The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced its Players of the Week, sponsored by SBK Hockey, for the week ending Sept. 26.
SBK HOCKEY NORTH PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Cody Damon - Chicago Hitmen
Chicago forward Cody Damon, a 19-year-old from Flint, Mich., unleashed for four goals, including the game-winner, to help lead the Hitmen to its first-ever victory on Saturday - an 8-5 triumph over the Motor City Metal Jackets.
“Cody has a real touch around the net, and he’s really learning to play the NAHL game,” said Hitmen head coach Steve Pronger.
HONORABLE MENTION: Janesville forward Connor McBride
SBK HOCKEY SOUTH PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jimmy Peplinski - New Mexico Mustangs
New Mexico forward Jimmy Peplinski registered two goals and two assists as the Mustangs celebrated a two-game sweep over Corpus Christi. On Friday, the Howell, Mich., native picked up a goal in a 3-1 victory. The next night, the 17-year-old struck for another goal and a pair of assists as the Mustangs outlasted the IceRays in overtime, 7-6. He was also a plus-2 on the weekend.
“Jimmy is progressing very nicely and adapting well to the high level of play in the NAHL,” said Mustangs head coach Bill Muckalt. “With his continued development, I see a very bright future ahead.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Texas defenseman Ralfs Freibergs; Topeka forward Michael Hill; Wichita Falls forward Drew Allen
SBK HOCKEY CENTRAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Connor Gaarder - Coulee Region Chill
Coulee Region forward Connor Gaarder connected for a pair of goals and an assist as the Chill skated to a two-game sweep over Janesville. On Friday, the Edina, Minn., native assisted on Micky Knox’s game-winning marker in a 2-1 victory. The next night, the 19-year-old put away two goals in the Chill’s 4-3 shootout win over the Jets. He was also a plus-2 for the weekend.
“Connor worked hard over the offseason and it’s paying off for him,” said Chill head coach Garrett Strot. “He’s proving why he’s one of the top centers in the league.”
SBK HOCKEY WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK
JT Osborn - Fairbanks Ice Dogs
Fairbanks forward JT Osborn rang up five goals and an assist as the Ice Dogs picked up five of six points. On Friday, the Alpine, Calif., native potted a goal in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Wichita Falls Wildcats. The next night, the 19-year-old came through with two goals and assisted on Charlie Thauwald’s game-winning marker as the Ice Dogs downed Texas, 5-3. Osborn wrapped up his weekend with another two-goal performance in a 6-5 overtime triumph over the Tornado on Sunday. He was also a plus-4 on the weekend.
“JT is a dynamic goal-scorer,” said Ice Dogs head coach Josh Hauge. “I’ve never coached a player who finds the back of the net the way he does.”
SBK HOCKEY GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK
Paul Moberg - Coulee Region Chill
Coulee Region goaltender Paul Moberg backstopped the Chill to a two-game sweep over Janesville, turning aside 65 of 69 shots. On Friday, the Forest Lake, Minn., native made 38 saves in the 2-1 victory. The next night, the 19-year-old stopped 27 shots in regulation and overtime and eight of nine in the shootout as the Chill bested the Jets, 4-3.
“Paul is proving he’s one of the top goalies in the league,” said Chill head coach Garrett Strot. “He’s getting a lot of Division I attention.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Texas’ Jake Stafford; Toepka’s Rasmus Tirronen
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)