The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Combat Hockey for the week ending March 17, 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: Peter Krieger, forward, Aberdeen Wings
The Aberdeen Wings keep winning and in the process have kept their playoff hopes alive with just two weeks to go in the regular season. This week’s hero was forward Peter Krieger, who came up big in all three wins last week. The 19-year-old from Oakdale, Minnesota, recorded five goals in the three wins last week and in the process became the Wings leading scorer. On Thursday, Krieger (5’11/180) scored twice, including the game-winning goal, in a 6-1 home win against Coulee Region. On Friday, he added another game-winning goal, this time in overtime, as the Wings edged out the Bismarck Bobcats, 2-1. On Saturday, Krieger scored twice in regulation and then added a goal in the shootout as the Wings came from behind to win, 4-3. “Peter was great for us this weekend and scored some very timely goals. He’s been one of our most consistent players and most consistent workers. With his work ethic and ability level he can be very tough to play against,” said Wings head coach Travis Winter.
2nd Star: John Simonson, forward, Austin Bruins
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Kevin Becker, forward, Coulee Region Chill – Evan Giesler, forward, Bismarck Bobcats – Jake Horton, defenseman, Aberdeen Wings – Brandon Parker, defenseman, Brookings Blizzard – Nate Repensky, defenseman, Bismarck Bobcats – Thomas Williams, forward, Brookings Blizzard.
North Division Star of the Week: Ruslan Pedan, defenseman, Janesville Jets
The Janesville Jets helped out their playoff cause this past weekend with a home sweep of the Michigan Warriors. Getting in on the mix was 18-year-defenseman Ruslan Pedan. The Bemidji State recruit recorded four points (1 goal, 3 assists) and was a +5 in the two weekend wins over the Warriors. The native of Moscow, Russia started the weekend with a one goal and one assist effort in Friday’s 4-1 win. On Saturday, Pedan (6’1/175) had two assists and a game high 11 shots on goal in a 4-2 win over Michigan. For the season, Pedan is second on the team in scoring with 32 points and ranks tied for 7th among NAHL defensemen in points. “Ruslan has been our go-to guy in almost every situation this season. He runs the power play, he can kill penalties, he just has the ability to do it all,” said Jets head coach Joe Dibble. “He loves being at the arena and being around the game. He works hard and his love for the game rubs off on his teammates and he is working very hard this season to make an impact next year at Bemidji.”
2nd Star: Brett D’Andrea, forward, Port Huron Fighting Falcons
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jordan Himley, forward, Janesville Jets – Mitch Maloney, forward, Port Huron Fighting Falcons.
South Division Star of the Week: Mike Davis, forward, Amarillo Bulls
It was a record-breaking weekend for Amarillo Bulls forward Mike Davis. The 19-year-old from Newark, Delaware, recorded six goals in two home wins over the Wichita Falls Wildcats this season as the Bulls completed a weekend home sweep to close in on the NAHL’s top regular season record in 2012-13. On Friday, Davis (5’11/180) set an NAHL season-high mark with five goals in one game as the Bulls beat the Wildcats, 7-1. Four of the goals came even strength and one came on the power play. The next night, Davis added the game-winning goal in a 4-1 win. He was also +4 during the weekend. His six point weekend moved him into a tie for the team scoring lead this season with 54 points (27 goals, 27 assists). “Friday night was one of those nights where everything was going in for Mike, but while you were watching it, you could understand why it was happening. He had a quick release on his shot, was working hard to put himself in a position to scored and was focused,” said Bulls head coach Dennis Williams. “He actually scored a very nice and timely goal on Saturday too, so it was a good weekend for him and he has really been playing well for us this season.”
2nd Star: Tyler Poulsen, forward, Topeka RoadRunners
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tyler Deresky, forward, Amarillo Bulls – Mike Economos, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays – Drew Mayer, forward, Texas Tornado – Kyle Sharkey, forward, Topeka RoadRunners – Max Shuart, forward, Texas Tornado – Beau Walker, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays.
West Division Star of the Week: Brad Duwe, forward, Kenai River Brown Bears
If this past weekend was any indication, the West Division playoffs are going to a battle until the end. Case in point was the Kenai River Brown Bears three-game home sweep of the Wenatchee Wild. The wins moved the Brown Bears two games over the .500 mark and forward Brad Duwe, 20, had a big hand in the wins. The local native of Soldotna, Alaska, has been with the Brown Bears for the better part of three seasons, but it wasn’t until recently that he got healthy and back into the grove of playing the type of hockey the 6’2/203 lbs. forward is capable of. Duwe totaled six points (2 goals, 4 assists) in the three wins and was a +3. After going scoreless on Thursday, Duwe’s big game came on Friday in which he had 2 goals and 3 assists in a 7-5 win. In the final game of the series, he picked up another assist in a 4-2 win. “Brad has been with us a while and is such an important part of this team,” said Brown Bears head coach Oliver David. “When he is healthy and playing at 100% he has the capability of being a point per game guy and a guy that is a legitimate NCAA Division I prospect. The key now will be making sure his solid play is consistent in the playoffs.”
2nd Star: Evan McCarthy, goaltender, Kenai River Brown Bears
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jayson Angus, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Jacob Hetz, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Chris Kerr, forward, Wenatchee Wild – Noah Nelson, forward, Wenatchee Wild.