The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Combat Hockey for the week ending November 25, 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.
Central Division Star of the Week: Aaron Nelson, goaltender, Bismarck Bobcats
Bismarck goaltender Aaron Nelson, 19, helped his team to three wins and seven points in four games this past week, all coming four days in a row. Nelson (5’9/165) began the week with a 19-save performance in a 4-1 win against Aberdeen on Wednesday. On Thanksgiving, Nelson came in relief and stopped 12 of 13 shots in a 5-4 overtime loss to Minot. The native of Bismarck, North Dakota, was his best over the weekend as he posted two more wins against Brookings. On Friday, he made 38 saves in a 2-1 road win in Brookings and on Saturday, he stopped all 25 shots in a 3-0 home shutout of the Blizzard. For the weekend, Nelson stopped 95 of 98 shots, which was good for a 96.9% save percentage. “It was a busy week for us and getting good goaltending was paramount in being able to take 7 of 8 points,” said Bobcats head coach Layne Sedevie. “Aaron is playing hot right now, so it was hard not to put him back between the pipes for each game. He uses his quickness so well in getting from Point A to Point B and came up with some big saves.”
2nd Star: Jadin Martin, forward, Minot Minotauros
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Matt Anders, forward, Bismarck Bobcats - Chris Fischer, forward, Austin Bruins – Sean Lang, defenseman, Coulee Region Chill – Jake O’Borsky, forward, Minot Minotauros - John Simonson, forward, Austin Bruins.
North Division Star of the Week: Casey Nelson, defenseman, Johnstown Tomahawks
The Johnstown Tomahawks picked up two of their biggest wins of the year in a road sweep against the 1st place Jamestown Ironmen. Leading the way was defenseman Casey Nelson. The 20-year-old from Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, chimed in with a five-point weekend in the two wins. On Friday, Nelson (6’1/174) scored a power play goal and added two assists in a 5-3 win against the Ironmen. On Saturday, Nelson had two more assists (including on the game-winning goal) and a team-high seven shots on goal in a 3-2 win. For the season, Nelson has 18 points in 23 games played. Half of his points has come in the month of November and he is currently tied for 2nd in scoring for all NAHL defensemen. “Casey has been an impact player all year and does a little bit of everything for us,” said Tomahawks head coach Jason Spence. “He is a tremendous skater and knows how to keep the puck alive in the offensive zone. He has a quick release and really likes to shoot the puck, which is one of main reasons he is able to generate offense.”
2nd Star: Nick Albergo, forward, Janesville Jets
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Marcus Due-Boje, goaltender, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings – Matt Leon, goaltender, Springfield Jr. Blues – Alex Okicki, goaltender, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings – Chris Truehl, goaltender, Johnstown Tomahawks.
South Division Star of the Week: Omar Mullan, forward, Amarillo Bulls
With the Amarillo line-up impacted by injuries to several key offensive players, veteran forward Omar Mullan, 19, took it upon himself to step up during Amarillo’s two road wins over the weekend in Odessa and help his team into a tie for 1st place in the South Division. The native of Dearborn, Michigan, scored the most points of any NAHL player during the week as he registered six points (1 goal, 5 assists) in the two wins. On Friday, Mullan (5’9/175) assisted on three of Amarillo’s four goals in a 4-3 win, which included picking up the primary assist on the game-winning goal. On Saturday, Mullan had a goal and two more assists in an 8-3 win. In 22 games this season Mullan has 22 points and is third on the team in scoring and second in plus/minus with a +23. “Omar is a guy that has really developed into a good and skilled player for us,” said Amarillo head coach Dennis Williams. “Last year, he found himself in a more physical, grinder role, but this year, he has really been able to be an all-around player who can put up some points. He has found a nice balance between the two and it has made him a really good two-way hockey player.”
2nd Star: Kyle Sharkey, forward, Topeka RoadRunners
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Perry D’Arrisso, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays – Tyler Gernhofer, forward, Amarillo Bulls – Rudy Sulmonte, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays – Spencer Viele, goaltender, Topeka RoadRunners.
West Division Star of the Week: Duggie Lagrone, defenseman, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
The Fairbanks Ice Dogs completed a perfect sweep in the state of Texas this past weekend with a two-game sweep of the Wichita Falls Wildcats, which followed up their sweep last week of Corpus Christi. This past week, Dallas, Texas native and Fairbanks defenseman Duggie Lagrone, 18, felt right at home as he picked up four points and was +2 in a weekend sweep in Wichita Falls. On Friday night, Lagrone (5’8/170) assisted on the Ice Dogs first goal in a 2-1 win. On Saturday, Lagrone had a goal and assisted on two others (including the game-winner) in a 5-3 win over Wichita Falls. In 16 games this season, Lagrone has 11 points. “I think there was a little added motivation for Duggie because he was back in his home state of Texas and had a lot of family in attendance at the games,” said Fairbanks head coach Trevor Stewart. “You could tell he was playing with some extra emotion. He can skate really well and does a very good job at beating the forecheck and getting the puck out of the zone and up the ice.”
2nd Star: Robert Nichols, goaltender, Wenatchee Wild
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jacob Barber, forward, Wenatchee Wild – Lonnie Clary, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs.