The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Combat Hockey for the week ending December 2, 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: Tyler Parks, goaltender, Minot Minotauros
Winners of their last six in the row, the Minot Minotauros are one of the hottest teams in the NAHL, and playing a big part is their goaltender Tyler Parks. The 20-year-old from St. Louis, Missouri, was instrumental in Minot’s sweep this past weekend at home of the 1st place Austin Bruins. On Friday night, Parks (6’6/220) made 29 saves in a 2-1 win with the lone goal against coming on the power play. On Saturday night, Parks was even better as he stopped all 22 shots in regulation for his first shutout of the season as Minot edged Austin, 1-0. For the weekend, Parks stopped 51 of 52 shots for a 98% save percentage and allowed just a single goal. Parks has won his last five starts and the Minotauros are on a six game winning streak. "Tyler has been playing some outstanding hockey since he arrived in Minot,” said Minotauros head coach Marty Murray. “He gives our team a chance to win every night and has been a key contributor to our success as of late. With his 6'6" frame, he obviously covers a lot of net, but what impresses me most is that he is a real competitor. His second and third efforts are outstanding. He is playing with a lot of confidence right now and the rest of our team feeds off it".
2nd Star: Jake Horton, defenseman, Aberdeen Wings
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Blake Cates, goaltender, Coulee Region Chill - Mike Dockry, forward, Bismarck Bobcats – Adam Knochenmus, forward, Bismarck Bobcats – Peter Krieger, forward, Aberdeen Wings - Nick Lehr, goaltender Austin Bruins – Jadin Martin, forward, Minot Minotauros – Eddie Matsushima, forward, Coulee Region Chill.
North Division Star of the Week: Nico Sierra, forward, Jamestown Ironmen
Sometimes a change of scenery is good for a player and that can be said for Jamestown forward Nico Sierra. The 20-year-old from Warren, Michigan, has only been with Ironmen a few weeks after his trade from Port Huron, but he made the most of it this past weekend as Jamestown stayed in 1st place in the North with a weekend sweep in Fresno against the Monsters. On Friday, Sierra (5’8/165) had the game-winning goal and two assists in a 4-3 win over Fresno. The next night, Sierra scored the first goal of the game, which turned out to be the game-winner in a 4-0 shutout win. Both of Sierra’s goals over the weekend were game-winners and he was also a +3 over the weekend. “Nico has come in and been a good fit right away,” said Jamestown head coach Dan Daikawa. “He brings veteran leadership to the lockerroom and has great speed and creates opportunities for himself.”
2nd Star: Chris Truehl, goaltender, Johnstown Tomahawks
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ryan Dau, forward, Janesville Jets – Robin Hoglund, forward, Soo Eagles - Ryan Kellenberger, goaltender, Springfield Jr. Blues – Michael Lant, defenseman, Soo Eagles – Reid Mimmack, goaltender, Jamestown Ironmen – Alex Okicki, goaltender, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings – Brett Skibba, forward, Springfield Jr. Blues – Alec Vanko, defenseman, Janesville Jets.
South Division Star of the Week: Justin Greenberg, forward, Texas Tornado
The Texas Tornado success in Odessa continued over the weekend with a sweep of the Jackalopes. Tornado second-year forward Justin Greenberg led the way with six points (3 goals, 3 assists) in the two games. On Friday, the 18-year-old from Dallas, Texas had a goal and two assists in a 6-1 win. The next night, it was another three point effort as he scored two goals and added an assist in a 6-3 win. Greenberg (5’8/170) is third on the Tornado in scoring with 30 points in 29 games played, which eclipsed his entire season total from a year ago. Greenberg scored the Robertson Cup winning goal in overtime last season against St. Louis. “Justin has been consistently one of our best players all season long,” said Tornado head coach Tony Curtale. “Sometimes I have to keep reminding myself that he is just 18-years-old and he is able to do everything for us… power play, penalty kill and he makes great decisions with the puck. He has a lot of Division I interest, so his future looks bright.”
2nd Star: Tyler Deresky, forward, Amarillo Bulls
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tyler Andrew, forward, Topeka RoadRunners – Charles Baldwin, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays – Scott Conway, forward, Texas Tornado – Michael Economos, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays – Sean Gaffney, forward, Topeka RoadRunners – Matt Sieckhaus, forward, Amarillo Bulls.
West Division Star of the Week: Gustaf Johansson, goaltender, Kenai River Brown Bears
This is the second time this season that Kenai River Brown Bears goaltender Gustaf Johansson, 19, has been honored as West Division Player of the week. The native of Uppsala, Sweden, played in both games over the weekend as the Brown Bears posted a weekend home sweep of their Alaskan rivals, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. On Friday night, Johansson (6’4/190) made 32 saves in a 4-3 win over Fairbanks. The next night, Johansson was even better as he posted his third shutout of the season, making 30 saves in a 2-0 shutout win. For the weekend, Johansson stopped 62 of 65 shots, which was good for a 95.3% save percentage. His three shutouts this season ranked tied for 2nd in the NAHL. “I thought Gustaf was instrumental in the sweep, which was a first for our club at home against Fairbanks,” said Brown Bears head coach Oliver David. “Shutting a team out like Fairbanks is never easy. He is as solid and composed as goalies come. He is a goalie that accepts the challenge of being the #1 guy every night and his game is as strong mentally as it is physically and technically.”
2nd Star: Jacob Barber, forward, Wenatchee Wild
Honorable Mention (alphabetical):– Kevin Aldridge, goaltender, Fairbanks Ice Dogs - Garret Clemment, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs - Robert Nichols, goaltender, Wenatchee Wild.