back on September 27th, Wenatchee goaltender Robert Nichols, 19, put together a perfect weekend in goal as he was able to post shutouts in back-to-back starts and help the Wild to a three game road sweep of the Dawson Creek Rage. On Friday, the Dallas, Texas native stopped all 27 shots in a 2-0 win. On Sunday, he made 13 saves in a 3-0 win over the Rage. Nichols (5’11/180) set a new individual single-season Wenatchee record for shutouts with his sixth of the season. Nichols surpassed Brandon Jaeger, who recorded five shutouts last season. For the week, Nichols was perfect stopping all 40 shots he saw. Nichols continues to have a record-breaking season. He currently leads in the NAHL in both goals against average (1.48) and save percentage (94.3%). “It makes it easier for the entire team when Robert is playing like he is. He is a smart goalie and can play the puck as well as anyone I have seen,” said Wild head coach John Becanic. “To have the goalie tandem like we do really sheds some light on how well these guys are playing in goal and hopefully it leads to some NCAA Division I opportunities.”
2nd Star: Anthony Stolarz, goaltender, Corpus Christi IceRays
Corpus Christi netminder Anthony Stolarz, 17, who recently committed to the University of Nebraska-Omaha in the WCHA, arguably had his best weekend of the year as he helped the IceRays to three wins over the weekend to continue their current winning streak and keep a firm grip on a playoff spot in the South Division. On Friday, the Jackson, New Jersey native allowed just one goal on 30 shots as the ‘Rays beat Odessa 2-1 in a shootout. The next night, Stolarz (6’5/200) stopped all 40 shots that came his way as Corpus Christi shutout the Jackalopes, 3-0. On Sunday, Stolarz started his 9th consecutive game and made 33 save in a 4-1 defeat of the Texas Tornado. For the weekend, Stolarz stopped an amazing 102 out of 104 total shots good for a 98.1% save percentage for the week and 0.64 goals against average. “He delivered a complete weekend for us and continues to give us a chance to win each game,” said IceRays head coach Justin Quenneville. “Since his commitment to Nebraska-Omaha he has been playing his best hockey of the season. I think he is still out to prove he is the best goalie in the country at this level.”
3rd Star: Adam Chapie, forward, New Mexico Mustangs
University of Massachusetts-Lowell recruit Adam Chapie, 20, helped the New Mexico Mustangs to their first weekend sweep since late November as the forward from Oxford, Michigan recorded five points (3 goals, 2 assists) in a two-game home-and-home sweep against Wichita Falls. On Saturday, Chapie (6’1/175) recorded a goal and two assists as the Mustangs picked up a big 5-2 road win in Wichita Falls. On Sunday, Chapie recorded two more goals, including the game-winner as New Mexico swept the Wildcats with a 7-4 win in New Mexico. Chapie was also +5 on the weekend and scored his team-leading fourth game-winning goal. For the season, Chapie leads the Mustangs in scoring with 35 points (19 goals, 16 assists) in 37 games played. “It has been a great year for Adam and he seems to be consistently producing every weekend,” said Mustangs head coach Jason Kersner. “He has done a lot for the team in his two years here and has stuck through it to make us feel like we have the pieces to be a playoff contender this year.”
Other players nominated were (alphabetical): Gabe Antoni, goaltender, Springfield Jr. Blues – Tyler Bruggeman, goaltender, Austin Bruins – Mike Fazio, forward, Chicago Hitmen – Alex Fons, goaltender, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Christian George, forward, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings – Jake Hebda, goaltender, Minot Minotauros – Logan Lemirande, forward, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Zach Lindsay, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays – Jake Lynes, forward, Topeka RoadRunners – Ken MacLean, goaltender, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings – Darren McCormick, forward, Janesville Jets – Ian Miller, forward, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – JT Osborn, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Shawn Pauly, forward, Wenatchee Wild – Jimmy Peplinski, forward, New Mexico Mustangs – Sean Reynolds, forward, Chicago Hitmen – Tyler Richter, forward, Bismarck Bobcats – TJ Sarcona, forward, Amarillo Bulls – Chris Sitler, forward, Springfield Jr. Blues – Castan Sommer, forward, Bismarck Bobcats – Trace Strahle, defenseman, Topeka RoadRunners.