The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Three Stars of the Week presented by Combat Hockey for the week ending January 22, 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: Andrew Graves, forward, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings
Kalamazoo forward Andrew Graves, 20, helped the Jr. K-Wings to a perfect weekend as they won all three of their games to creep closer to the top spot in the North Division. For the week, Graves recorded 9 points (2 goals, 7 assists) and was a +6 for the weekend. On Friday, the Allen Park, Michigan native recorded four assists (including one on the game-winning goal) as Kalamazoo beat the Michigan Warriors on the road, 6-2. On Saturday, Graves (5’8/151) had a goal and an assist in a 5-3 home win over the Warriors. On Sunday, Graves scored again and added two more assists in a 5-2 home win over Traverse City. Graves in second on the Jr. K-Wings in scoring with 43 points in 39 games played and leads the team in assists with 24. “Andrew has been a very consistent performer for us and he is really starting to show some veteran leadership,” said Kalamazoo head coach Marc Fakler. “There is a premium for veteran guys who can score and lead in this league and Andrew brings that to the table. He had an outstanding week.”
2nd Star: Brock Raffaele, forward, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings
20-year-old Kalamazoo forward Brock Raffaele had his breakout weekend of the year by helping the Jr. K-Wings to three wins. In the three games, Raffaele had 8 points (3 goals, 5 assists) and was a +7. The Cadillac, Michigan native began the week with a two goal (including the game-winner) one assist performance in a 6-2 road win at Michigan. The next game, Raffaele (5’10) had a goal and assisted on the game-winning goal in a 5-3 home win over the Warrirors. On Sunday, he recorded three assists (including another one on the game-winner) in a 5-2 home win over Traverse City. Raffaele either scored or assisted on each of the game winning goals during the weekend. In just six games with the Jr. K-Wings this season, Raffaele is averaging two points per game with 12 points. “Brock has fit like a glove since joining us and his line has been clicking,” said K-Wings head coach Marc Fakler. “He has proven to be a very good team guy and he is very dynamic on the ice. He is a player that is fun to watch play the game.”
3rd Star: Reid Sturos, forward, Alexandria Blizzard
There is no hotter team in the NAHL than the Alexandria Blizzard, and a big reason why has been the play of 19-year-old forward Reid Sturos. The Brighton, Michigan native helped the Blizzard to three more wins over the weekend, including a win on Saturday against division-leading Bismarck. For the weekend, Sturos (6’2/180) recorded six points (3 goals, 3 assists) and was a +3 in three weekend wins. Sturos began the week with an assist in a 3-1 home win over Minot on Thursday. The next night, Sturos recorded a power play goal, this time in a 6-2 home win over the Minotauros. However, Sturos saved his best game of the weekend (and maybe of the year) for Saturday night’s clash with Bismarck. Sturos had two goals and two assists in a 6-4 win over the Bobcats. For the season, Sturos has recorded 29 points in just 31 games played with the Blizzard this season. “Reid has been great since his arrival here after the Showcase and he understands how to contribute and buys into our team concept,” said Blizzard head coach Doc DelCastillo. “He is a rare combination of size and speed that he puts to good use on a nightly basis.”
Other players nominated were (alphabetical): Jayson Angus, forward, New Mexico Mustangs – Chris Bond, defenseman, Topeka Roadrunners – Mikhail Bushinski, forward, Fresno Monsters – Adam Chapie, forward, New Mexico Mustangs – Lawrence Cornellier, forward, Odessa Jackalopes – Tanner Fahlstedt, forward, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Willie Faust, forward, Odessa Jackalopes – Jordan Greenberg, forward, Texas Tornado – Matt Hansen, forward, Austin Bruins – Trevor Husch, forward, Wenatchee Wild – Truman Landowski, forward, Janesville Jets – Matt Leon, goaltender, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Greg Lewis, goaltender, Wenatchee Wild – Kody Polin, forward, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Easton Powers, forward, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Tyler Richter, forward, Bismarck Bobcats – Tomas Sholl, goaltender, Fresno Monsters – Castan Sommer, forward, Bismarck Bobcats – Jordan Watt, forward, Alaska Avalanche – Lucas Whelan, defenseman, Texas Tornado – Oliver Widding-Persson, defenseman, Aberden Wings – Connor Wright, forward, Alaska Avalanche – Marcus Zelzer, goaltender, Aberdeen Wings.