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Easton's Stars of the Week

Stars of the Week Week of March 11, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Ryan Martin - Wisconsin Whalers

Ryan Martin

It was a nine-point weekend for Wisconsin forward Ryan Martin, 19, who helped the Whalers secure the #3 seed in the Central Division with their recent success. During the three-game weekend, the native of Rochester, Minnesota, had 2 goals and 7 assists for 9 points and was a +4. On Friday, Martin (5’10/170) had two assists in a close 7-5 loss to Chicago. On Saturday, Martin had two goals, including the game-winning goal and as assist, in a 5-2 win over Battle Creek. On Sunday, he capped off his weekend with four assists in an 8-1 win over the Revolution. For the season, the rookie led the Whalers in scoring with 80 points, including 37 goals in 47 games played. “Ryan has been so good all season long and I think his performance this season, which includes the 37 goals is remarkable for a rookie,” said Whalers head coach Tom McDermott.

2nd Star: Sam Turner, F, Peoria Mustangs

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Marc Hayton, G, Peoria Mustangs – Zack Johnson, F, Wisconsin Whalers – Simon Koscielski, D, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Andrew Kovicich, F, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Toms Taurins, F, Chicago Junior Bulldogs

 

East Star of the Week: Kameron Limburg - Metro Jets

Kameron Limburg

Metro did exactly what they had to do this past weekend, and that was to defeat Toledo in regulation in two straight games. In goal for both the Metro wins was 18-year-old Howell, Michigan native Kameron Limburg. Limburg (6’1/185) stopped a combined 45 of 47 shots that came his way in the two wins, which included a shutout. On Friday, Limburg made 29 saves as the Jets scored in the final minute of regulation to pull out a dramatic 3-2 win. On Saturday, Limburg stopped all 16 shots that came his way for his first shutout of the season as Metro clinched the final playoff spot with a 5-0 win over the Cherokee. For the season, Limburg has a 10-10-0 record with a 3.05 goals against average and a 89.6% save percentage.

2nd Star: Jared Johnson, F, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Stefan Horgas, F, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – Cooper McLean, F, Metro Jets – Kevin O’Shea, G, Michigan Mountain Cats – Max Vance, F, Michigan Mountain Cats

 

South Star of the Week: Alex Sauer - Topeka Capitals

Alex Sauer

Newly acquired forward Alex Sauer, 19, made his presence felt this weekend as the South Division Champion Topeka Capitals finished their regular season with a three-game sweep on the road against Sugar Land. The native of Atlanta, Georgia, had seven points in the three wins, which included two goals, five assists and a +7 rating. On Friday, Sauer (5’10/160) had two assists in a 4-1 win. On Saturday, he added three more assists in a 10-2 win and on Sunday, Sauer had two goals, including the game-winner in a 7-1 win. In six games with the Capitals this season, Sauer has nine points. Sauer played almost the entire 2013-14 season for the Atlanta Fire 18U team in the NAPHL, where he led the team in scoring with 24 points in 22 games played. “Alex joined our team at the deadline and has been a valuable addition. He brings an offensive game that will help us down the stretch," said Topeka head coach Anthony Bohn.

2nd Star: Kole Hudson, F, Topeka Capitals

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None

 

West Star of the Week: Tim Santopoalo - North Iowa Bulls

Tim Santopoalo

As North Iowa secured the top regular season record in the NA3HL this past weekend, forward Tim Santopoalo, 20, was putting the cap on his regular season junior career with another memorable weekend. The forward from Roscoe, Illinois, had 12 points in three North Iowa wins as the Bulls finished with a 45-3-0 record. After starting the week with a loss to Granite City on Wednesday, Santopoalo (5’7/160) picked things up on Friday with a goal and an assist in a 12-2 win over Breezy Point. On Saturday, Santopoalo had a hat-trick and three assists in a 10-1 win over Breezy Point and on Sunday, he recorded a goal and three assists in a 7-1 home win over Granite City. For the season, Santopoalo put up some incredible numbers finished 2nd in the NA3HL in goals with 50, finishing 2nd in assists with 68 and finishing 2nd in points with 118. He also finished 3rd in plus/minus with a +92. “Tim is the catalyst of our team. He is focused, he is trying to be an all-around student athlete. He has the ability with his speed to get around guys, but the way he sees the ice and the ability to read defenders and react really sets him apart,” said Bulls head coach Todd Sanden.

2nd Star: Jordan Moran, G, North Iowa Bulls

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Taylor Brown, F, Granite City Lumberjacks – David Kenney, F, Granite City Lumberjacks

 

Stars of the Week Week of March 4, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Vince Bartkowiak - Chicago Junior Bulldogs

Vince Bartkowiak

Chicago kept their Central Division playoff hopes alive with a weekend home sweep of Battle Creek this past weekend and 20-year-old forward Vince Bartkowiak led the charge. The native of Oaklawn, Illinois had seven points in the two wins, which included a pair of goals and five assists. Bartkowiak (5’10/180) was also a +6 on the weekend. On Saturday, Bartkowiak scored the eventual game-winning goal early in the 2nd period as Chicago bested Battle Creek, 7-4. On Sunday, Bartkowiak had a season-high six-point game in an 11-2 win. It included a 1st period goal and five, 3rd period assists. For the season, Bartkowiak is 4th in team scoring with 32 points in 42 games played this season.

2nd Star: Alex Klaesner, F, St. Louis Jr. Blues

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Easton Halbert, F, Wisconsin Whalers – Andrew Kovacich, F, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Ryan Maksimovic, F, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs – Tim Tarvis, F, Wisconsin Whalers

 

East Star of the Week: Alex Berardinelli - Pittsburgh Vengeance

Alex Berardinelli

The return of veteran forward Alex Berardinelli, 18, gave Pittsburgh a shot in the arm this weekend as they picked up a road sweep of the Michigan Mountain Cats to stay in 2nd place in the East Division. Berardinelli (5’10/170) had been sidelined the entire season, but came back to record four points (1 goal, 3 assists) in the two wins. On Saturday, the native of Export, Pennsylvania had the game-winning goal and an assist in a 3-1 win. On Sunday, Berardinelli had two more assists in a 4-3 win. He was also a +3 for the weekend. This is Berardinelli’s third season of NA3HL action. “Even though Alex has been out all year with an injury, he returned like he didn’t miss a beat. He is a great all-around hockey player and very talented and will succeed at the next level,” said Vengeance head coach Dave Dorsey.

2nd Star: Nick Gnagni, F, Flint Junior Generals

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Luke Dmytro, F, Flint Junior Generals – Tyler Jansen, G, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – Kevin O’Shea, G, Michigan Mountain Cats – Mike Palasics, F, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – Abram Prince, F, Michigan Mountain Cats – Chase Stanford, G, Pittsburgh Vengeance

 

South Star of the Week: Tommy Malkmus - Topeka Capitals

Tommy Malkmus

Another weekend, another offensive explosion from newly acquired Topeka forward Tommy Malkmus. The 20-year-old from Bismarck, North Dakota, had nine points as the Capitals beat the Dallas Jr. Stars in three close home games last weekend. Seven of the nine points were goals as Malkmus has become Topeka’s 6th leading scorer with 20 points in just six games played. On Friday, Malkmus had the game-winning goal and an assist in a 6-3 win. On Saturday, he recorded a hat-trick and added an assist in a 5-4 win, and on Sunday, Malkmus (5’10/180) had another hat-trick, which included the game-winning goal in a 4-1 win. "Tommy has emerged as one of our offensive leaders and he conducts himself like a professional. I am happy to see his hard work continue to pay off for him,” said Topeka head coach Anthony Bohn.

2nd Star: Hardijs Kupaks, F, Topeka Capitals

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None

 

West Star of the Week: Matt Kroska - North Iowa Bulls

Matt Kroska

North Iowa forward Matt Kroska, 20, is putting an assault on the NA3HL record book. His season for the ages continued last weekend in three more North Iowa wins as the forward from Elko, Minnesota added seven more points, which included four goals and three assists. He also chimed in with the game-winning goal in two of the three wins. On Friday, Kroska (5’10/180) scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime as the Bulls beat the Twin City Steel, 5-4. On Saturday, he had two more goals (including the game-winner) and two assists in a 4-1 road win at Twin City. On Sunday, he picked up an assist in a 4-0 shutout win over Alexandria. Kroska has had a season for the ages, setting a new modern day (2006-Present) record for points with 111 to date with three games remaining on the schedule this season.  “His production and the production of his line is something that I have never seen at this level. He shows so much leadership on a daily basis and despite all the success and points, Matt still remains hungry and trying to become a better player each day in the hopes of earning an NCAA commitment,” said Bulls head coach Todd Sanden.

2nd Star: Jace Childs, F, Twin City Steel

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Sam Basich, F, Twin City Steel – Taylor Brown, F, Granite City Lumberjacks – Chancie Hanson, D, North Iowa Bulls – Aidan Verbeke, F, Granite City Lumberjacks

 

Stars of the Week Week of February 25, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Nikita Korotkov - Cincinnati Swords

Nikita Korotkov

With just two games to go in the regular season, the Cincinnati Swords helped their playoff chances this past weekend with a weekend home sweep of Battle Creek. Leading scorer Nikita Korotkov, 21, had seven points in the two wins to earn weekly honors. The native of Moscow, Russia, totaled four goals and three assists in the weekend wins. Korotkov (5’8/160) started his weekend with a two goal, two assist performance in a 5-0 shutout of the Revolution on Saturday and then followed that up with two goals and an assist in a 6-2 win on Sunday. For the season, Korotkov leads the Swords in scoring with 51 points in 44 games played.“When Nikita plays well, we usually play well as a team. He is putting in the work in order to make himself and his teammates better. He plays better as the situations get more important,” said Swords head coach Lee Lansdowne.

2nd Star: Mike Lozano, F, St. Louis Jr. Blues

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Billy Hindle, G, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Aaron Storch, F, Cincinnati Swords

 

East Star of the Week: Anders Franke - Flint Junior Generals

Anders Franke

In a battle of division-leaders this past weekend, the Flint Junior Generals showed they were for real as they swept Central Division-leading Peoria on the road. Leading the way was veteran goaltender Anders Franke, 20, who gave up just a single goal in the two wins. On Saturday, Franke (5’7/160) allowed just a single breakaway goal and made 29 saves in a 3-1 win. On Sunday, the native of Zimmerman, Minnesota was even better has he stopped all 27 shots that came his way in a 3-0 shutout. Franke ranks 2nd in the NA3HL in both save percentage (92.6%) and goals against average (1.78) and is 1st in wins with 27. “We played a great quality opponent in Peoria and it was good to get out of the division. It was a playoff atmosphere and Anders gave a playoff-like performance. He was solid all weekend and hopefully it is something he can build on as we prepare for the playoffs,” said Flint head coach Steve Howard.

2nd Star: Jason Kumpfmiller, G, Pittsburgh Vengeance

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Zach Collins, F, Michigan Mountain Cats – Conor Durgan, F, Flint Junior Generals – Kamerson Limburg, G, Metro Jets – Xavier Sudlow, F, Toledo Cherokee – Max Vance, F, Michigan Mountain Cats

 

 

South Star of the Week: Cam Choate - Dallas Jr. Stars

Cam Choate

The Dallas Jr. Stars sent a message against their potential 1st round playoff opponent Sugar Land Imperials this past weekend by picking up a three game sweep of the Imperials. Defenseman Cam Choate, 19, was not only good defensively, but helped on the offensive end as well. The native of Plano, Texas had five points in the three wins and recorded at least a point in all three games. On Friday, Choate (6’4/215) scored once and assisted once in a 9-1 win. On Saturday, he had an assist in a 5-3 win and on Sunday he assisted on two goals in a 5-3 win. In 35 games this season, Choate has 26 points. “Cam has great size for a defenseman and he has improved since Day 1 with our team. He has a great shot and is very effective when he can put it on net and create offense for us,” said Dallas head coach Jason Deitsch.

2nd Star: Stephen Smith, F, Dallas Jr. Stars

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Yves Bader, F, Sugar Land Imperials – Cole Sharrah, D, Sugar Land Imperials

 

West Star of the Week: Calvin Miska - Twin City Steel

Calvin Miska

Twin City forward Calvin Miska, 20, helped his club pick up five of a possible six points in three weekend games last week. The native of Stacy, Minnesota, had five points in the three games. On Friday night, Miska (6’1/195) picked up a goal and two assists in a 5-1 home win over the Minnesota Flying Aces. On Saturday, Miska added a goal in a 3-2 win over the Breezy Point North Stars. On Sunday, Miska had a goal in a 5-4 shootout loss at Granite City. Miska currently ranks 2nd on the team in scoring with 47 points in 39 games played with the Steel this season. “Calvin is a leader and one of the hardest working athletes I have ever met. He pushes himself and his teammates to the next level. He plays hard on both ends of the ice and the type of player that can take this this team further,” said Steel General Manager Bryant Black.

2nd Star: Taylor Brown, F, Granite City Lumberjacks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jace Childs, F, Twin City Steel – David Kenney, F, Granite City Lumberjacks – Joe Kleven, D, North Iowa Bulls – Logan Murphy, F, North Iowa Bulls

 

Stars of the Week Week of February 20, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Tyler Opilka - St. Louis Jr. Blues

Tyler Opilka

St. Louis defenseman Tyler Opilka returned to the line-up and had an immediate impact on St. Louis’ road sweep in Cincinnati to stay in the thick of the playoff hunt in the Central Division. The 18-year-old from St. Louis, Missouri, returned from a broken leg to record four points in the weekend series and was also a +5. On Friday night, Opilka (6’0/187) had three assists in his season debut in a 5-2 win. On Saturday, Opilka picked up another assist in a 4-3 win. One of his assists on Friday was on the game-winning goal. “Tyler came back from a broken leg and he really hasn’t missed a beat. He gave the team a big lift and was solid as ever,” said Jr. Blues head coach Chris Flaugher.

2nd Star: Tim Tarvis, F, Wisconsin Whalers

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Nathan Chiarizzio, F, Cincinnati Swords – Cooper Cothran, G, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Easton Halbert, F, Wisconsin Whalers

 

East Star of the Week: Jared Johnson - Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks

Jared Johnson

With a weekend sweep over the Michigan Mountain Cats, the Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks clinched the third playoff spot in the East Division and forward Jared Johnson, 19, made a big impact. The native of Hartland, Wisconsin had six points in the two wins. On Saturday, Johnson (5’9/180) had a goal and assisted on two others in a 5-3 win. On Sunday, Johnson picked up three assists, including on the game-winning goal, in a 5-1 win. Johnson, who leads the Jr. Lumberjacks in scoring this season with 69 points, also was a +3 during the weekend. “Jared been our offensive leader all season. He and his line mates, Nick Balavich and Stefan Horgas have been consistent since this they started playing together. With our other lines also contributing offensively this will be a positive for the team down the stretch and into the playoffs,” said Lumberjacks head coach Bob Jacobson.

2nd Star: Anders Franke, G, Flint Junior Generals

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Avery Huibregtse, D, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – Jason Kumpfmiller, G, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Brett Leppek, F, Flint Junior Generals – Joe Lopez, G, Michigan Mountain Cats – Max Vance, F, Michigan Mountain Cats

 

South Star of the Week: Tommy Malkmus - Topeka Capitals

Tommy Malkmus

It was quite the debut for Topeka forward Tommy Malkmus, 20. The forward from Bismarck, North Dakota recorded 11 points in his first three games with the Capitals this past weekend in a three-game sweep of the Sugar Land Imperials. On Thursday, Malkmus (5’10/180) had a goal and two assists in a 7-3 win. On Friday, Malkmus had a goal and an assist in an 8-3 win. On Friday, he saved his best game for last with four goals, including the game-winner, and two assists in an 11-2 win. Malkmus was also +7 on the weekend. "Tommy has just join our club and is a welcomed addition. He stepped right in and fit in well with our concepts and philosophy. Getting a player of tommy quality is only going to improve our chances for the stretch run,” said Capitals head coach Anthony Bohn.

2nd Star: Hardijs Kupaks, F, Topeka Capitals

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Aksel Campbell, F, Sugar Land Imperials – Christopher Otap, G, Sugar Land Imperials

 

West Star of the Week: Ian Ecklund - Alexandria Blizzard

Ian Ecklund

Alexandria leading scorer Ian Ecklund added to his impressive offensive totals this season as he had a five point weekend in two weekend wins over Twin City and Breezy Point. The 20-year-old native of Proctor, Minnesota started the weekend with a two-goal performance in a 6-4 win on Friday at Twin City. On Saturday, Ecklund (6’3/180) had three assists in a 5-0 shutout at Breezy Point. In 38 games this season with the Blizzard, Ecklund has recorded 73 points, which leads the team. “Ian has really picked up his game as of late using his size and speed and creating scoring chances for his line. I look for him to continue his hot streak into the playoffs,” said Blizzard head coach Jeff Crouse.

2nd Star: Nick Haase, F, Granite City Lumberjacks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): David Kenney, F, Granite City Lumberjacks

 

Stars of the Week Week of February 11, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Ryan Martin - Wisconsin Whalers

Ryan Martin

In the ever-changing landscape that is the Central Division playoff race, the Wisconsin Whalers did themselves a world of good this past weekend as they picked up a road sweep of 1st place Peoria. The wins moved them into a tie for 3rd place and into playoff position. Leading scorer Ryan Martin, 19, had four points in the two-game sweep, which included three goals and an assist. On Saturday, Martin (5’10/170) scored the game-tying goal late in the 2nd period and assisted on the game-winning goal in the 3rd period in a 4-3 win. On Sunday, the native of Rochester, Minnesota scored Wisconsin’s first and last goals in a 4-2 win. Martin’s 62 points to date leads the Whalers in scoring and his 31 goals ranks 6th in the NA3HL. “Ryan has been consistent all season long and it seems like the bigger the game, the more he steps up and plays big. He really came through this weekend when we needed some important wins,” said Wisconsin head coach Tom McDermott.

2nd Star: Alec Rounds, G, Cincinnati Swords

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Connor Fissel, G, Wisconsin Whalers – Mike Lozano, F, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Hunter Schneider, F, Cincinnati Swords

 

East Star of the Week: Matt Wipper - Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks

Matt Wipper

The Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks picked up five of six points in three games this weekend against some East Division foes as they moved closer to clinching a playoff spot. Forward Matt Wipper, 20, had his best weekend in a Lumberjacks uniform since joining the team in December. The native of South Euclid, Ohio had six points in the three games and scored the game-winning goals in both of Cleveland’s wins. On Friday, Wipper (5’10/180) had the game-winning goal in a 5-3 home win over Toledo. On Saturday, Wipper factored in on all three of Cleveland’s goals as he scored once and added two assists in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Metro Jets. On Sunday, Wipper had two more goals, including the game-winner in a 4-2 home win over the Jets. In 13 games played this season, Wipper has 13 points. “Matt has added to the offensive depth to our club and we will rely on his production as season moves along and into the playoffs. He has been a very positive addition,” said Lumberjacks head coach Bob Jacobson.

2nd Star: Kade Morrison, F, Michigan Mountain Cats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Walker Bass, G, Michigan Mountain Cats – Cody Black, F, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Jason Kumpfmiller, G, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Joe Moza, G, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks

 

South Star of the Week: Blake McIntyre - Dallas Jr. Stars

Blake McIntyre

It looks like NAPHL graduate and Dallas forward Blake McIntyre didn’t need much time to get acclimated with his new surroundings. The 18-year-old from Southlake, Texas helped the Jr. Stars pick up a weekend sweep of the Sugar Land Imperials by scoring four goals in the two-game series. On Friday, McIntyre (5’11/175) had two goals, including the game-winner in a 5-3 win. On Saturday, McIntyre scored two more goals in a 7-2 win. He was also a remarkable +6 in the two wins. After playing the majority of the season in the NAPHL with the St. Louis Selects 18U team, McIntyre joined the Jr. Stars in later January and as scored 10 points in seven games with Dallas. “Blake had a really good weekend and took advantage of his chances. He has been a great addition and he has stepped into the line-up right away and has made an impact,” said Dallas head coach Jason Deitsch.

2nd Star: Cameron Choate, D, Dallas Jr. Stars

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None

 

West Star of the Week: Drew Otto - Granite City Lumberjacks

Drew Otto

Although it was just one game, Granite City veteran forward Drew Otto, 20, made it one to remember this past Saturday night. The 5’11/180 lbs. forward from Menomonie, Wisconsin, tied a career-high by scoring five points, including four goals, in a 10-2 home win over the Minnesota Flying Aces. Otto scored the 1st, 4th, 6th and 7th goals of the game. He also assisted on a power play goal in the 3rd period. For the 2013-14 season, Otto ranks 2nd on the Lumberjacks in scoring with 61 points in 35 games played. His 39 assists rank 7th in the NA3HL. “Drew had a great game and it was one of his best outings of the season.  When he plays well and steps up in a leadership role, we are a better team for it,” said Granite City head coach Brad Willner.

2nd Star: Chancie Hanson, D, North Iowa Bulls

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jordan Moran, G, North Iowa Bulls – Sam Zweiner, D, Granite City Lumberjacks

 

Stars of the Week Week of February 4, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Jason Hoehn - Wisconsin Whalers

Jason Hoehn

Just two points separate 5th place and 2nd place in the Central Division, and the Wisconsin Whalers helped their cause this past weekend by taking three of four points in a road series in Chicago. On Friday, the native of Port Byron, Illinois picked up an assist in Friday night’s 5-2 win over the Jr. Bulldogs. On Saturday, Hoehn (6’0/205) picked up two goals in a 5-4 shootout loss. He was also a +2 during the weekend. For the season, the 18-year-old has 37 points in 37 games and is 4th in team scoring. “Jason is playing really well. He is very deserving of a spot in the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament,” said Wisconsin head coach Tom McDermott. “He is improving every day and really at the top of his game right now. He is a guy we are relying on to play his best in high-pressure situations.”

2nd Star: Marc Hayton, goaltender, Peoria Mustangs

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Andrew Bond, forward, Cincinnati Swords – Connor Fissel, goaltender, Wisconsin Whalers – Josh Hart, forward, Peoria Mustangs – Alex Klaesner, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Andrew McGlynn, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Hunter Schneider, forward, Cincinnati Swords

 

East Star of the Week: Kade Morrison - Michigan Mountain Cats

Kade Morrison

18-year-old Michigan forward Kade Morrison had his most productive week to date as he helped the Mountain Cats pick up two wins in three games last week. The native of Attica, Michigan recorded 12 points in the three games, which included five goals and seven assists. Morrison (5’11/188) was also a +8 in the three games. On Thursday night, Morrison had a seven-point game, which included four goals in a 10-3 win over Battle Creek. On Saturday, Morrison picked up an assist in a 2-1 loss at Metro against the Jets. On Sunday, Morrison had a goal and three assists in a 9-5 home win over the Metro Jets. For the season, Morrison leads the Mountain Cats in scoring with 29 points in 37 games played. “Kade has really picked up his game the past month or so. He is a good leader in the lockerroom and on the ice. He not only is our leading scorer, but one of our most improved players as well,” said Michigan head coach Chad Grills.

2nd Star: Anders Franke, goaltender, Flint Junior Generals

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Zach Collins, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats – Justin Fisher, forward, Flint Junior Generals

 

South Star of the Week: Chris Mallon - Dallas Jr. Stars

Chris Mallon

Dallas Jr. Stars goaltender Chris Mallon, 19, helped the Jr. Stars snap their five-game losing streak this past weekend with a couple of good performances. On Friday night, the native of Burnsville, Minnesota came in just over halfway through the game and stopped 23 of 24 shots in a 4-2 loss. The next night, Mallon (6’3/210) got the start and made 33 saves in a 4-2 win over division-leading Topeka. For the season, Mallon has appeared in 19 games and posted an 8-8-1 record with a 3.70 goals against average and a 89.3% save percentage. “Chris had a good weekend. He came in relief on Friday night and played well, and had a good game Saturday to help us win,” said Dallas head coach Jason Deitsch. “He is a good goalie and we are going to lean on him down the stretch run.”

2nd Star: Tommy Stock, forward, Dallas Jr. Stars

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None

 

West Star of the Week: Sam Naegele - North Iowa Bulls

Sam Naegele

The North Iowa Bulls picked up three more convincing wins last week and appear headed for another West Division title. 19-year-old defenseman Sam Naegele played a big part in the three wins as the Coon Rapids, Minnesota native chimed in with four assists in wins over Minnesota and Alexandria. Naegele (6’0/175) picked up an assist in a 7-3 win over Alexandria on Thursday. He then picked up three assists in a 10-0 win over the Minnesota Flying Aces on Saturday. Not only did Naegle chime in with points, he was also a +7 in the three games, which included a plus rating in each of the three wins. In 26 games with the Bulls this season, Naegele has recorded 14 points from the blueline. “Sam is a guy that has been consistent all season long,” said North Iowa head coach Todd Sanden. “He has been very productive in the games and taken advantage of the opportunity given to him. He works really hard to try and get in the line-up on a nightly basis and it is nice to see him play well.”

2nd Star: Jace Childs, forward, Twin City Steel

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Matt Fosdick, defenseman, North Iowa Bulls – Isaac Hale, defenseman, Twin City Steel – David Kenney, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks – Aidan Verbeke, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks

 

Stars of the Week Week of January 28, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Jeremy Szczurek - Chicago Junior Bulldogs

Jeremy Szczurek

Newly acquired defenseman Jeremy Szczurek, 18, has been a very nice addition for the Bulldogs and that was evident again this past weekend. The native of Algonquin, Illinois helped Chicago take five of six points in three home games and made a significant impact from the blueline. On Friday, Szczurek (6’0/175) had a goal and assisted on two others as Chicago edged Wisconsin, 5-4. After going without a point in Saturday’s 3-2 shootout loss to Minnesota, Szczurek returned on Sunday by scoring the game-winning goal with just one second remaining in overtime and also adding an assist in a 5-4 win. For the week, Szczurek had five point and was a +5. “Jeremy has been a really nice fit since he has been here and can be an elite defenseman,” said Chicago head coach Tom Clarke. “He is still young, but smart and solid at both ends of the ice. He has a good shot and great instincts.”

2nd Star: Dan Addie, defenseman, Wisconsin Whalers

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Josh Hart, forward, Peoria Mustangs – Luke Morin, forward, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs - Kaleb Morley, forward, Wisconsin Whalers – Alec Rounds, goaltender, Cincinnati Swords – Brenden Williams, forward, Cincinnati Swords

 

East Star of the Week: Nick Gnagni - Flint Junior Generals

Nick Gnagni

Thanks to two wins over the weekend against Cleveland, the Flint Junior Generals became the first NA3HL team to win their division this regular season. Forward Nick Gnagni, 20, returned with force after some brief time off to record five points in the two wins. The native of Bloomingdale, Illinois had a goal and two assists in Saturday’s 4-2 win. On Sunday, Gnagni (5’8/185) chimed in with another goal and an assist in a 7-2 win. Gnagni ranks 2nd on the team in points with 42 points in 35 games played this season. “Nick is such a great leader he is huge part of this team,” said Flint head coach Steve Howard. “He has a great scoring touch and is a big reason that we are having a successful season thus far.”

2nd Star: Sami Pokka, forward, Pittsburgh Vengeance

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Zach Collins, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats – Brett Leppek, forward, Flint Junior Generals – Joe Lopez, goaltender, Michigan Mountain Cats – Aaron Roschinsky, forward, Toledo Cherokee

 

South Star of the Week: Jadyn Munnelly - Topeka Capitals

Jadyn Munnelly

The Capitals moved closer to the South Division title this past weekend with a sweep of the Dallas Jr. Stars and 17-year-old forward Jadyn Munnelly helped the cause. The native of Bellevue, Nebraska recorded a goal and pair of assists in the two wins. Munnelly (5’10/160) started the weekend with a goal and assist in a 6-2 win on Saturday. On Sunday, Munnelly had an assist on the game-winning goal in the 3rd period in a 3-2 win. In 33 games this season, Munnelly has 30 points, which ranks 5th in the Capitals line-up. “Jaydn has really step up his game to another level and is one of the many reasons for our success this season,” said Topeka head coach Anthony Bohn.

2nd Star: Alex MacInnis, defenseman, Dallas Jr. Stars

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Blake McIntyre, forward, Dallas Jr. Stars

 

West Star of the Week: Richie Marenis - North Iowa Bulls

Richie Marenis

Although he played in just one game, there appears to be no stopping North Iowa forward Richie Marenis. For the second straight week, the 20-year-old forward from Riga, Latvia was honored as the West star of the week. Marenis (6’1/190) had two goals and three assists for a five point night in North Iowa’s 10-5 win at home over Granite City on Saturday night. Both of Marenis’ goals came in the 1st period as the Bulls built a big lead. His 39 goals leads in the NA3HL and his 80 points ranks 3rd. “Richie made a huge impact in the game and is playing his best hockey of his career right now,” said North Iowa head coach Todd Sanden.

2nd Star: Matt Kroska, forward, North Iowa Bulls

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Sam Basich, forward, Twin City Steel – Jace Childs, forward, Twin City Steel – David Kenney, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks

 

Stars of the Week Week of January 21, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Henry Smith - Cincinnati Swords

Henry Smith

It was huge weekend for the Cincinnati Swords and captain Henry Smith. The third-year veteran from Charleston, West Virginia, helped the swords to a weekend home sweep of Chicago to move into 3rd place in the Central Division. In a pair of 7-5 wins, Smith (5’9/180) picked up a total of five assists and was a +4 during the weekend sweep. On Saturday, Smith recorded four assists, including one on the game-winning goal, in a 7-5 win. On Sunday, he assisted on Cincinnati’s fifth goal as the Swords again captured a 7-5 win. For the season, Smith is tied for 4th in team scoring with 29 points in 36 games played. The Swords are 10-1-1 in their last 12 games. “Henry raised his game to the highest level I have seen in three years and that’s what you look for in your captain,” said Swords head coach Lee Landsdowne. “He is one of the big reasons we have been playing so well as a team lately.”

2nd Star: Tanner Bennet, forward, Cincinnati Swords

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Billy Hindle, goaltender, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Andrew McGlynn, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues

 

East Star of the Week: Jason Kumpfmiller - Pittsburgh Vengeance

Jason Kumpfmiller

The Vengeance are locked in a tight playoff battle in the East Division and that was evidence by the competitive series they had in Toledo this past weekend. The Vengeance ended up with a weekend split with each team winning a game by a 2-1 score. Pittsburgh goalie Jason Kumpfmiller, 20, played in both games and put up some very good numbers. On Saturday, the native of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania made 22 saves in a 2-1 loss. On Sunday, Kumpfmiller (5’10/160) was even better as he made 30 saves in a 2-1 win. For the weekend, Kumpfmiller’s save percentage was 94.5%. He has appeared in 22 games to date for the Vengeance. “We had two close games with a very good Toledo team on the road that could have gone either way, but Jason gave us a chance to win both games,” said Pittsburgh head coach Dave Dorsey. “Jason is a very solid goalie. He has to rely on his reflexes, but he is very fast and quick. He is our go-to guy right now and handles the pressure well.”

2nd Star: Jared Johnson, forward, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Stefan Horgas, forward, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – Kevin O’Shea, goaltender, Michigan Mountain Cats – Dominic Pisanti, forward, Toledo Cherokee – Sami Pokka, forward, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Abram Prince, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats

 

South Star of the Week: Hardijs Kupaks - Topeka Capitals

Hardijs Kupaks

For the second straight week, Topeka forward Hardijs Kupaks, 20, is the South Division star of the week, and for good reason. In four games last week against the Sugar Land Imperials, the native of Riga, Latvia had 12 points, which included five goals and seven assists. He was also a +7 in the four wins. Kupaks (6’0/175) had a four-point game in a 10-1 win on Wednesday and a five-point game in a 6-4 win on Sunday, in which he also scored the game-winning goal. Kupaks had two points in a 5-0 win on Saturday and one point in an 8-3 win on Thursday. For the season, Kupaks leads the Capitals in scoring with 48 points in 29 games played. "Hardijs was a warrior for us this past week and he continues to improve week in and week out and it's showing in his play,” said Capitals head coach Anthony Bohn. “Any team that picks up at the next level will be getting a complete player."

2nd Star: Georgey Ostapchuk, forward, Topeka Capitals

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None

 

West Star of the Week: Richie Marenis - North Iowa Bulls

Richie Marenis

The North Iowa Bulls were firing on all cylinders this weekend as they picked up a pair of road wins in Breezy Point and Minnesota by a combined score of 29-0. Forward Richie Marenis, 20, had 12 points in the two wins, which included nine goals and three assists. He was also an incredible +14 in the two games. On Saturday night, the native of Riga, Latvia scored six goals in a 14-0 win against the Minnesota Flying Aces. On Sunday, Marenis (6’1/190) had three goals and three assists for another six-point game in a 15-0 win at Breezy Point. Marenis currently leads the NA3HL in goals with 37 and ranks 4th in points with 75. His +66 rating ranks 2nd in the league. “Richie is on fire right now. He is seeing the puck well and his vision is the best it has ever been,” said North Iowa head coach Todd Sanden. “He can distribute the puck, but he also knows when to shoot. He makes everyone around him better.”

2nd Star: Jackson Germaine, goaltender, Twin City Steel

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Matt Fosdick, defenseman, North Iowa Bulls – Drew Otto, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks – Luke Richardson, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks

 

Stars of the Week Week of January 14, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Nathan Chasteen - Peoria Mustangs

Nathan Chasteen

The 1st place Mustangs hosted Western Division powerhouse Granite City last weekend and came away with a split. 19-year-old forward Nathan Chasteen was the offensive leader with seven points in the two games. On Saturday, the native of Peoria, Illinois had a hat-trick, including the game-winning goal, and two assists in a 5-2 win. On Sunday, Chasteen (6’0/190) chipped in with two more assists in a 7-3 loss. He was also +3 during the weekend series. Chasteen leads all Peoria players in points with 56 to date this season, which also ranks tied for 5th in the NA3HL. “Nate is one of those guys that can control a game and he has to be at his best for us to be at his best,” said Mustangs head coach Steve Ortman. “He took charge and played really well in both games.”

2nd Star: Cameron McAtee, defenseman, St. Louis Jr. Blues

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Cory Kettler, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Michal Marcinek, goaltender, Wisconsin Whalers – Ryan Martin, forward, Wisconsin Whalers – Joe Sheppard, goaltender, Cincinnati Swords – Henry Smith, forward, Cincinnati Swords – Sam Turner, forward, Peoria Mustangs

 

East Star of the Week: Zachary Armstrong - Toledo Cherokee

Zachary Armstrong

Toledo forward Zach Armstrong, 18, helped the Cherokee take three of four road points during a weekend series in Chicago. The native of Findlay, Ohio had three points in the two games and was a +1. On Saturday night, Armstrong (5’8/155) had a goal and an assist in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Jr. Bulldogs. On Sunday, Armstrong had an assist and a goal in the shootout in a 4-3 shootout win for Toledo. In 29 games, Armstrong had 17 points to date, which includes three goals and 14 assists. His +8 rating leads the Cherokee roster in plus/minus. “Zach lead us with his strong play this weekend,” said Toledo head coach Kenny Miller. “Zach is the hardest working player we have and he continues to lead by example.”

2nd Star: Brit Brothen, defenseman, Flint Junior Generals

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brett Leppek, forward, Flint Junior Generals – Kade Morrison, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats – Kevin O’Shea, goaltender, Michigan Mountain Cats

 

South Star of the Week: Hardijs Kupaks - Topeka Capitals

Hardijs Kupaks

Despite being swept on the road in North Iowa this weekend against the Bulls, 20-year-old Topeka forward Hardijs Kupaks was one of the bright points for the Capitals. Of the four goals Topeka scored this weekend, the native of Riga, Latvia had two of them. Both goals that Kupaks scored were un Sunday’s 10-3 loss. For the season, Kupaks (6’0/175) lead the Capitals in scoring with 36 points in 25 games played. His 21 goals are tied for 9th in the NA3HL. "Hardijs has been playing as a top player since December and he has really come into his own,” said Capitals head coach Anthony Bohn. “He's always moving and focused on what he has to do to be successful.”

2nd Star: None

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None

 

West Star of the Week: Chase Myers-Beck - Twin City Steel

Chase Myers-Beck

Twin City forward Chase Myers-Beck, 19, had an eight-point weekend as the Steel dominated a home-and-home series with the Breezy Point North Stars. In Friday’s 8-3 win, Myers-Beck (5’11/175) had four assists and was a +2. On Saturday, the native of Woodbury, Minnesota had a goal and three assists for another four point game and was also a +4 in a 7-2 win. Myers-Beck is currently riding an eight-game point streak in which he has recorded 22 points during that span. In 33 games this season, Myers-Beck has 30 points, which ranks 3rd on the Steel roster. “Chase's hard work at the beginning of the year is really starting to show on the ice.  He has a knack for creating plays and putting the puck in the back of the net,” said Steel General Manager Bryant Black. “Chase is on our top line and the connection that him and Jace Childs have made once being paired together has really shown in the goals that they have put up.”

2nd Star: Ian Ecklund, forward, Alexandria Blizzard

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Chris Amsden, goaltender, North Iowa Bulls – Taylor Brown, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks – Jace Childs, forward, Twin City Steel – Christian Mohs, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks – Tyler Richison, defenseman, North Iowa Bulls

 

Stars of the Week Week of January 7, 2014sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Luke Morin - Chicago Junior Bulldogs

Luke Morin

It was a big weekend for the Chicago Jr. Bulldogs and 20-year-old forward Luke Morin. The native of Aurora, Illinois was front and center in a weekend road sweep over the Wisconsin Whalers, which moved Chicago into 3rd place, one point ahead of Wisconsin. On Friday night, Morin (6’0/185) had two goals, including the game-winner, and three assists for a five point night in a 7-4 win. On Saturday, Morin had two more goals in a 5-4 win over the Whalers. He was also a +3 during the weekend. For the season, Morin leads Chicago in scoring with 37 points in 27 games played.

2nd Star: Aaron Storch, forward, Cincinnati Swords

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Billy Hindle, goaltender. St. Louis Jr. Blues – Andrew Kovacich, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Dan Marotz, defenseman, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs – Luke McCammant, forward, Cincinnati Swords

 

East Star of the Week: Stefan Horgas - Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks

Stefan Horgas

In a home-and-home series with the Pittsburgh Vengeance, the Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks picked up three of four points this past weekend. Forward Stefan Horgas, 19, totaled six points in the two games to help Cleveland move into a 2nd place tie in the East Division with the Vengeance. The native of State College, Pennsylvania started his weekend on Saturday with three assists in a 6-5 overtime loss in Pittsburgh. Horgas (6’0/180) then followed that up on Sunday with two goals, including the game-winner, and an assist in a 5-1 win over the Vengeance. In 30 games this season, Horgas has put up 36 points. “Since the first part of November, Stefan has taken his game to another level and he has really adapted quickly to the level of play in the NA3HL,” said Cleveland head coach Bob Jacobson. “He has really meshed well with his linemates and we are very happy with his performance. Stefan is just a good all-around hockey player.”

2nd Star: Jared Johnson, forward, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Zach Armstrong, forward, Toledo Cherokee – Justin Fisher, forward, Flint Junior Generals – Austin Fletcher, forward, Flint Junior Generals – Kevin O’Shea, goaltender, Michigan Mountain Cats – Abram Prince, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats

 

South Star of the Week: Tommy Stock - Dallas Jr. Stars

Tommy Stock

In two close wins this weekend over the Sugar Land Imperials, Dallas Jr. Stars forward Tommy Stock, 19, was a difference maker as the Stars won two, one-goal games. The native of Chicago, Illinois had six points in the two wins and was also a +2. On Saturday night, Stock (5’10/170) had a goal and an assist in a 4-3 shootout win. On Sunday, Stock had two goals, including the game-winning goal, and two assists in a 6-5 win. Stock is tied for the team lead in points with 25 points in 25 games played. His 11 goals is also tops on the team. “Tommy had a really good week. He is a very good penalty killer and he is really effective when he moves his feet and shoots the puck,” said Dallas head coach Jason Deitsch.

2nd Star: Chris Mallon, goaltender, Dallas Jr. Stars

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None

 

West Star of the Week: Aidan Verbeke - Granite City Lumberjacks

Aidan Verbeke

Granite City picked up two more wins this past week. They defeated Alexandria on New Year’s Eve by an 8-3 score and topped Breezy Point 4-2 on Saturday. Veteran forward Aidan Verbeke, 20, led the way with five points in the two wins to bring his team-leading total to 52 points in just 31 games played this season. On Tuesday night, Verbeke (6’0/170) had three assists in the 8-3 win at Alexandria, which included an assist on the game-winning goal. On Saturday night, Verbeke had the game-winning goal and an assist in the 4-2 home win over the North Stars. “I think this weekend Aidan took it upon himself to play his best hockey when the games were close and really made an impact on the games,” said Granite City head coach Brad Willner.

2nd Star: Richie Marenis, forward, North Iowa Bulls

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Taylor Brown, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks – Kurt Halbach, defenseman, North Iowa Bulls

 

Stars of the Week Week of December 31, 2013sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Adam Roeder - St. Louis Jr. Blues

Adam Roeder

St. Louis defenseman Adam Roeder, 17, has really picked his game up in recent weeks and that was evident this past weekend as the Jr. Blues split a weekend series with the Cincinnati Swords. The native of Ballwin, Missouri, had two goals and two assists and was a +4 in the weekend games. On Saturday, Roeder (5’11/185) had two goals and assisted on another as St. Louis beat Cincinnati, 4-1. On Sunday, Roeder assisted on the lone goal in a 2-1 loss to the swords. For the season, Roeder leads the Jr. Blues in plus/minus with a +19 rating and is tied for the team lead in defensive scoring with 23 points. He is currently riding a seven-game point streak. Roeder has already signed an NAHL tender to play next season for the Janesville Jets. “Adam is so good offensively, and when you combine that with his responsible play on the defensive end, you get one heck of a defenseman,” said Jr. Blues head coach Chris Flaugher. “He is never satisfied and is always working hard to become a better hockey player.”

2nd Star: Joe Sheppard, goaltender, Cincinnati Swords

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Billy Hindle, goaltender. St. Louis Jr. Blues – Hunter Schnieder, forward, Cincinnati Swords

 

East Star of the Week: No Award

 

South Star of the Week: Yu Hikosaka - Topeka Capitals

Yu Hikosaka

Topeka forward Yu Hikosaka has taken his recent play at the Division I Group B World Junior Championships and built upon it upon his return to the NA3HL as the 18-year-old forward from Tokyo, Japan was front and center in a three-game home sweep of the Sugar Land Imperials. On Friday, Hikosaka (6’0/180) had four goals and three assists in a 9-0 win. On Saturday, he recorded a hat-trick and two assists in a 7-4 win and on Sunday he had his third straight hat-trick in a 9-2 win over the Imperials. For the weekend, Hikosaka had 10 goals and five assists for 15 points in the three wins and was also a +9. His 44 points to date leads the Capitals in scoring and his 25 goals ranks tied for 3rd in the NA3HL. "Yu came back from world juniors an even more determined player, he leads us offensively and we are very happy to have him back in our line-up,” said Topeka head coach Anthony Bohn.

2nd Star: Kole Hudson, forward, Topeka Capitals

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None

 

West Star of the Week: Matt Kroska - North Iowa Bulls

Matt Kroska

A familiar face earned the West Star of the Week honors as North Iowa Bulls forward Matt Kroska, 20, had another big offensive weekend. In a home split with the Twin City Steel, the native of Elko, Minnesota, had a goal and five assists for the six-point weekend, which included a +4 rating. On Friday night, Kroska (5’10/180) assisted on five of North Iowa’s six goals, including the game-winner, in a 6-3 win over the Steel. The next night, Kroska scored a goal in a 4-3 loss. For the season, Kroska leads the Bulls in scoring with 61 points to date, which also ranks 2nd in the NA3HL. His 46 assists and +48 rating are also tops in the league. “Matt is the ultimate team player. He knows where everyone is around him and he knows how to create for his teammates,” said North Iowa head coach Todd Sanden. “He is going to be a very good NCAA player some day because he is unselfish with the puck and knows how to play responsibly at both ends of the ice.”

2nd Star: Ron Lindgren, defenseman, North Iowa Bulls

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None

 

Stars of the Week Week of December 24, 2013sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Zane O'Bryan - St. Louis Jr. Blues

Zane O'Bryan

16-year-old forward Zane O’Bryan had his biggest NA3HL weekend to date as he helped the Jr. Blues to a weekend home sweep of the Battle Creek Revolution. On Saturday night, the native of St. Louis, Missouri, had a goal and three assists for a four-point game in a 9-0 shutout win. On Sunday, O’Bryan (5’9/160) had two goals in a 7-2 win. For the week, O’Bryan totaled three goals and three assists for six points and he was also a +7 in the two games. O’Bryan is 3rd on the Jr. Blues roster in scoring with 27 points in 27 games. His 13 goals is tied for the team lead. “Zane had a solid weekend and played really good two-way hockey,” said Jr. Blues head coach Chris Flaugher. “He is very good for a younger player and has a bright future ahead of him.”

2nd Star: Ryan Martin, forward, Wisconsin Whalers

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Cooper Cothran, goaltender, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Easton Halbert, forward, Wisconsin Whalers

 

East Star of the Week: Tom Diffendal - Pittsburgh Vengeance

Tom Diffendal

Veteran Pittsburgh forward Tom Diffendal, 18, was the offensive leader this weekend for the Vengeance as they battled hard in three home games against two of the powers in the East Division. On Friday night, the Coraopolis, Pennsylvania had a goal and an assist in a 5-3 loss against the Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks. On Saturday, Diffendal (6’3/200) and the entire Vengeance team stepped their game up as they defeated 1st place Flint by a score of 4-3. Diffendal had two goals in the win. On Sunday, Diffendal scored the game-winning goal late in the 3rd period as the Vengeance beat Flint again by a score of 2-1. For the season, Diffendal leads the Vengeance in scoring with 33 points in 30 games played. "Tom really stepped his game up this past weekend and it was against some really good opponents and competition," said Vengeance head coach Dave Dorsey. "For our team to be successful, we need Tom to perform at that level all the time."

2nd Star: Clay Horvath, goaltender, Toledo Cherokee

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Nick Balavich, forward, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – Luke Dmytro, forward, Flint Junior Generals – Jason Kumpfmiller, goaltender, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Shawn Mott, defenseman, Michigan Mountain Cats – Joe Moza, goaltender, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – Mathieu Ouellette, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats

 

South Star of the Week: No Award

 

West Star of the Week: Jace Childs - Twin City Steel

Jace Childs

It was a record-breaking weekend for 20-year-old Twin City forward Jace Childs as the native of Burnsville, Minnesota racked up 12 points in two games as the Steel picked up three of a possible four points in a pair of games. On Friday night, Childs (5’7/145) had a pair of goals, including a short-handed marker, in a 8-7 overtime home loss to the Alexandria Blizzard. On Saturday night, Childs had a game for the ages as he recorded a hat-trick, including another shorthanded goals, and picked up an eye-popping seven assists for a 10 point game as Twin City defeated Breezy Point, 11-5. The 10 points and seven assists marked an NA3HL single-game high this season. Child’s 60 points is tied for the NA3HL scoring lead and his 28 goals leads the NA3HL. “Jace continues to demonstrate that he can be a dominant player at this level and that has earned him a lot of interest from college programs,” said Steel head coach Aaron Koosmann. “More importantly, he is a great kid and has a great future ahead of him. We are excited to see him succeed at this pace.”

2nd Star: Chase Myers-Beck, forward, Twin City Steel

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Chris Amsden, goaltender, North Iowa Bulls – Joe Anderson, forward, Alexandria Blizzard

 

Stars of the Week Week of December 17, 2013sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Tim Tarvis - Wisconsin Whalers

Tim Tarvis

Wisconsin scored 12 goals this weekend in a sweep of the Breezy Point North Stars, and five of those goals during the weekend went to Whalers forward Tim Tarvis. The 20-year-old from St. Charles, Illinois totaled five goals in the two wins, with one of those goals being the game-winner and he was also a +5 on the weekend. On Friday, Tarvis (6’1/190) had four goals in a 7-4 win. On Saturday, Tarvis scored the game-winning goal in a 5-1 win. For the season, Tarvis has 26 points in 26 games played and five of his nine goals to date came over the weekend. “Tim played really well this weekend and he put the team on his shoulders and carried us for large portions of the two games,” said Whalers head coach Tom McDermott. “He did a great job at finishing his chances.”

2nd Star: Mike Lozano, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Matt Blaszkiewicz, defenseman, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs – Billy Hindle, goaltender, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Zack Johnson, forward, Wisconsin Whalers – Alec Rounds, goaltender, Cincinnati Swords – Timmy Weisgerber, defenseman, Cincinnati Swords

 

East Star of the Week: Justin Fisher - Flint Junior Generals

Justin Fisher

Two games and two more wins for the Flint Junior Generals this past weekend as they completed a weekend home sweep of the Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks by identical 5-2 scores on both Saturday and Sunday. Forward Justin Fisher, 20, had two points each night for a four-point weekend. On Saturday, the native of Flushing, Michigan had two goals in a 5-2 win. On Sunday, Fisher (5’10/190) had two assists in another 5-2 win. One of those assists was on the game-winning goal. Fisher is the Junior Generals leading scorer this season with 36 points in 30 games played for the East-leading Junior Generals. “Justin has stepped up as of late and been real consistent for us,” said Flint head coach Steve Howard. “He is one of the heart and soul guys of the team and he has been real effective night in and night out.”

2nd Star: Walker Bass, goaltender, Michigan Mountain Cats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Dominic Antonelli, forward, Toledo Cherokee – Anders Franke, goaltender, Flint Junior Generals – Brad Hepler, defenseman, Metro Jets - Abram Prince, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats

 

South Star of the Week: Hardijs Kupaks - Topeka Capitals

Hardijs Kupaks

20-year-old Topeka forward Hardijs Kupaks went off this weekend as the Capitals completed a weekend sweep in Battle Creek against the Revolution. The native of Riga, Latvia had eight points in the two wins, which included four goals and four assists. Kupaks (6’0/175) was also a +5 and both game-winning goals in the series. On Saturday, Kupaks had two goals and an assist in a 6-4 win. On Sunday, Kupaks was even better as he scored twice and had three assists in a 7-1 win. In 20 games this season, Kupaks has 24 points, which ranks second on the team. "This a much deserved award for Hardijs. He's been playing so well and has emerged as one our leaders and we are happy to see him recognized for it," said Topeka head coach Anthony Bohn.

2nd Star: None

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None

 

West Star of the Week: Brandon Anderson - North Iowa Bulls

Brandon Anderson

20-year-old North Iowa forward Brandon Anderson helped his team to a weekend home sweep of the Granite City Lumberjacks last weekend. The 6’5/210 lbs. native of St. Could, Minnesota totaled four assists and was a +4 as the Bulls fought out two, two-goal wins over their rivals from the North. After a 4-2 win on Friday, Anderson went off for four assists on Saturday, including assisting on the game-winning goal as the Bulls completed the weekend sweep with a 6-4 win. Anderson has played four games in the NAHL this season and in NA3HL action with the Bulls he has 16 points in 16 games played. “He is capable of having big nights like he did on Saturday, but he really does the little things well,” said Bulls head coach Todd Sanden. “He blocks shots, he finishes checks and he plays the body in order to benefit the team. He is the ultimate team player.”

2nd Star: Brett Love, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ron Lindgren, defenseman, North Iowa Bulls – Christian Mohs, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks

 

Stars of the Week Week of December 10, 2013sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Chance Homerin - Peoria Mustangs

Chance Homerin

Despite having their long winning streak snapped this past weekend, the Peoria Mustangs continue to play well led by 17-year-old forward Chance Homerin. The native of Pekin, Illinois had six points in Peoria’s two games this past weekend as they split a road series against the Chicago Jr. Bulldogs. On Saturday, Homerin (6’0/175) picked up an assist in a 4-3 loss to the Jr. Bulldogs. The next afternoon, Homerin had two goals and three assists for a five point game and was +3 in a 9-3 win as the Mustangs got back on track. Homerin’s 24 points to date is 6th in scoring on the Mustangs roster and Peoria still holds a 10-point lead atop of the Central Division. “ It was good to see young player break out with some good points chance and his line really stepped up this week,” said Mustangs head coach Steve Ortman. “You could see the last couple weeks that Chance and the lines he was skating on were working hard and were ready to have big night at any time, so that was very nice to see.”

2nd Star: Nikita Korotkov, forward, Cincinnati Swords

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Nathan Chiarizzio, forward, Cincinnati Swords – Easton Halbert, forward, Wisconsin Whalers – Jason Hoehn, forward, Wisconsin Whalers – Michael Paku, goaltender, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs

 

East Star of the Week: Lucas Linville - Metro Jets

Lucas Linville

Newly acquired forward Lucas Linville made an immediate impact for the Metro Jets this past weekend in their series against Pittsburgh. The 19-year-old from Whitmore Lake, Michigan helped the Jets take three of four points in the two games thanks to a five-point weekend, which included four goals. On Saturday, Linville (6’0/200) had a hat-trick in his first career NA3HL game as Metro beat the Vengeance, 4-3. The three goals also included the game-winner. On Sunday, Linville chimed in with another goal and an assist in a 3-2 overtime loss. Linville was also a +3 on the weekend. “Lucas is a huge addition for us. In order for us to be a playoff contender, we have to have some offensive threats and that’s what Lucas brings to the table,” said Jets head coach Justin Quenneville. “He adds an entirely new element to the team and we feel he is going to be doing some big things for us.”

2nd Star: Ben Lau, defenseman, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Scott Cuthrell, forward, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – Anders Franke, goaltender, Flint Junior Generals – Nick Gnagni, forward, Flint Junior Generals – Abram Prince, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats – Guy Soulliere, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats

 

South Star of the Week: Cam Choate - Dallas Jr. Stars

Cam Choate

Dallas defenseman Cam Choate, 19, helped the Jr. Stars to a weekend home split with Topeka. The 6’4/215 lbs. defenseman from Plano, Texas chimed in with three assists in the two games. On Friday, Choate assisted on two of the Jr. Stars three goals in a 5-3 loss. On Saturday, the physical defenseman picked up an assist on the game-winning goal as Dallas salvaged a weekend split with a 3-1 win. For the season, Choate leads all Dallas defenseman in scoring with 14 points (5 goals, 9 assists) in 22 games played. “Cam has been solid all season for us and he is a guy that sticks up for his teammates,” said Jr. Stars head coach Jason Deitsch. “For a bigger defenseman, Cam brings an offensive element, which allows him to contribute on a regular basis.”

2nd Star: Colin South, forward, Dallas Jr. Stars

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None

 

West Star of the Week: Chris Amsden - North Iowa Bulls

Chris Amsden

Of all the recent success the North Iowa Bulls have had, something that may have been lost in the mix is the impact the goaltenders have had. That was the case this weekend as 19-year-old netminder Chris Amsden led the Bulls to three straight wins in three consecutive nights. On Friday, the native of St. Peter, Minnesota made 23 saves in a 6-1 win at Twin City. On Saturday, Amsden (6’4/180) stopped all 19 shots that came his way for his third shutout of the season in a 5-0 win at Twin City. On Sunday, Amsden made 28 saves in a 5-2 home win over Alexandria. For the weekend, Amsden stopped 70 of a possible 73 shots. He ranks at the top of the NA3HL in save percentage (94.2%) and second in goals against average (1.50) “Chris has been really good for us and he makes the saves that we expect him to make,” said Bulls head coach Todd Sanden. “Momentum is a huge thing for our team and he allows us to keep the momentum going. He played really well and consistent for three games in three nights.”

2nd Star: Mick Dhein, forward, Alexandria Blizzard

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brandon Anderson, forward, North Iowa Bulls – Brett Love, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks – Aidan Verbeke, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks

 

Stars of the Week Week of December 3, 2013sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Ryan Sete - Cincinnati Swords

Ryan Sete

Defenseman Ryan Sete, 19, helped the Cincinnati Swords to a weekend road split with the St. Louis Jr. Blues. The native of Jackson, Michigan, had five points (4 goals, 1 assist) in the two games. On Saturday, Sete (5’11/200) had what can only be defined as a career game as he scored all four goals in a 4-0 win over the Jr. Blues. It included a power play goal and an unassisted goal. On Sunday, Sete assisted on one of the Swords two goals in the game in a 4-2 loss.  For the season, Sete has 12 points in 11 games since joining Cincinnati in late October. “This was the first weekend that Ryan played all weekend on defense for us and to score four goals was remarkable,” said Swords head coach Lee Lansdowne. “When we moves his feet and skates well, he is a true force out there and he is really starting to understand what makes him successful.”

2nd Star: Luke Morin, forward, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Matt Blaszkiewicz, defenseman, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs – Chris Brown, defenseman, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Tommy Heinzman, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Alec Rounds, goaltender, Cincinnati Swords

 

East Star of the Week: No Award

 

South Star of the Week: Niko Greco - Topeka Capitals

Niko Greco

Topeka defenseman Niko Greco, 19, helped his Capitals to a weekend road sweep of the Dallas Jr. Stars this past weekend, as Topeka increased their South Division lead to five points. The native of St. Clair Shores, Michigan was a factor in both of the wins. On Saturday, Greco (6’0/185) was a +1 in a 4-3 overtime win by the Capitals.  On Sunday, Greco scored the game-winning goal and assisted on another and was a +2 in a 3-2 win.  Greco is a physical presence on the blueline this season for the Capitals and head coach Anthony Bohn is happy to have someone of his skill and grit on the team. “Niko is the ultimate team player and is a guy that is willing to do anything for the betterment of the team and his teammates and I think we witnessed that first hand this weekend as he did a little bit of everything for us.”

2nd Star: Tommy Stock, forward, Dallas Jr. Stars

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Hardijis Kupaks, forward, Topeka Capitals – Brandon Salisbury, forward, Dallas Jr. Stars

 

West Star of the Week: Jake Mullendore - Minnesota Flying Aces

Jake Mullendore

It was a couple of barnburner games in Little Falls, Minnesota this past weekend as the Minnesota Flying Aces swept a pair of weekend games from the visiting Chicago Jr. Bulldogs. 18-year-old forward Jake Mullendore had a career weekend as he totaled nine points (4 goals, 5 assists) in the two wins, which both came in a shootout. On Friday, the native of Amery, Wisconsin had a goal and two assists in a 4-3 shootout win. On Saturday, Mullendore (5’11/185) was even better as he had three goals and three assists for a six point night and also scored the shootout-winning goal. For the season, Mullendore leads the Flying Aces in scoring with 29 points in 23 games played. “Jake is a great player and works very hard to get better.  He is scoring all different ways and doing a little bit of everything for us,” said Flying Aces head coach Andy Maher.

2nd Star: Mick Dhein, forward, Alexandria Blizzard

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tanner Elmore, goaltender, Alexandria Blizzard – Mitchell Gwost, defenseman, Granite City Lumberjacks – Aidan Verbeke, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks

 

Stars of the Week Week of November 27, 2013sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Cooper Cothran - St. Louis Jr. Blues

Cooper Cothran

With a 3-1 record at the NA3HL Showcase, the St. Louis Jr. Blues continued their recent success. It was helped by the play of 19-year-old goaltender Cooper Cothran. The native of Mansfield, Texas, was in goal for the final two and half games of the Showcase and played very well. Cothran’s (5’11/195) Showcase began in a Jr. Blues loss to Granite City.  After the Lumberjacks scored six goals, Cothran came in relief and stopped all 11 shots that came his way. That earned him starts in the next two games and he didn’t disappoint. He made 36 saves in a 3-1 win over Breezy Point and then on the final day, he made 23 saves in a 4-1 win over the Dallas Jr. Stars.  For the week, Cothran stopped 70 of 72 shots that came his way and allowed just two goals. “Cooper is a solid goalie and he lets very little bother him,” said Jr. Blues head coach Chris Flaugher. “He gave us an opportunity to comeback and try and win the Granite City game.  He plays well when the game is close and on the line and that’s all we can ask.”

2nd Star: Tyler Dalton, forward, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Andrew Bond, forward, Cincinnati Swords – Alexander Carlsson, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Connor Fissel, goaltender, Wisconsin Whalers – Rob Gentile, defenseman, Cincinnati Swords – Zack Johnson, forward, Wisconsin Whalers – Zach Kooi, goaltender, Battle Creek Revolution – Michael Schmitt, forward, Battle Creek Revolution

 

East Star of the Week: Tyler Zalecki - Toledo Cherokee

Tyler Zalecki

Toledo Cherokee leading scorer Tyler Zalecki, 18, is following up his 52-point rookie campaign last season with another solid effort this season and the NA3HL Showcase was no exception. Even though the Cherokee lost three of four games, Zalecki (5’11/185) registered eight points in the four games and continued to lead the team in scoring wit 29 points this season. On Thursday, the native of Toledo, Ohio had both goals in a 4-2 loss to Peoria. On Friday, Zalecki had a hat-trick, including the game-winning goal and two assists in a 9-1 win over Battle Creek. After going pointless in Saturday’s 6-3 loss to Twin City, Zalecki picked up another assist in Sunday’s 10-2 loss to Granite City. “Tyler played well all weekend,” said Toledo head coach Kenny Miller. “He has been our most consistent forward this year he and is playing at a high level right now.”

2nd Star: Mark McGee, forward, Flint Junior Generals 

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tom Diffendal, forward Pittsburgh Vengeance – Justin Fisher, forward, Flint Junior Generals – Lukas Friberger, forward, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Stefan Horgas, forward, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – Kade Morrison, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats – Joseph Moza, goaltender, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – Max Vance, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats

 

South Star of the Week: Robert Gervino - Dallas Jr. Stars

Robert Gervino

The Dallas Jr. Stars were very competitive at the NA3HL Showcase, posting a 2-2 record and newcomer Robert Gervino, 20, was a big part of that. The newly acquired forward posted seven points to help the Jr. Stars climb the standings and earn respect from around the league. Gervino (5’11/180) began the event with an assist in a 6-2 loss to red-hot Peoria. The next day, the native of Homer Glenn, Illinois picked up three assists, including on the game-winning goal, in a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Flying Aces. On Sunday, Gervino had a goal and an assist in a 4-0 shutout win over Battle Creek and on Monday, he assisted on the lone Dallas goal in a 4-1 loss to St. Louis. “Robert has a lot of talent and hockey sense and it was a pleasure to see him play on our team for the first time,” said Dallas head coach Jason Dietsch. “He aas real jolt to the offense and the power play.”

2nd Star: Yu Hikosaka, forward, Topeka Capitals

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Steffan Muller, goaltender, Dallas Jr. Stars

 

West Star of the Week: Jace Childs - Twin City Steel

Jace Childs

Thanks to a 12-point NA3HL Showcase, Twin City forward Jace Childs, 20, not only led his team to another undefeated record at the event, but he also is now tied for the NA3HL goal-scoring and point lead. The Burnsville, Minnesota native had five goals and seven assists in the four games to bring his point total to 45 and his goal total to 21 for the season. Childs (5’7/145) began the event with a goal in a 4-0 win over Cincinnati on Friday. The next day, he had a goal and two assists in a 6-3 win over Toledo. On Sunday, Childs assisted on all four Twin City goals in a 4-3 win over the Metro Jets. On Monday, he saved his best game for last as he recorded a hat-trick, including the game-winning goal, and an assist in a 7-2 win over the Wisconsin Whalers. “Jace is an all-around hockey player that plays all facets of the game,” said Twin City head coach Aaron Koosman. “He is on the first power play unit as well as the first penalty kill unit. He is a dedicated worker with a lot of competition in him and an all around great kid.”

2nd Star: Drew Otto, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Joe Anderson, forward, Alexandria Blizzard – Tanner Elmore, goaltender, Alexandria Blizzard – Alexander Konnov, forward, Twin City Steel – Richie Marenis, forward, North Iowa Bulls – Dylan Parker, goaltender, North Iowa Bulls – Zach Sikich, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks

 

Stars of the Week Week of November 19, 2013sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Andrew Scofield - Peoria Mustangs

Andrew Scofield

The Peoria Mustangs winning streak reached a season-high nine games in the row thanks to two more wins this past weekend in St. Louis against the Jr. Blues. Since joining the Mustangs in early October, forward Andrew Scofield, 18, has been a welcome addition and this past weekend was a prime example. The native of Northfield, Minnesota, recorded three goals and was a +2 in the two wins in St. Louis. On Saturday, Scofield (5’11/180) scored a power play and a shorthanded goal, which included the game-winner in a 6-2 win. On Sunday, he scored again in a 3-1 win. For the season, Scofield has 23 points in just 14 games played and is a +19 overall. “Andrew is a very skilled player. We have been working with him on the defensive side and penalty killing to become an all-around player,” said Peoria head coach Steve Ortman. “He has improved in those areas and still manages to be an offensive threat.”

2nd Star: Joe Garapolo, goaltender, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Adam Alcott, forward, Wisconsin Whalers – Tommy Heinzman, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Niko Jansen, forward, Cincinnati Swords – Andy McGlynn, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Michael Paku, goaltender, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs – Mitch Reise, defenseman, Wisconsin Whalers – Ryan Sete, forward, Cincinnati Swords – Gage VanOrder, forward, Peoria Mustangs

 

East Star of the Week: Kevin Kenny - Pittsburgh Vengeance

Kevin Kenny

Although the NA3HL awards the top performing players in each division every week, this week the East Division award goes to the most courageous player, Pittsburgh forward Kevin Kenny. The 20-year-old veteran from Pittsburgh, now in his second season with the Vengeance, was injured in Saturday night’s game against the Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks. The injury was to Kenny’s spinal cord and two surgeries later he is recovering in a local area hospital. Although prognosis in not known at this time, teammates, colleagues, friends and family have quickly rallied around Kevin and the Kenny family. In 63 career NA3HL regular season games, Kenny has 45 points, which includes 16 goals and 29 assists. “On behalf of the Pittsburgh Vengeance family we are truly thankful for the support shown for Kevin by the entire hockey community during these trying times,” said Vengeance head coach Dave Dorsey. “Kevin is a determined young man that is admired greatly amongst his teammates. The Pittsburgh Vengeance team and staff will continue to strive for the same excellence Kevin exhibited both on and off the ice.”

2nd Star: Mark McGee, forward, Flint Junior Generals

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Dominic Antonelli, forward, Toledo Cherokee – Anders Franke, goaltender, Flint Junior Generals – Joseph Randazzo, forward, Pittsburgh Vengeance

 

South Star of the Week: Luke Simon - Sugar Land Imperials

Luke Simon

Sugar Land forward Luke Simon, 17, was a one-man offensive show this past weekend as the Imperials won a pair of home games over the University of Texas-San Antonio (games counted in the standings for Sugar Land). For the weekend, Simon (6’0/175) had nine points in the two wins, which included four goals, five assists and a +9 rating. On Friday night, the native of Lafayette, Louisiana had a goal and three assists in an 8-3 win. On Saturday, Simon had a hat-trick and two assists in a 15-2 win. In 11 games with the Imperials this season, Simon has 24 points, which ranks 2nd on the team in scoring. “I have always thought Luke has had some great offensive talent. But recently, he has been moved to center so the responsibility has increased in the defensive zone and to win face-offs,” said Imperials head coach Jarod Palmer. “We are happy to see him have success. He knows that in order to get to the next level, his biggest and best stat is going to have to be his plus/minus.”

2nd Star: Griffin Leach, forward, Topeka Capitals

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Eligah Bordak, forward, Sugar Land Imperials – Greg Ostapchuk, forward, Topeka Capitals

 

West Star of the Week: Mitchell Gwost - Granite City Lumberjacks

Mitchell Gwost

It was a big week for the NA3HL’s top scoring defenseman, Mitchell Gwost from Granite City. The 19-year-old native of Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, helped the Lumberjacks to three more wins during the week.  In those three wins, Gwost (5’10/185) registered five points (1 goal, 4 assists) and was an outstanding +6 in the three games. On Monday, Gwost had a goal in a 7-1 win over the Minnesota Flying Aces.  On Friday, Gwost had two assists, including on the game-winning goal and was +3 in a 7-2 win over Minnesota. On Saturday night, Gwost had two more assists, including again on the game-winning goal in a 6-1 win over the Breezy Point North Stars. “Mitchell has been that solid, veteran defenseman that is so important to a team’s success,” said Granite City head coach Brad Willner. “He does a great job of paying attention to detail at both ends of the ice and not only does it show in his plus/minus, but it is also reflected in the amount of offense he can create for he and his teammates.”

2nd Star: Jace Childs, forward, Twin City Steel

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jackson Germaine, goaltender, Twin City Steel – Ron Lindgren, defenseman, North Iowa Bulls – Tim Santopoalo, forward, North Iowa Bulls – Aidan Verbeke, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks

 

Stars of the Week Week of November 12, 2013sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Michael Krch - Chicago Junior Bulldogs

Michael Krch

19-year-old veteran netminder Michael Krch helped the Chicago Jr. Bulldogs to a weekend home sweep of the St. Louis Jr. Blues. The wins brought Chicago to five points of 1st place Peoria. Krch (6’1/160) was outstanding in goal, allowing just a pair of goals both night, despite record shot totals against him. On Saturday, the native of Justice, Illinois made an NA3HL season-high 67 saves in a 4-2 win over the Jr. Blues. The next afternoon, he made 56 saves in another 4-2 win. For the weekend, Krch stopped 113 of 117 shots that came his way. “Michael is a guy that brings us a veteran presence and he has proven he can handle the workload,” said Chicago head coach Tom Clarke. “He stays square to the puck, controls his rebounds real well and has played really well as of late.”

2nd Star: Nikita Korotkov, forward, Cincinnati Swords

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Devin Fracassi, defenseman, Cincinnati Swords – Tommy Heinzman, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Jason Hoehn, forward, Wisconsin Whalers – Matt Kostopoulos, forward, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs – DJ Mussey, forward, Wisconsin Whalers – Adam Roeder, defenseman, St. Louis Jr. Blues

 

East Star of the Week: Mark McGee - Flint Junior Generals

Mark McGee

The Flint Junior Generals stayed undefeated in regulation by passing a major test this weekend with a sweep in Cleveland over the Jr. Lumberjacks. 19-year-old forward Mark McGee led the offense with four points (2 goals, 2 assists) in the weekend wins, while also posting a +4 rating. On Saturday, McGee (5’9/185) factored in on all three Flint goals as he scored and assisted twice in a 3-2 win. On Sunday, the native of Canton, Michigan added another goal in a 4-2 win. In 13 games this season, McGee has 15 points. “Cleveland has a great team, so to come out of the weekend with a sweep was a great team effort,” said Flint head coach Steve Howard. “Mark made good decisions with the puck. He possesses a lot of speed and talent and has been a pleasure to coach. He has really embraced his time here and made the most of it.”

2nd Star: Kevin O’Shea, goaltender, Michigan Mountain Cats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Zach Armstrong, forward, Toledo Cherokee – Tyler Geloneck, goaltender, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Conner McGovern, defenseman, Flint Junior Generals – Joe Randazzo, forward, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Max Vance, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats

 

South Star of the Week: Yu Hikosaka - Topeka Capitals

Yu Hikosaka

Topeka forward Yu Hikosaka, 18, helped the Capitals take two of three games in a weekend series in Dallas against the Jr. Stars. The Capitals leading scored was on all weekend, as the native of Tokyo, Japan, had six points (3 goals, 3 assists) in three games. On Friday, Hikosaka (6’0/180) had an assist on Topeka’s lone goal in a 2-1 loss. On Saturday, he had a goal and assisted on the game-winner in a 3-1 win.  On Sunday, he saved his best for last as he had two goals, including the game-winner and an assist in a 6-2 win over the Jr. Stars. For the season, Hikosaka is Topeka’s leading scorer with 18 points in nine games played. “Yu has tremendous speed and skill and is a very talented player,” said Topeka head coach Anthony Bohn. “I think he has the ability to take over the game and he carries himself like a professional on and off the ice.”

2nd Star: Chris Mallon, goaltender, Dallas Jr. Stars

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ben Owen, defenseman, Dallas Jr. Stars – Nick Rizzo, defenseman, Topeka Capitals

 

West Star of the Week: Matt Kroska - North Iowa Bulls

Matt Kroska

The North Iowa Bulls and team captain Matt Kroska, 20, haven’t missed a beat since winning the National Championship last season. The native of Elko, Minnesota helped the Bulls stay undefeated with another weekend sweep, this time over the Breezy Point North Stars. During the weekend sweep, Kroska (5’10/180) was a remarkable +9 and had eight points in the two wins. On Friday, Kroska assisted on three goals including the eventual game-winner in a 10-0 win. On Saturday, Kroska posted a hat-trick and added two assists for a five-point game in a 11-2 win over Breezy Point. Kroska’s 21 assists to date leads all NA3HL players and his 26 points are good for 3rd in team scoring. “Matt is such a good player, but even a better kid,” said Bulls head coach Todd Sanden. “You can’t duplicate guys that are third-year captains, so we feel very fortunate to have him back and playing well this season.”

2nd Star: Jordan Moran, goaltender, Twin City Steel

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Chris Amsden, goaltender, North Iowa Bulls – Drew Otto, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks – Aidan Verbeke, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks

 

Stars of the Week Week of November 5, 2013sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Zack Johnson - Wisconsin Whalers

Zack Johnson

The Whalers picked up a weekend split in Cleveland with the Jr. Lumberjacks and forward Zack Johnson, 20, continues to have the hot hand since joining the team a few weeks ago. The native of Rochester, Minnesota, picked up five points (4 goals, 1 assist) in the two games and was also a +2. On Friday, Johnson (5’11/180) had a goal in a 6-3 loss.  The next night, the Whalers and Johnson reversed their fortunes against Cleveland with a 6-3 win, in which Johnson had a hat-trick and also assisted on the game-winning goal. In six games with the Whalers this season, Johnson has 13 points. “Zack is a dynamic player. He loves to play the game and has really embraced being here in Madison and made the most of his opportunity,” said Whalers head coach Tom McDermott. “Zack plays well in space and sees the ice well.”

2nd Star: Ryan Maksimovic, forward, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jarin Aden, goaltender, Peoria Mustangs - Christian Argyros, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Marc Hayton, goaltender, Peoria Mustangs - Nikita Korotkov, forward, Cincinnati Swords – Michael Krch, goaltender, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs – Ryan Martin, forward, Wisconsin Whalers - Kyle Meeh, defenseman, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Alec Rounds, goaltender, Cincinnati Swords

 

East Star of the Week: Nick Gnagni - Flint Junior Generals

Nick Gnagni

Flint team captain Nick Gnagni, 20, helped the Junior Generals to two more wins over the weekend to remain unbeaten in regulation this season as they defeated the Metro Jets and the Michigan Mountain Cats. The native of Bloomingdale, Illinois, had two goals and four assists for a six-point weekend and also had a +3 rating in the two games. On Friday, Gnagni (5’8/185) had the game-winning goal and an assist in a 4-0 home win over Metro. Two night’s later, he had a goal and assisted on three others, including the game-winner in a 6-1 win over the Mountain Cats. Gnagni’s 24 points leads the Junior Generals this season and ranks 5th among all NA3HL players. “We were excited to get Nick back for this season and he really wants to play and develop here,” said Flint head coach Steve Howard. “Nick has had a great start and is a guy we use in every situation.”

2nd Star: Conner McGovern, defenseman, Flint Junior Generals

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Shawn Cornock, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats – Shawn Mott, defenseman, Michigan Mountain Cats

 

South Star of the Week: Austin Givens - Sugar Land Imperials

Austin Givens

The Sugar Land Imperials moved into 1st place in the NA3HL’s South Division with a weekend home sweep of the Topeka Capitals. 20-year-old forward Austin Givens led the way in both wins, as the Portland, Oregon native totaled five points over the weekend. On Saturday, Givens (5’10/170) had a goal and two assists in a 5-4 win over Topeka. On Sunday, Givens had another goal and another assist in another 5-4 win, completing the weekend sweep. For the season, Givens had nine points in seven games played. “Topeka is a very good club and was a really good test for us. Austin was able to match their speed and then really give us some momentum with his plays and performance,” said Sugar Land head coach Jarod Palmer. “He has a very positive attitude and never gave up in the games.”

2nd Star: Jake Fernow, forward, Dallas Jr. Stars

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Colton Anderson, goaltender, Sugar Land Imperials – Steffan Muller, goaltender, Dallas Jr. Stars

 

West Star of the Week: Alexander Konnov - Twin City Steel

Alexander Konnov

The Steel moved into the all-important 4th spot in the West, picking up two wins in three games this past weekend.  Forward Alexander Konnov, 19, racked up the points in the three games as the native of Khabarovsk, Russia, totaled 10 points to help the Steel pick up four valuable points. On Friday, Konnov (6’1/190) had a goal in a 12-2 loss at Alexandria. On Saturday, Konnov had a goal and two assists as they turned the tables on the Blizzard with a 5-0 shutout win. Konnov saved his best game of the weekend for last as he recorded a hat-trick and added three assists for a six-point night in an 8-3 win over Minnesota, in which Konnov also had the game-winning goal. In seven games with the Steel this season, Konnov has 15 points. “It was huge for us to get some wins and some confidence,” said Steel head coach Aaron Koosman. “Alex has continued to impress with his skill since he has been here and he can put the puck in the net. He is a very good special teams player and all-around athlete.”

2nd Star: Jace Childs, forward, Twin City Steel

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Richie Marenis, forward, North Iowa Bulls – Morgan Martelle, defenseman, Granite City Lumberjacks – Jared Schletty, goaltender, North Iowa Bulls – Zac Sikich, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks

 

Stars of the Week Week of October 29, 2013sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Tim Tarvis - Wisconsin Whalers

Tim Tarvis

With two wins in Cincinnati over the weekend, the Wisconsin Whalers continue to prove themselves as a legitimate contender in the Central Division so far this season. 20-year-old forward Tim Tarvis was the offensive leader in the sweep, posting six points (2 goals, 4 assists) in the two wins. On Saturday, the native of St. Charles, Illinois, had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win. On Sunday, Tarvis (6’1/190) was even better as he had a goal and three assists in a 7-3 win. He was also a +3 during the weekend. In 12 games this season, Tarvis has 13 points and ranked 2nd on the team in scoring. “Tim has been playing great and has really gotten used to this level of hockey,” said Whalers head coach Tom McDermott. “He works the tough areas of the ice and isn’t afraid to pay the price and his size enables him to do that.”

2nd Star: Kyle Meeh, defenseman, St. Louis Jr. Blues

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Easton Halbert, forward, Wisconsin Whalers – Andrew Kovacich, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues

 

East Star of the Week: Stefan Horgas - Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks

Stefan Horgas

It was a breakout weekend for Cleveland forward Stefan Horgas. The 18-year-old from State College, Pennsylvania, helped the Lumberjacks stay on their hot streak with a weekend sweep in the road against the Michigan Mountain Cats. Horgas (6’0/180) had three goals and three assists for six points in the two wins and was also a +6 on the weekend. He also scored both game-winning goals on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, Horgas had two goals and three assists for a five-point night in a 7-1 win. The next night, he had the game-winning goal in an 8-0 win. His 14 points rank third on the Cleveland roster. “Stefan has a lot of natural talent and ability.  The key for him right now is gaining experience and building upon that each week,” said Cleveland head coach Bob Jacobson. “He does whatever we ask of him and we are happy with his progress.”

2nd Star: Nick Balavich, forward, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Aaron Callan, goaltender, Toledo Cherokee – Reno de Hondt, forward, Flint Junior Generals – Chris Hubbard, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats – Conner McGovern, defenseman, Flint Junior Generals – Kade Morrison, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats – Kevin Shand, forward, Metro Jets

 

South Star of the Week: Tommy Stock - Dallas Jr. Stars

Tommy Stock

The Dallas Jr. Stars took two out of three games this past weekend in Sugar Land against the Imperials and forward Tommy Stock was a big reason behind the success. The 19-year-old recorded seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) in the three games. On Friday, Stock (5’10/170) had two goals (one shorthanded, one power play) in a 4-3 win. On Saturday, he chimed in with an assist in a 5-3 loss. On Sunday, Stock saved his best game for last as he posted a goal and three assists in a 10-3 win. For the season, Stock is tied for the team scoring lead with 11 points to date. “Tommy has been consistent for us all year and it started paying off in points this past weekend,” said Dallas head coach Jason Deitsch. “He knows where to be on the ice and he is smart.  He paid the price at the front of the net and that got him some points this past weekend.”

2nd Star: Tyler Brady, forward, Topeka Capitals

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jake Gevaart, forward, Dallas Jr. Stars – Yu Kikosaka, forward, Topeka Capitals

 

West Star of the Week: Joe Anderson - Alexandria Blizzard

Joe Anderson

Another weekend and another seven point outing for Alexandria forward Joe Anderson. The 19-year-old from Hibbing, Minnesota, recorded seven points in two weekend games for the second weekend in a row to earn West star honors. It began with a one goal, two assist effort in a 6-1 home win over Minnesota on Friday. It continued on Saturday as Anderson (5’11/175) had four goals in a 6-3 road win in Granite City against the Lumberjacks. In just six NA3HL games this season (all in October), Anderson has 16 points. “Joe played really played well against a very good Granite City team, which is telling us he is rising up to the occasion,” said Blizzard head coach Jeff Crouse. “He continues to play with an edge, which makes him very effective at both ends of the ice.”

2nd Star: Richie Marenis, forward, North Iowa Bulls

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Chancie Hanson, defenseman, North Iowa Bulls – Brett Love, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks – Aidan Verbeke, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks 

 

Stars of the Week Week of October 22, 2013sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Matt Kostopoulos - Chicago Junior Bulldogs

Matt Kostopoulos

The Chicago Jr. Bulldogs picked up a weekend home sweep this past weekend of the Cincinnati Swords and veteran forward Matt Kostopoulos, 20, had a very consistent weekend. The native of Naperville, Illinois, had a three point weekend and registered points in both wins. On Saturday, Kostopoulos (5’7/170) had an assist on a power play goal in a 6-3 win. On Sunday, he chimed in with a penalty shot goal and an assist in a come-from-behind 7-6 win. For the season, Kostopoulos has six points in seven games played.

2nd Star: Tommy Heinzman, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Adam Alcott, forward, Wisconsin Whalers – Easton Halbert, forward, Wisconsin Whalers – Billy Hindle, goaltender, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Michael Paku, goaltender, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs

 

East Star of the Week: Jared Johnson - Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks

Jared Johnson

It has been quite the season thus far for second year Cleveland forward Jared Johnson. The 19-year-old from Hartland, Wisconsin leads the NA3HL in scoring because of weekend’s like he had this past weekend. Johnson (5’9/180) led the surging Lumberjacks to a weekend home-and-home sweep of Toledo. He totaled four points in the two wins. On Friday, Johnson had a goal and two assists in a 6-3 win. On Saturday, he added an assist in a 4-2 win. His 22 points currently leads all NA3HL scorers. “Jared has been one of the those veteran leaders from Day 1.  He works very hard and leads by example,” said Cleveland head coach Bob Jacobson. “He is as dedicated as much off the ice as he is on the ice and he makes my job easier as a coach.”

2nd Star: Walker Bass, goaltender, Michigan Mountain Cats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jacob Howie, forward, Flint Junior Generals – Kevin Shand, forward, Metro Jets – Chase Stanford, goaltender, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Tyler Stockwell, forward, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – Max Vance, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats – Tyler Zalecki, forward, Toledo Cherokee

 

South Star of the Week: Ben Owen - Dallas Jr. Stars

Ben Owen

The Dallas Jr. Stars posted a weekend split with the Sugar Land Imperials and defenseman Ben Owen contributed both night’s. The 6’1/195 lbs. native of Allen, Texas picked up the lone goal in Friday’s 7-1 loss to the Imperials.  The next night, Owen, 20, had two assists including one of the game-winning goal in a 5-2 win. So far this season, Owen has five points in five games played. He also played in two games in September for the NAHL’s Lone Star Brahmas.

2nd Star: Yves Bader, forward, Sugar Land Imperials

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Colton Anderson, goaltender, Sugar Land Imperials - Chris Mallon, goaltender, Dallas Jr. Stars

 

West Star of the Week: Joe Anderson - Alexandria Blizzard

Joe Anderson

Alexandria Blizzard forward Joe Anderson, 19, was at the top of his game this past weekend as the Blizzard posted a weekend home sweep of the Wisconsin Whalers. The native of Hibbing, Minnesota, posted seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) in the two wins, which included scoring the game-winning goal both night’s. On Friday, Anderson (5’11/175) had two goals and two assists in a 6-4 win.  On Saturday, he countered with a goal and two assists in a 5-3 win. Although he has been with the Blizzard for just four games, Anderson already has nine points. “Joe is right on the cusp of being a player who will be a regular in the NAHL, but he did his job this weekend by putting points on the board and showcasing his skills,” said Blizzard head coach Jeff Crouse. “He plays with a physical edge, which makes him a great all-around player and he is highly regarded among his teammates.”

2nd Star: Tim Santopoalo, forward, North Iowa Bulls

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Chris Amsden, goaltender, North Iowa Bulls - Jace Childs, forward, Twin City Steel – Jake Mullendore, forward, Minnesota Flying Aces – Jerod Sabaska, defenseman, Twin City Steel – Billy Warren, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks – Austin Wilson, goaltender, Granite City Lumberjacks 

 

Stars of the Week Week of October 15, 2013sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Jason Hoehn - Wisconsin Whalers

Jason Hoehn

At 5-1-2, the new-look Wisconsin Whalers have one of the best records going in the NA3HL so far this season. Their success continued this past weekend with a road sweep of the Metro Jets. Forward Jason Hoehn, 18, had a big hand in the wins, totaling five points (3 goals, 2 assists) in two wins. The native of Port Byron, Illinois started the weekend with two goals an assist in a 6-4 win on Saturday and followed it up with a one goal and one assist performance on Sunday. For the season, Hoehn (6’0/205) has 10 points in eight games played and ranks 2nd on the team in scoring. “Jason is a good veteran player and he really has been playing great lately,” said Whalers head coach Tom McDermott. “He has shown a lot of leadership and hard work.  He moves the puck well and that has translated in success for the entire team.”

2nd Star: Mike Lozano, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ryan Martin, forward, Wisconsin Whalers – Zane O’Bryan, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues

 

East Star of the Week: Nate Klebe - Flint Junior Generals

Nate Klebe

Despite moving two players onto the NAHL in the last week, the Flint Junior Generals didn’t miss a beat and improved their season record to 10-0-1 with two more wins over the weekend. One of the main reasons behind the success has been the goaltending and this weekend that was because of 19-year-old rookie Nate Klebe. The native of South Lyon, Michigan and former NAPHL goaltender started and won both games this weekend for Flint, allowing just a single goal in 125 minutes of action. On Friday, Klebe (6’0/160) made 34 saves and allowed just a single goal through regulation and overtime and then win the shootout for Flint in a 2-1 win at Toledo. On Sunday, he stopped all 22 shots that came his way in a 6-0 shutout at Michigan. “I think Nate and Anders (Franke) really push each other and they are better for it. It is healthy competition between two #1 goalies,” said Flint head coach Steve Howard. “Nate is a hard-working goalie that had some good seasoning and experience in the NAPHL that really prepared him for the grind of this season.”

2nd Star: Clay Horvath, goaltender, Toledo Cherokee

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Nick Balavich, forward, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – Walker Bass, goaltender, Michigan Moutain Cats – Jared Johnson, forward, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – Mark McGee, forward, Flint Junior Generals – Kevin O’Shea, goaltender, Michigan Mountain Cats – Xavier Sudlow, forward, Toledo Cherokee

 

South Star of the Week: Jude Hull - Topeka Capitals

Jude Hull

It was an impressive NA3HL debut for the Topeka Capitals and goaltender Jude Hull. The native of Stillwater, Minnesota, got the start in both weekend games as the Capitals made their NA3HL debut against the Dallas Jr. Stars in Topeka. Despite the scores of 7-1 and 4-0, Hull (5’10/160) was outstanding in net as he faced 69 shots and made 68 saves in the two games. On Saturday night, in front of a NA3HL record crowd of 1,502 fans in Topeka, the 19-year-old Hull made 33 saves in a 7-1 win.  On Sunday, he was even better stopping all 35 shots that came his way in a 4-0 shutout. Prior to this season, Hull spent last year playing for the Bozeman Ice Dogs in the AWHL and in 2011-12, he played for Stillwater High School in Minnesota. “Jude played a big role in our two wins this weekend,” said Capitals head coach Anthony Bohn. “Jude stayed composed and made big saves when we needed them.  That allowed us to keep momentum going.”

2nd Star: Chris Mallon, goaltender, Dallas Jr. Stars

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None

 

West Star of the Week: Richie Marenis - North Iowa Bulls

Richie Marenis

Although he played in just one game this past weekend, North Iowa forward Richie Marenis, 20, made his presence felt in a big way as the Bulls returned from a month-long break with an 11-1 road win against the Breezy Point North Stars on Saturday. The native of Riga, Latvia had a goal and five assists for a six-point night and was also a +5 in the win. One of the assists included the game-winning goal scored late in the 1st period. Marenis (6’1/190) is tied for the team lead in points this season with 11 in four games played. “Richie is a great skater and when you combine that with his physicality and his scoring ability, he becomes a big, all-around threat,” said Bulls head coach Todd Sanden. “He adds a lot to our offensive capabilities and is a reason that we have some good depth up front.”

2nd Star: Luke Richardson, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jace Childs, forward, Twin City Steel – Isaac Hale, defenseman, Twin City Steel – Scott Murray, goaltender, Granite City Lumberjacks – Tim Santopoalo, forward, North Iowa Bulls

 

Stars of the Week Week of October 8, 2013sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Billy Hindle - St. Louis Jr. Blues

Billy Hindle

Although he played in just one game during the weekend, St. Louis goaltender Billy Hindle, 18, made it count. The native of Wildwood, Missouri, started and played in Saturday’s 4-3 overtime win in Wisconsin against the Whalers. Hindle (6’2/175) ended up facing 53 shots in the game and made a total of 50 saves.  His 93.8% save percentage ranks tied for 3rd in the NA3HL to date and he also has a 2-0 record this season. “Saturday night Billy stole two points for our team,” said Jr. Blues head coach Chris Flaugher. “He made several key/point black saves throughout the game and gave his team an opportunity to win.   When the team was having trouble finding their groove, Billy made the big saves to keep us in the game.”

2nd Star: Adam Alcott, forward, Wisconsin Whalers

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Devin Fracassi, defenseman, Cincinnati Swords – Tommy Heinzman, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Connor Hyde, forward, Wisconsin Whalers – Emil Sundstrom, defenseman, Cincinnati Swords

 

East Star of the Week: Anders Franke - Flint Junior Generals

Anders Franke

The Junior Generals have been the story in the NA3HL through the first month of the season, with an 8-0-1 record that leads the East Division. It isn’t a surprise that they are also lead by one of the top goalies in the league, 19-year-old Anders Franke.  This past weekend, Franke and the Junior Generals were again shining bright as they posted a weekend home sweep of the Peoria Mustangs.  Franke (5’7/160) started and played in both wins, as the native of Zimmerman, Minnesota stopped 75 of a possible 77 shots during the weekend.  Franke gave up just a single goal in both of the games. He made 37 saves in Saturday’s 5-1 win and 38 saves in Sunday’s 4-1 win. “Anders has been the backbone of this team and he is a rock in net,” said Flint head coach Steve Howard. The numbers he is able to produce don’t lie. We simply wanted a guy that could stop the puck on a consistent basis and Anders is that goalie for us.”

2nd Star: Jared Johnson, forward, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Lukas Friberger, forward, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Tyler Gelonek, goaltender, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Kyle Gonzalez, defenseman, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – Cam Jorgensen, forward, Flint Junior Generals – Kade Morrison, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats – Brett Podgorski, forward, Toledo Cherokee – Max Vance, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats – Tyler Zalecki, forward, Toledo Cherokee

 

South Star of the Week: Avik Bordak - Sugar Land Imperials

Avik Bordak

It was an exciting first couple of games in the NA3HL South Division this past weekend as Sugar Land traveled to Dallas to take on the Jr. Stars. Sugar Land forward Avik Bordak, 19, had a good first weekend to help the Imperials to a split with Dallas. The native of Vancouver, Washington totaled seven points (4 goals, 3 assists) in the two games. On Friday, Bordak (6’0/185) had two goals and two assists in a 6-3 win.  On Saturday, Bordak had two more goals and an assist in a 12-4 loss. Three of his four goals during the weekend came via the power play. Bordak is a junior hockey veteran, who spent a portion of the 2011-12 season with the NAHL’s New Mexico Mustangs. “I thought Avik had a solid weekend and was good in all parts of the game,” said Imperials head coach Jarod Palmer. “He understands this level of hockey and sticks up for his teammates.”

2nd Star: Colin South, forward, Dallas Jr. Stars

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Maxim Ledyankin, forward, Dallas Jr. Stars – Yves Bader, forward, Sugar Land Imperials

 

West Star of the Week: Drew Otto - Granite City Lumberjacks

Drew Otto
One of the two players currently tied for the NA3HL scoring lead is 19-year-old Granite City forward Drew Otto. The native of Menomonie, Wisconsin continued his offensive assault this past weekend as the Lumberjacks racked up two more wins against the Twin City Steel. Otto (5’11/180) totaled five points (2 goals, 3 assists) in the two wins. On Friday, Otto had a goal and an assist in an 8-1 win.  Saturday, he had another goal and two assists in a 6-3 win.  All his points during the weekend came during the power play. For the season, Otto is tied for the NA3HL lead in points with 16 and assists with 12. “Drew was great on the power play this past weekend,” said Granite City head coach Brad Willner. “He understands how to be patient and he has great vision. It is good to see him picking up so many assists.”
 
2nd Star: Russ Barone, forward, Breezy Point North Stars
 
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jace Childs, forward, Twin City Steel – Zach Randell, defenseman, Twin City Steel - Aidan Verbeke, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks
 

Stars of the Week Week of October 1, 2013sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Ryan Martin - Wisconsin Whalers

Ryan Martin

The Wisconsin Whalers are off to a 3-1-0 start and leading the way is 18-year-old forward Ryan Martin. The native of Rochester, Minnesota, played very well this past week as the Whalers earned a weekend home split with the Peoria Mustangs. On Saturday, Martin (5’10/170) had a goal and two assists in a 5-4 win. On Sunday, he scored both Whalers goals in a 6-2 loss. For the season, Martin leads the Whalers in scoring with eight points in four games played. “Ryan has really met our expectations to start the season and his play and confidence on the ice has transferred to his teammates,” said Wisconsin head coach Tom McDermott. “We have been very pleased with our start this season and Ryan has been a big part of that early success.”

2nd Star: RJ Marshall, forward, Cincinnati Swords

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jarin Aden, goaltender, Peoria Mustangs – Andrew Bond, forward, Cincinnati Swords – Zach Johnson, forward, Wisconsin Whalers – Michael Paku, goaltender, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs - Sam Turner, forward, Peoria Mustangs.

 

East Star of the Week: Brett Leppek - Flint Junior Generals

Brett Leppek

One of the reasons that the Flint Junior Generals are off to a 6-0-1 start and atop of the East Division is their depth. That was evident this weekend as they picked up a weekend road sweep of the Pittsburgh Vengeance thanks in large part to the play of forward Brett Leppek.  The 20-year-old from Au Gres, Michigan, had a big hand in both weekend wins. On Saturday, Leppek (6’1/200) had a short-handed goal and assisted on the game-winning goal in a 4-0 win.  The next day, he scored twice in a 4-3 win. For the season, Leppek has seven points in five games played. “Brett played like a veteran this past weekend.  He is a physical player and likes to grind, but he also has a nice scoring touch,” said Flint head coach Steve Howard. “He has really developed in a good, all-around player.”

2nd Star: Mike Palasics, forward, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Walker Bass, goaltender, Michigan Mountain Cats – Matt Dempsey, forward, Metro Jets – Brody Duncan, forward, Toledo Cherokee – Zach Koonce, forward, Flint Junior Generals – Davide Mantovani, goaltender, Metro Jets – Joe Moza, goaltender, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – Noah Szenderski, forward, Toledo Cherokee.

 

South Star of the Week: No Award

 

West Star of the Week: Drake Hunter - Alexandria Blizzard

Drake Hunter
Three straight road wins over the weekend is just what the doctor ordered for the Alexandria Blizzard, as they pushed their record to 4-1. Forward Drake Hunter, 19, had a monster weekend as the native of Greenfield, Minnesota totaled seven points, including six goals in the three wins. On Friday, Hunter (6’0/195) had a hat-trick, which included the game-winning goal in a 6-2 win over Twin City.  On Saturday, he added another goal in an 8-5 win at Breezy Point.  On Sunday, he had two more goals, including the game-winner and an assist in a 5-1 win at Minnesota.  Hunter leads the team in scoring with seven points, which were all earned this past weekend. “Drake had a huge weekend and it was what we needed out of a veteran forward,” said Blizzard head coach Jeff Crouse. “We had our top two players out of the lineup and Drake really picked up his game. He's a big strong kid that can skate and shoot well and I am looking forward to watching him progress into a goal scorer.”
 
2nd Star: Aidan Verbeke, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Mitchell Gwost, defenseman, Granite City Lumberjacks
 
 

Stars of the Week Week of September 24, 2013sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Dan Marotz - Chicago Junior Bulldogs

Dan Marotz

The Jr. Bulldogs made a little history this past weekend as they posted their first NA3HL wins and NA3HL series sweep.  The handled Battle Creek in two road games and defenseman Dan Marotz was a standout player. The 19-year-old defenseman from Forest Park, Illinois, had five points (2 goals, 3 assists) in the two wins and was a remarkable +10. On Saturday, Marotz (5’10/190) had four of his points in a 13-3 win and he added an assist in Sunday’s 11-0 win. He is second on the team in scoring this season with nine points. “Dan is a veteran defenseman for us and he makes very few mistakes.  He is very strong on his skates, but he also has great stick-handling skills,” said Bulldogs head coach Tom Clarke. “He logged a lot of minutes this past weekend, especially killing penalties and he did very good job at all the little things that often go unnoticed.”

2nd Star: Jason Hoehn, forward, Wisconsin Whalers

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brett Gates, defenseman, Wisconsin Whalers – Rob Gentile, defenseman, Cincinnati Swords – Michael Krch, goaltender, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs – Ian Rolfsen, forward, Cincinnati Swords.

 

East Star of the Week: Clay Horvath - Toledo Cherokee

Clay Horvath

Toledo is off to a strong 3-1 start and they made a big statement this past weekend with a home and home sweep of the Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks. Both games were one-goal games and the big difference was Toledo goaltender Clay Horvath, 18. The Lewis Center, Ohio native started and won his first two games of the season.  Horvath (5’11/160) stopped a combined 61 of 64 shots on the weekend, which was good for a 95.3% save percentage and a 1.44 goals against average. On Friday, Horvath made 34 saves and stopped four of the five shooters in a shootout for a 3-2 win. On Saturday, he made 27 saves in a 2-1 win at home. "Clay was a difference maker this weekend,” said Toledo head coach Kenny Miller. “He was a big part of our success and I couldn't be happier for him, after only practicing for two days and stepping in and helping us get two wins this weekend was a big statement from him to his new teammates."

2nd Star: Nick Gnagni, forward, Flint Junior Generals

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Zach Collins, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats – Tom Diffendal, forward, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Conor Durgan, forward, Flint Junior Generals – Kade Morrison, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats – Tyler Spies, forward, Pittsburgh Vengeance.

 

South Star of the Week: No Award

 

West Star of the Week: Aidan Verbeke - Granite City Lumberjacks

Aidan Verbeke

20-year-old veteran forward Aidan Verbeke got the Lumberjacks back on track this weekend with two big home wins over West Division rivals Twin City and Alexandria. All of Verbeke’s points came in Friday’s 7-1 win over Twin City, which he had four goals (including the game-winner) and an assist. He was also a +2 during the game. In Saturday’s 4-1 win over Alexandria, Verbeke (6’0/170) didn’t record a point, but was a +1.  The native of Elmwood Park, Illinois, leads the Lumberjacks in scoring this year with six points. “It is nice to see Aidan back at the level he was playing at last year,” said Lumberjacks head coach Brad Willner. “He is always in the right position, which allows him to produce points.”

2nd Star: Drew Otto, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None

 

Stars of the Week Week of September 19, 2013sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: Brennan Anderson - Peoria Mustangs

Brennan Anderson

To open their season, the Peoria Mustangs got to face a new in-state rival in the Chicago Jr. Bulldogs. Peoria forward Brennan Anderson, 18, made the most of the opportunity as he helped the Mustangs sweep Chicago with a six-point weekend. On Saturday, the forward from St. Charles, Missouri had a hat-trick and an assist in a 9-1 win.  The next night, Anderson (5’10/160) had a goal and an assist in a 6-2 win. Anderson is currently tied for 2nd in NA3HL scoring with his six points. “Brennan was unbelievable this weekend.  He has stepped up his game and shown a lot of leadership, and that helped with his success on the ice this weekend,” said Mustangs head coach Steve Ortman.

2nd Star: Andy McGlynn, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Colton Anderson, goaltender, Battle Creek Revolution – Thomas Clayton, forward, Cincinnati  Swords – Chance Homerin, forward, Peoria Mustangs – Zane O’Bryan, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Michael Schmitt, forward, Battle Creek Revolution – Joe Sheppard, goaltender, Cincinnati Swords.

 

East Star of the Week: Conor Durgan - Flint Junior Generals

Conor Durgan

Flint opened their 2013-14 season by taking three of four points in a weekend series against Cleveland. 18-year-old forward Conor Durgan, who played for Lansing last season in the NAPHL, had a five-point weekend (2 goals, 3 assists) to lead the Junior Generals. On Saturday, the native of Seattle, Washington had a goal in a 7-2 win. On Sunday, Durgan (6-2/200) was a one-man wrecking crew as he had a goal and three assists in a 7-6 shootout loss. “Conor is a big player that skates really well.  For him to play like he did in his first ever junior hockey game was a testament to his hard work, focus and talent,” said Flint head coach Steve Howard.

2nd Star: Jared Johnson, forward, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): John Arms, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats – Tyler Jansen, goaltender, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – Zach Koonce, forward, Flint Junior Generals – Jason Kumpfmiller, goaltender, Pittsburgh Vengeance.

 

South Star of the Week: No award

 

West Star of the Week: Tim Santopoalo - North Iowa Bulls

Tim Santopoalo

After recording 66 points in just 43 games last year, North Iowa forward Tim Santopoalo showed no signs of slowing down this year as he opened up the season with a six-point weekend in three North Iowa wins. On Friday, the native of Roscoe, Illinois had an assist in a 5-2 win over Granite City.  The next night, Santopoalo (5’7/160) had a power play goal in a 4-1 win over the Lumberjacks.  On Sunday, Santopoalo saved his best hockey of the weekend for the last game as he recorded two goals and two assists for a four point game in a 9-1 win at Breezy Point. “Tim hasn’t missed a beat since last season and really was motivated to get better over the summer.  He has a lot of quickness and uses it to his advantage,” said North Iowa head coach Todd Sanden.

2nd Star: Crosby Steen, forward, Breezy Point North Stars

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tim Brown, defenseman, Granite City Lumberjacks – Mitchell Gwost, defenseman, Granite City Lumberjacks – Jared Schletty, goaltender, North Iowa Bulls – Blair Seitz, forward, Minnesota Flying Aces.

 

Stars of the Week Week of September 10, 2013sponsored by Easton

Central Star of the Week: RJ Marshall - Cincinnati Swords

RJ Marshall
It was an opening weekend to remember for the Cincinnati Swords and forward RJ Marshall.  The Swords posted a weekend home sweep of division rival St. Louis. It was the first win for the Swords/Steam franchise over the Jr. Blues since January 15, 2011.  Marshall, 18, was one of many players who shined for the Swords.  On Saturday, Marshall (5’7/160) picked up an assist in a 4-3 win over the Jr. Blues.  The next day, the native of St. Charles, Illinois, had two more assists, including one on the game-winning goal as Cincinnati completed a weekend sweep of the Jr. Blues with a 3-2 win. “We didn’t know what to expect from RJ at first, but he works very hard and has a lot of talent and skill,” said Swords head coach Lee Lansdowne. “He worked hard at both ends of the ice and not only did he produce points, but he was key in our penalty kill against a very good St. Louis team. To pick up two wins against a franchise like the Jr. Blues was a tremendous start to the season and we now know what we are capable of.”
 
2nd Star: Alec Rounds, goaltender, Cincinnati Swords
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Andrew Kovacich, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Mike Lozano, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues.
 
 

East Star of the Week: Trevor Kalinowski - Metro Jets

Trevor Kalinowski
17-year-old goalie Trevor Kalinowski helped the Metro Jets to a weekend road sweep of the Pittsburgh Vengeance during the opening weekend of the NA3HL regular season this past weekend.  Although he only played in Sunday’s 3-2 win, the native of Commerce Township, Michigan, was spectacular in goal.  Kalinowski (5’9/155) stopped 46 of 48 shots that came his way to help the Jets complete the weekend sweep. “Trevor was great on Sunday. We won the game because of him. He is a returning player that we are going to rely heavily on,” said Jets head coach Jason Cirone. “I think to go into Pittsburgh and sweep them was a little bit surprising, but we gave a really good effort and I think everyone worked really hard.”
 
2nd Star: Cooper McLean, forward, Metro Jets
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Chase Sanford, goaltender, Pittsburgh Vengeance
 
 
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