The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Combat Hockey for the week ending September 16, 2012. The Divisional Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2012-13 regular season that honors the top performing players in each of the four NAHL divisions as nominated by their respective teams. This week marks first weekly awards of the 2012-13 season.
Central Division Star of the Week: Thomas Williams, forward, Brookings Blizzard
Williams, 20, picked up right where he left off last season while playing with the Blizzard as the Alexandria, Minnesota native and captain of the Blizzard registered seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) in leading the Blizzard to a 3-1 record at the Showcase and top spot in the Central Division. “Offensively, he put the team on his back,” said Blizzard head coach Cory Laylin. “He scored big goals, set-up big plays and played a great all-around game during the Showcase. He definitely has a lot of NCAA Division I interest right now.” His best game of the Showcase came on the first day as Williams (5’10/185) registered a goal and two assists in a 4-2 win over the Johnstown Tomahawks. He recorded at least a point in each of the four games during the NAHL Showcase.
Runner-Up: Jake Clifford, defenseman, Minot Minotauros
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Nick Deery, goaltender, Brookings Blizzard – Nick Lehr, goaltender, Austin Bruins – Brandon Wahlin, forward, Austin Bruins.
North Division Star of the Week: Robbie Payne, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings
Payne, 19, leads the NAHL in goals thanks to a strong performance at the NAHL Showcase this past week as he helped his Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings to an undefeated 4-0 record to start the season. “Robbie scored some great goals, which were also very timely,” said Jr. K-Wings head coach Marc Fakler. “He has matured as a player and he has a tremendous skill set with a lot of talent. We are very happy to have him a part of our club.” The Gaylord, Michigan, native scored in all but one of the Showcase games including two, two-goal games during the event. His performance had many NCAA Division I colleges talking and showing interest in the 6’0, 189 lbs. forward. For the week, he had six points (5 goals, 1 assists) and included a game-winning goal.
Runner-Up: Max Milosek, goaltender, Port Huron Fighting Falcons
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Mark Evan Auk, defenseman, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Kyle Gattelaro, forward, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings – Matt Leon, goaltender, Springfield Jr. Blues – Alex Robert, defenseman, Soo Eagles - Brett Skibba, forward, Springfield Jr. Blues – Jared Van Wormer, forward, Soo Eagles - Austin Vieth, forward, Janesville Jets.
South Division Star of the Week: Justin Greenberg, forward, Texas Tornado
The last time Justin Greenberg, 18, touched a puck in an NAHL game, it was flying off his stick and into the back of the net for the game-winning goal in the National Championship game in May. Judging by his performance this past weekend at the NAHL Showcase, it looks like the Dallas, Texas native hasn’t missed a beat. “I thought Justin was very solid this past week,” said Tornado head coach Tony Curtale. “He has unbelievable speed and his skill set has really improved. His performance at the Showcase generated a lot of NCAA Division I interest.” Greenberg (5’8/170), registered eight points (1 goal, 7 assists) at the event as his Texas Tornado went undefeated with a perfect 4-0 record and claimed the 2012 NAHL Showcase title.
Runner-Up: Spencer Viele, goaltender, Topeka RoadRunners
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Kyle Bauman, forward, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Paul Berrafato, goaltender, Amarillo Bulls – Lawrence Cornellier, forward, Odessa Jackalopes – Sean Gaffney, forward, Topeka RoadRunners – Eliot Grauer, forward, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Anthony Mousseau, defenseman, Texas Tornado – Taylor Portner, forward, Odessa Jackalopes – TJ Sarcona, forward, Amarillo Bulls – Rudy Sulmonte, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays.
West Division Star of the Week: Josh Hartley, defenseman, Wenatchee Wild
Hartley, 20, had played the past two seasons in the NAHL with Dawson Creek, however he has really seemed to settle in to his new surroundings in Wenatchee as the defenseman from Coquitlam, British Columbia, racked up seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) at the NAHL Showcase helping the Wild to an undefeated 4-0 record. “Josh is a very talented offensive defenseman,” said Wild head coach Bliss Littler. “He can rush the puck and create match-up problems for the opponent, which gives us a nice advantage when he is on the ice.” Hartley (6’2/188) recorded at least a point in each of Wenatchee’s four wins at the NAHL Showcase.
Runner-Up: Jono Davis, forward, Wenatchee Wild
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Albin Karlsson, forward, Kenai River Brown Bears – Devin Loe, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Steve Perry, goaltender Fairbanks Ice Dogs.