The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) today announced the Three Stars of the Week presented by Combat Hockey for the week ending January 20, 2013. The three stars of the week is an award given each week of the regular season to the top performing players in the NA3HL as nominated by their head coaches.
1st Star: Kade Morrison, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats
The Michigan Mountain Cats winning streak hit three straight games this past weekend with a weekend road sweep of the Metro Jets. Out of the seven total goals scored, forward Kade Morrison, 17, had points on six of them. The native of Attica, Michigan, had a six-point weekend, which included four goals and two assists and was a +3 in the sweep. On Saturday, Morrison (5’11/205) scored all of Michigan’s three goals in a 3-1 win. On Sunday, he had another goal and chipped in two assists, which included assisting on the game-winning goal in a 4-1 win. In 31 games this season, Morrison has 19 points. “Kade has really played well as of late and is really starting to understand what it takes to be successful and consistent at the junior level,” said Mountain Cats head coach Chad Grills. “He has a very bright future ahead of him because of his development and experience at this young at such a young age.”
2nd Star: Spencer Craig, goaltender, Michigan Mountain Cats
The other big piece to the puzzle of Michigan’s road sweep against the Metro Jets was the goaltending of Spencer Craig. The 19-year-old from Canton, Michigan, was in goal for both wins over the weekend, helping Michigan to the road sweep. On Saturday, Craig (6’2/190) was outstanding as he stopped 44 of 45 shots in a 3-1 win over the Jets. He also shined on Sunday as he stopped 21 of 22 shots in a 4-1 win. For the weekend, Craig stopped 65 of 67 shots for a 97% save percentage, allowing just a single goal each night. Craig has won four out of his last five games and has two shutouts this season. “Spencer was the backbone of our success this past weekend,” said Mountain Cats head coach Chad Grills. “If he doesn’t come up with save after save like he did, especially on Saturday, we wouldn’t have won the game. His save allowed us to keep the momentum going and stay in the game and that is all you can ask of your goaltender.”
3rd Star: Ian Ecklund, forward, Alexandria Blizzard
To say that Alexandria Blizzard forward Ian Ecklund is on fire right now would be an understatment. The 19-year-old forward from Proctor, Minnesota, put together another impressive offensive weekend as the Blizzard picked up two more wins. On Friday, Ecklund (6’3/180) had a goal and an assist in a 5-1 home win over the Minnesota Flying Aces. On Saturday, he picked up two goals and an assist for a three point night in a 9-2 win at Breezy Point against the North Stars. Ecklund was also a +4 during the weekend as he racked up another five points. Not only does Ecklund rank 2nd in NA3HL scoring with 53 points, but he is currently on a 13-game point streak and his last five games have resulted in multi-point games. “Ian has really settled in and become a consistent player. He has been keeping things simple and using his speed,” said Blizzard head coach Jeff Crouse. “He is in one of those zones right now where he is playing well and focus each time he steps onto the ice.”
Honorable Mention (alphabetical order): Peter Coppola, forward, Quad City Jr. Flames – Scott Cuthrell, forward, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – Aaron Davis, goaltender, North Iowa Bulls – Matt Erlichman, goaltender, Three Rivers Vengeance – Lynden Fields, forward, Peoria Mustangs – Mitchell Gwost, defenseman, Granite City Lumberjacks – Jason Hoehn, forward, Quad City Jr. Flames – Jacob Howie, forward, Flint Jr. Generals – Brycon Johnson, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Zak Kemble, goaltender, Queen City Steam – Kevin Kenny, forward, Three Rivers Vengeance – Alex Koopmeiners, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks – Mike Lozano, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Michael Parda, goaltender, Peoria Mustangs – Jacob Peacock, forward, Flint Jr. Generals – Tim Santopoalo, forward, North Iowa Bulls – Andrew Sprouse, defenseman, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – Trevor Voelker, forward, Queen City Steam.