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NAHL announces Easton Divisional Stars of the Week

October 7, 2013

(from top left to bottom right) Bismarck Bobacts goalie Aaron Nelson, Minnesota Wilderness goalie Kasimir Kaskisuo, Johnstown Tomahawks forward Omar Mullan and Corpus Christi IceRays goalie Ben Myers earn honors.

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton for the week ending October 6, 2013.  The Divisional Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2013-14 regular season that honors the top performing players in each of the four NAHL divisions. Only players that are nominated by their respective teams are considered for the Divisional Players of the Week award.

Central Division Star of the Week: Aaron Nelson, goaltender, Bismarck Bobcats

The Bismarck Bobcats hold sole possession of 2nd place the Central Division thanks to this weekend’s home-and-home sweep of the Aberdeen Wings. Third-year veteran goalie Aaron Nelson, 20, has played in every game to date, leading the Bobcats to a 6-2 record. This past weekend, Nelson (5’9/170) faced 69 shots and stopped 65 of them. The native of Bismarck, North Dakota, began the weekend making 40 saves in a 4-3 win in Aberdeen.  The next night, he made 25 saves in a 2-1 shootout win in Bismarck, in which he also stopped five of six shooters in the shootout. Nelson’s six wins is tied for the NAHL lead so far this season. “When you build your team each season, you start from the net out and Aaron was that guy for us this season,” said Bobcats head coach Layne Sedevie. “We feel he is an elite goaltender at this level and one of the best in the NAHL.”

2nd Star: Josh Bretner, defenseman, Austin Bruins

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Chad Catt, goaltender, Aberdeen Wings – Jordan Heller, forward, Aberdeen Wings – Brennan Sanford, forward, Austin Bruins – Filip Starzynski, forward, Bismarck Bobcats


Midwest Division Star of the Week: Kasimir Kaskisuo, goaltender, Minnesota Wilderness

Minnesota Wilderness goalie Kasimir Kaskisuo, 20, had 119 minutes of perfection this weekend against in-state rival the Minnesota Magicians, but it was only good enough for a series split. Kaskisuo (6’3/195) did his part and was stellar stopped a combined 54 of 56 shots in the two games. On Friday, the native of Vantaa, Finland was perfect in a 4-0 shutout win, making 19 saves.  On Saturday, he stonewalled the Magicians for 59 minutes, but two goals in the final minutes sent the game to a shootout. In the shootout, he stopped 10 straight shooters before the 11th scored, winning the game for the Magicians. Kaskisuo’s goals against average of 1.30 ranks 2nd in the NAHL and his save percentage of 95% ranks tied for 3rd. “Our goaltending this year has been so solid and Kasimir is a huge part of the that,” said Wilderness head coach Corey Millen. “He stays square to the shooter, he is composed and doesn’t ever panic and plays very calm.”

2nd Star: Trey Bradley, forward, Wenatchee Wild

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Sebastian Fuchs, forward, Kenai River Brown Bears – Kyle Lee, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Troy Loggins, forward, Wenatchee Wild – Eddie Matsushima, forward, Coulee Region Chill – Johno May, forward, Minnesota Wilderness – Patrick Munson, goaltender, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Zach Quinn, goaltender, Kenai River Brown Bears


North Division Star of the Week: Omar Mullan, forward, Johnstown Tomahawks

The Johnstown Tomahawks are 6-1 in their last seven games and that recent stretch of success has coincided with the arrival of forward Omar Mullan. The 20-year-old from Dearborn, Michigan, as brought his winning ways from Amarillo to Johnstown, and this past weekend was a perfect example. Mullan (5’10/180) helped the Tomahawks to a weekend home sweep of the Springfield Jr. Blues, which moved Johnstown into sole possession of 2nd place in the North Division. Out of Johnstown’s six goals during the weekend, Mullan had a hand in four of them, which included three goals and an assist. On Saturday, Mullan scored twice, including the game-winner in a 3-2 win.  On Sunday, he had a goal and an assist in a 3-2 shootout win. Since coming over from Amarillo, Mullan has six points in five games. “Omar has been such a positive person for us the past few weeks and our leadership has improved since he arrived,” said Tomahawks head coach Jason Spence. “He has fit right in and he is a hard-working player. He battles for everything he gets.”

2nd Star: Robin Hoglund, forward, Janesville Jets

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alex Blankenburg, goaltender, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Michael Caruso, defenseman, Soo Eagles – Patrick Curry, forward, Springfield Jr. Blues – Charlie Hemstrom, defenseman, Soo Eagles – Brock Kautz, goaltender, Janesville Jets – Stefanos Lekkas, goaltender, Springfield Jr. Blues – Alex Okicki, goaltender, Johnstown Tomahawks – Reed Scahill, forward, Port Huron Fighting Falcons


South Division Star of the Week: Ben Myers, goaltender, Corpus Christi IceRays

Teams don’t win in Fairbanks too often, but on Friday night the Corpus Christi IceRays handed the Ice Dogs just their second loss of the season with a 3-2 win. It was thanks in large part to 20-year-old goaltender Ben Myers, who made 48 saves on the night. Myers (6’3/202) thought his weekend was over, until he was put into Saturday’s game after Fairbanks scored two early goals.  The native of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, responded with another solid 45-minute effort through 2+ periods, as he stopped 24 of 25 shots in a 4-1 loss. For the weekend, Myers went 1-0 with a 1.60 goals against average and a 96% save percentage. For the season, he ranks in the Top 10 in the NAHL in both goals against average and save percentage. “Ben was the main reason we won on Friday and he gave us a lift on Saturday,” said IceRays head coach Jon Becanic. “Fairbanks is a very good team and Ben gave us a chance to win both games.  He is very valuable to our team and brings a veteran presence.”

2nd Star: Nate Flynn, forward, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Mathieu Briand, forward, Odessa Jackalopes – Anthony Croston, forward, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees – Collin Delia, goaltender, Amarillo Bulls – Joe Grabowski, defenseman, Amarillo Bulls – Eric Purcell, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays – Max Reisinger, forward, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Ryan Watson, forward, Lone Star Brahmas

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