The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Combat Hockey for the week ending December 23, 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: AJ Reid, forward, Austin Bruins
The Austin Bruins picked up four more points in a weekend road sweep in Aberdeen and now hold the biggest lead of any division leader in the NAHL at 12 points. Bruins forward AJ Reid, 20, led the way in the weekend sweep with five points (1 goal, 4 assists) in the two games. On Friday, the native of Lakeville, Minnesota, picked up three assists in a big 5-1 win. A night later, Reid had a goal and assist to help Austin jump out to a 3-0 and hang on to win 4-3 and complete the weekend sweep. Reid (5’10/190) is now second in team scoring with 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists) in 30 games played. He ranks in the Top 10 in the NAHL in both assists and points. “AJ uses his speed and feet to create turnovers and has had some really good chemistry with his linemates as of late,” said Bruins head coach Chris Tok. “That has led to the entire team has been playing well, from goaltending to defense to the forwards. We are learning that we have to manufacture and work hard for goals.”
2nd Star: Adam Knochenmus, forward, Bismarck Bobcats
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tim Donohue, forward, Minot Minotauros – Garrett Hendrickson, forward, Coulee Region Chill – Patrick Moore, forward, Bismarck Bobcats – Mason Morelli, forward, Minot Minotauros – Matt Williams, forward, Coulee Region Chill – Matt Youso, defenseman, Brookings Blizzard.
North Division Star of the Week: Aaron Scheppelman, defenseman, Jamestown Ironmen
Now in his third season with the Ironmen/Metal Jackets franchise, defenseman Aaron Scheppelman, 20, has been a pillar of strength and consistency along the blueline. The native of Hanover, Michigan, has done what his coaches have asked each season and this season and more specifically past week, have been the perfect example. Although Scheppelman had registered just five points this season, three of them came this past weekend as his 1st place Ironmen posted a weekend home sweep of the Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings. In Friday’s 3-2 shootout win, Scheppelman (5’11/200) assisted on both goals in regulation for Jamestown. In Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win, Scheppelman picked up another assist. He was also +3 during the weekend sweep. “Aaron has been the definition of a hard-working leader,” said Ironmen head coach Dan Daikawa. “He doesn’t look for the glamorous type of role, he just brings his lunch pail to work every day and does what we ask him to do. He has accepted a different and more defensive role this year and he has become a very well-rounded defenseman.”
2nd Star: Austin Priebe, goaltender, Janesville Jets
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alex Archibald, defenseman, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Luc Boby, forward, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings – Ryan Kellenberger, goaltender, Springfield Jr. Blues – Jonathan Kopacka, defenseman, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Alex Okicki, goaltender, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings – Eric Rivard, forward, Soo Eagles – Alex Taulien, forward, Soo Eagles.
South Division Star of the Week: Rudy Sulmonte, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays
In the lone South Division match-up of the weekend, the Corpus Christi IceRays picked up a weekend sweep on the road of the Odessa Jackalopes, as they moved their record above .500. IceRays forward Rudy Sulmonte, 20, was one of the major contributors in the wins. The native of Leavittown, New York, racked up six points, which included four goals (including back-to-back game-winners) and two assists in the weekend wins. On Friday, Sulmonte (5’8/177) scored two goals, which included the game-winner in the 1st period, and picked up an assist in a convincing 8-1 win over the Jacks. On Saturday, it was a repeat performance of two goals and one assist, but this time all in the 3rd period as the IceRays scored five, 3rd period goals on their way to a 5-2 win. Sulmonte ranks 2nd on the IceRays roster in points this season with 32 in 33 games played. “Rudy played very well and we needed that type of great effort from our top line,” said IceRays head coach Justin Quenneville. “He sees the ice so well and puts himself and his linemates in good position to create scoring chances and make things happen.”
2nd Star: Perry D’Arrisso, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None
West Division Star of the Week: None (no games)