The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Combat Hockey for the week ending March 10, 2013. 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: Zach Nagelvoort, goaltender, Aberdeen Wings
The resurgence of the Aberdeen Wings in February and March can be traced back to a few key things. One of those is the acquisition of goaltender Zach Nagelvoort. The 19-year-old native of Holland, Michigan, was acquired at the trade deadline by the Wings in a trade with the Soo Eagles. Since that time, Nagelvoort (6’2/190) has been nothing short of spectacular in his six games with the Wings and this past week was a perfect example. Nagelvoort ran his record to 5-0-1 since joining the Wings with two wins over the Brookings Blizzard. On Thursday, he made 31 saves in a 7-2 win in Brookings. On Saturday, he made 35 saves in a 2-1 home win over the Blizzard. For the week, he stopped 66 of 69 shots and has a 1.62 goals against average and 95.1% save percentage since joining Aberdeen. “I can’t say enough about what Zach has done since he has been here. He is a true competitor and has really brought a spark to the lockerroom,” said Wings head coach Travis Winter. “He works hard to make every save and keep us in the game and that is all we can ask for. He is a great Division I prospect.”
2nd Star: Jay Dickman, forward, Austin Bruins
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Hunter Anderson, forward, Coulee Region Chill – Levi Blom, defenseman, Bismarck Bobcats – Jonathan Grebosky, forward, Aberdeen Wings – Bryan Nies, goaltender, Bismarck Bobcats – AJ Reid, forward, Austin Bruins.
North Division Star of the Week: Tyler Marble, goaltender, Soo Eagles
It was yet another weekend in which Soo goaltender Tyler Marble, 21, shut the door on his opponent. This past weekend it was the Janesville Jets who struggled to solve the goaltender from Howell, Michigan, as he backstopped the Eagles to two home wins and an eight point lead in the North Division. On Friday, Marble (6’1/180) stopped 35 of 36 shots in a 6-1 win. On Saturday, he stopped all 26 shots that came his way in a 2-0 shutout of the Jets. In all, Marble stopped 61 of 62 shots during the two wins and allowed just the single goal. He is the NAHL leader in save percentage at 94.2% this season, ranks tied for 2nd in shutouts with five and ranks 4th in wins with 28. Marble, who earlier this month de-committed from Lake Superior State, is attracting a lot of interest from several other NCAA Division I schools. “Tyler has been so consistent all season long and this past weekend was no exception,” said Eagles head coach Bruno Bragagnolo. “He goes into every game focused and determined. I think it just a short matter of time until he gets another NCAA Division I opportunity.”
2nd Star: Zack Szajner, forward, Michigan Warriors
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alex Blackenburg, goaltender, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Luc Boby, forward, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings – Colin Larkin, forward, Michigan Warriors – Matt Leon, goaltender, Springfield Jr. Blues – Easton Powers, forward, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Mike Sabatini, forward, Soo Eagles – Brett Skibba, forward, Springfield Jr. Blues.
South Division Star of the Week: Nick Neville, defenseman, Texas Tornado
The Texas Tornado got back on track this past weekend with two road wins in Odessa. Tornado defenseman and University of Denver recruit Nick Neville, 19, was at his best as he recorded five points (2 goals, 3 assists) and was a +2 in the two road wins. On Friday, the Bloomfield Hills, Michigan native recorded an assist in a 5-3 win over the Jackalopes. On Saturday, Neville had his most productive game of the season with two goals and two assists, including setting up the game-winning goal, in an 8-2 win. Neville, who committed to the University of Denver last month, has set career highs in goals (7) and points (30). “Nick has really taken his game to another level this season and has become one of the best defensemen in the league,” said Tornado head coach Tony Curtale. “He wants to be an impact player not only at this level, but at the next level in college next year and he is working hard each day to accomplish that.”
2nd Star: Paul Berrafato, goaltender, Amarillo Bulls
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brandon Brossoit, forward, Topeka RoadRunners – Ryan Chiasson, defenseman, Corpus Christi IceRays – Tyler Deresky, forward, Amarillo Bulls – Ben Kucera, forward, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Jackson Leef, forward, Texas Tornado – Beau Walker, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays.
West Division Star of the Week: Steve Perry, goaltender, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
Thanks to three wins at home this past weekend over the Wenatchee Wild, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs chances of winning a West Division title remain alive as they now just sit three points back of the 1st place Wild. Backstopping the wins on Thursday and Friday night was veteran Fairbanks goaltender Steve Perry, 21. The native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania got the call in the first two games of the series and didn’t disappoint. On Thursday, Perry (5’10/170) stopped 25 shots in a 3-1 win over the Wild. On Friday, he made 17 saves in another 3-1 win. For the two games, Perry stopped 42 of the 44 shots that came his way and was the difference in both games according to Fairbanks head coach Trevor Stewart. “It was a big series for us and Steve really stepped up his game. He was the big difference in the games and made some outstanding saves that allowed us to stay in the game or keep the lead.”
2nd Star: Alex Jackstadt, forward, Kenai River Brown Bears
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Evan McCarthy, goaltender, Kenai River Brown Bears – Zack Rall, defenseman, Fairbanks Ice Dogs.