NAHL Announces Divisional Stars of the Week Presented by Bauer Hockey
FRISCO, TEXAS - The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey for the week ending January 21, 2018. The Bauer Hockey Divisional Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2017-18 regular season that honors the top performing players in each of the four NAHL divisions. Only players that are nominated by their respective teams are considered for the Divisional Players of the Week award.
Central Division Star of the Week: Nic Sicoly, forward, Aberdeen Wings Thanks to a three-point weekend, the Aberdeen Wings maintained the top spot in the Central Division. Leading the way was forward Nic Sicoly, 20, who put together a five point weekend and made an impact in both games. On Friday, the 5'9/170 lbs. native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, had the game-winning goal and two assists in a 3-2 win. On Saturday, he had a goal and an assist in a 3-2 overtime loss. Since his arrival in Aberdeen, Sicoly has been a big difference-maker for the Wings, recording 27 points (8 goals, 19 assists) in just 22 games played. "Since Nic's arrival in Aberdeen he has been the hardest working player, both in practice and in games. His energy level is something I have not seen in a long time and contagious to this group. Nic's a born leader that has a bright future," said Wings head coach Scott Langer.
2nd Star: Josh Boyer, F, Brookings Blizzard Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Austin Dollimer, F, Minot Minotauros - Ryan Fanti, G, Minnesota Wilderness - Travis Kothenbeutel, F, Austin Bruins - Lane Krenzen, D, Austin Bruins - Samu Lonkila, G, Minot Minotauros - Matej Murin, F, Bismarck Bobcats - John Sladic, F, Aberdeen Wings - Adam Stacho, F, Bismarck Bobcats - Ondrej Trejbal, D, Minnesota Wilderness
East Division Star of the Week: Jack Olmstead, forward, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights forward and University of Michigan commit Jack Olmstead helped his team to a series split over the weekend with the New Jersey Titans. On Friday, the 5'10/170 lbs. native of Troy, Michigan, had two goals in a 5-3 home win. On Saturday, he added another goal in a 6-3 road loss at New Jersey. His three goals over the weekend moved him into a tie for the team scoring lead this season with 33 points in 34 games played. "Jack got us going with a couple of goals in a big win on Friday. He kept us in it with another goal on Saturday. He's established himself as a top scoring threat in this league. He gets the opposition's top defenders attention each night and still produces points. Jack's continued success hasn't resulted in any let up in the hard work he puts in every day he comes to the rink. He continues to be a great player for us and we're happy he wears a Knight jersey. We're all looking forward to what he'll do next week for the Knights," said head coach Tom Kowal.
2nd Star: Carson Briere, F, Johnstown Tomahawks Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jimmy Glynn, F, Philadelphia Rebels - Christian Gorscak, F, Johnstown Tomahawks - Michael Morrissey, F, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights - Kolby Vegara, D, Philadelphia Rebels
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Erkka Vanska, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs With a three-game home sweep of the Coulee Region Chill, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs ran their current winning streak to 13 straight games. At the forefront of the sweep was 19-year-old forward Erkka Vanska. The 5'10/170 lbs. native of Espoo, Finland, had seven points (2 goals, 5 assists) in the three wins. On Thursday, Vanska had three assists in an 8-0 win. On Friday, he had two goals, including the overtime-winner in a 4-3 win. On Saturday, he picked up two more assists in a 4-2 win. Vanska's seven points over the weekend vaulted him into the team scoring lead with 41 points in 38 games played. "Erkka is a player dedicated to getting better every day. He can carry the play at times, and did that for stretches this weekend," said Fairbanks head coach Trevor Stewart.
2nd Star: Jakov Novak, F, Janesville Jets Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ethan DeStefani, F, Minnesota Magicians - Benji Eckerle, F, Johnstown Tomahawks - Jack Johnston, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs - Markuss Komuls, D, Kenai River Brown Bears - Zach Krajnik, F, Kenai River Brown Bears
South Division Star of the Week: Mitchell Gibson, goaltender, Lone Star Brahmas Thanks to the goaltending of Mitchell Gibson, the Lone Star Brahmas were able to get some valuable points in a weekend road sweep at Kenai River. The NHL prospect and Harvard commit allow just two goals all weekend to help the Brahmas to the two wins. On Friday, the 6'1/186 lbs. native of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, came into the game just seven minutes into the contest after Lone Star went down 2-0 early and allowed just one goal on 35 shots the rest of the way in a 4-3 win. On Saturday, the 18-year-old made 25 saves and allowed just one goal in a 4-1 win. For the weekend, Gibson stopped 59 of 61 shots. "Mitchell was the best player for us this weekend. Any time there was a break down, he was there for us and made some huge saves. We needed some points this weekend and he stepped up got them for us. He is getting better as the season goes along," said Lone Star head coach Dan Wildfong.
2nd Star: Jason Grande, G, Amarillo Bulls Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Trey Bagwell, F, Amarillo Bulls - Jaxon Castor, G, Shreveport Mudbugs - Steven Ipri, F, Lone Star Brahmas - Brendan Miller, F, Corpus Christi IceRays - Matt Novo, F, Corpus Christi IceRays - Jake Transit, F, Shreveport Mudbugs.
About the NAHL: The NAHL, the only USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier II Junior league boasting 23 teams from across North America, prides itself on the social maturity and skill development of student-athletes ages 16-20 with aspirations of advancing to collegiate and/or professional hockey. During the 2016-17 season, the NAHL set a new single-season record with 305 NCAA commitments, 70% of which were NCAA Division I commitments. In addition, three NAHL players that played in the league this past season were selected in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Over the course of the past five years, 1,200 NAHL players have made NCAA commitments and 17 NAHL players have been selected in the NHL Draft.
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