NAHL announces Combat Hockey Divisional Stars of the Week
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Combat Hockey for the week ending March 24, 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: Erik Baskin, forward, Aberdeen Wings
The Aberdeen Wings remained one the hottest teams in the NAHL, as they swept the Coulee Region Chill and extended their current winning streak to eight straight games. Contributions have been coming from the entire roster and this past weekend it was forward Erik Baskin, 19, putting up the points. The native of Minnetonka, Minnesota, almost single-handedly took down the Wings with his output. In two 4-1 wins, Baskin (6’3/220) scored five of Aberdeen’s eight total goals in the series and was also a +5. On Friday, Baskin had a hat-trick in a 4-1 win. On Saturday, he recorded two more goals, including the game-winner, in other 4-1 win. In 55 games this season, he has 23 points. “Erik was our most consistent player this weekend. He scored very big goals and was extremely reliable defensively,” said Wings head coach Travis Winter. “He is improving every week and is turning into a very good two way hockey player for us. He is playing with a lot of confidence right now and he should be.”
2nd Star: Nate Repensky, defenseman, Bismarck Bobcats
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Kyle Haak, forward, Aberdeen Wings – Matt Pohlkamp, forward, Bismarck Bobcats - Nikita Sokolov, forward, Brookings Blizzard.
North Division Star of the Week: Easton Powers, forward, Port Huron Fighting Falcons
With a weekend road sweep of the Janesville Jets, the Port Huron Fighting Falcons secured a spot in the 2013 NAHL Robertson Cup Playoffs. Forward Easton Powers, 20, was a big contributor for the Fighting Falcons as the native of South Lyon, Michigan recorded four points (1 goal, 3 assists) in the two wins. On Friday, Powers (5’10/195) recorded a goal and assisted on two others (including the game-winner) in a 4-1 win over the Jets. The next night, Powers picked up another assist as Port Huron picked up a 4-3 shootout win over Janesville. For the season, Powers has 32 points in 57 games played. “Easton has been really, really good since the New Year. His line is clicking and they are a very important part of our production,” said Port Huron head coach Michael Gershon. “It is important to have that chemistry. Has really been a good leader and his game has changed for the better this season.”
2nd Star: Matt Iacopelli, forward, Springfield Jr. Blues
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Taylor Burden, forward, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings – Michael Lant, defenseman, Soo Eagles – Alex Okicki, goaltender, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings – Tyler Spezia, forward, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Trevor Stone, forward, Springfield Jr. Blues – Chris Truehl, goaltender, Johnstown Tomahawks - Jared VanWormer, forward, Soo Eagles.
South Division Star of the Week: Evan Cowley, goaltender, Wichita Falls Wildcats
It was a solid weekend for Wichita Falls Wildcats goaltender Evan Cowley. The 17-year-old from Evergreen, Colorado, gave up just a single goal in two games as the Wildcats swept Odessa at home to remain in the playoff hunt in the South Division. On Friday, Cowley (6’41/85) made 25 saves in a 7-1 win. On Saturday, he stopped all 27 shots that came his way for his third shutout of the season in a 4-0 win. For the weekend, Cowley stopped 52 of 53 shots that came his way. At just 17 years old, Cowley is tied for the league lead in games played this season (48) and ranks second in minutes played (2,778). “Evan gives our team a chance to win every night. He has really developed nicely this year and has a wonderful skill set as a goaltender,” said Wildcats head coach Paul Baxter. “However, I think where he has grown the most has been the mental part of the game. He plays with a very quiet confidence and really is in a good state of mind when he is out there.”
2nd Star: Rudy Sulmonte, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Michael Economos, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays – Nick Farmer, forward, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Justin Greenberg, forward, Texas Tornado – Hampus Gustafsson, forward, Amarillo Bulls – Drew Mayer, forward, Texas Tornado – Tomas Nechala, defenseman, Topeka RoadRunners – Kyle Sharkey, forward, Topeka RoadRunners – Matt Sieckhaus, forward, Amarillo Bulls.
West Division Star of the Week: Max McHugh, forward, Wenatchee Wild
The Wenatchee Wild moved back into 1st place in the West Division with a weekend home sweep of the Fresno Monsters this past weekend. Wild forward Max McHugh, 19, played a big role in the offensive production during the weekend as the 5’10/173 lbs. forward from Edgewood, Washington, racked up five points (4 goals, 1 assist) in the two wins. On Friday, McHugh had two goals including the game-winner in a 5-1 win over the Monsters. The next night, it was another two goal effort and he added an assist in a 4-2 win over Fresno, completing the weekend sweep and moving the Wild two points ahead of the Fairbanks Ice Dogs with two games to play. For the season, McHugh is second on the Wild roster in scoring with 49 points in 57 games played. “Max has turned into a leader that is playing in all situations. He has always had a lot of skill, but now he understands what it takes to be a complete hockey player. He is getting his nose dirty and doing the little things that are making him a better and more successful, all-around hockey player,” said Wenatchee head coach Bliss Littler.
2nd Star: Evan McCarthy, goaltender, Kenai River Brown Bears
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jayson Angus, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Robert Nichols, goaltender, Wenatchee Wild – Doug Rose, defenseman, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Matt Seidel, forward, Kenai River Brown Bears.