The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Three Stars of the Week presented by Combat Hockey for the week ending November 6, 2011. The Three Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2011-12 regular season that honors the top performing players each week of the regular season as nominated by their respective teams.
1st Star: Brett Lubanski, forward, Kenai River Brown Bears
The Kenai River Brown Bears continue to be one of the feel good stories in the NAHL this season. They are in sole possession of 1st place in the West Division and a big reason why is veteran forward Brett Lubanski. Lubanski, 20, had a week to remember as he helped the Brown Bears to a weekend road sweep of the Dawson Creek Rage, and in the process, helped Kenai River take sole possession of 1st place in the West Division. On Friday, Lubanski had a hat-trick and an assist for a four-point game as Kenai River defeated Dawson Creek, 5-3. The next night, Lubanski assisted on the first goal and put the game out of reach with Kenai River’s last two goals of the game in a 6-3 win. For the weekend, Lubanski had five goals and two assists for seven points in the two game weekend sweep. The Farmington Hills, Michigan native ranks tied for 3rd in the NAHL with 17 assists and 5th in the NAHL with 23 points. “I think Brett is a very confident player, who understands how to compete in the NAHL,” said Brown Bears head coach Oliver David. “He was physical this and played the body this weekend, getting first to pucks, getting takeaways and creating opportunities. He has created an environment in the lockerroom where this team does not like to lose.”
2nd Star: Jacob Meyers, goaltender, Alexandria Blizzard
Meyers, 19, helped backstop the Blizzard to their first weekend sweep of the year, beating the Austin Bruins on the road both Friday and Saturday. On Friday, the Minnetonka, Minnesota native stopped 23 of 24 shots in a 5-1 win. His shutout bid was spoiled with just over five minutes to go in the game. On Saturday, Meyers was even better in a 2-1 win, in which he made 31 saves on 32 Bruins shots. For the weekend, Meyers went 2-0-0 with a 1.00 goals against average and a 96.4% save percentage, stopping 54 of 56 total shots. Meyers currently ranks 3rd in the NAHL in both goals against average (1.49) and save percentage (94.3%). “He has played extremely well since his return to the team,” said Blizzard head coach Doc Delcastillo. “He has been very consistent and stayed in control of his game. In a hostile situation this past weekend he remained calm, confident and was square to the shooter. Our team defense, led by our goalies, has been very good lately, which really gives a chance to win on a game-by-game basis.”
3rd Star: Peter Megariotis, goaltender, Port Huron Fighting Falcons
One of the other feel good stories of the 2011-12 NAHL season is the Port Huron Fighting Falcons. Winners of just six games a year ago, the Fighting Falcons find themselves alone in 1st place atop of the NAHL’s North Division with a 12-6-2 record. One of the biggest reasons why has been the goaltending of Peter Megariotis, and this past week was no exception. Megariotis, 20, posted a perfect 3-0-0 record this past week leading Port Huron to three wins (two against Kalamazoo and one against Michigan). On Wednesday, the Anaheim Hills, California native allowed just a lone power play goal in a 2-1 win at Michigan, making 21 saves. On Friday, Megariotis made 31 saves as Port Huron toppled then 1st place Kalamazoo at home, 5-3. On Saturday, Megariotis and the Fighting Falcons completed the perfect week with a 5-2 win on the road at Kalamazoo, in which Megariotis made 29 saves in the win. For the week, Megariotis posted a perfect 3-0-0 record, with a 2.00 goals against average and a 93.1% save percentage. He is tied for 4th in the NAHL with nine wins this season and ranks in the top 10 in both goals against average and save percentage. “Peter has seen a lot of pucks in his time in the NAHL and understands how to keep his team in games,” said Fighting Falcons head coach Bill Warren. “He is playing with a lot of confidence, staying aggressive and using his size to his advantage. He has stayed healthy, which has been key.”
Other players nominated were (alphabetical): Brooks Behling, forward, Amarillo Bulls – Brandon Brossoit, forward, Alaska Avalanche – Andrew Graves, forward, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings – Gregg Gruehl, goaltender, Amarillo Bulls – Connor Hellebuyck, goaltender, Odessa Jackalopes – Brock Kautz, goaltender, Janesville Jets – Dennis Kravchenko, forward, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Nick Kulmanovsky, goaltender, Alaska Avalanche – Matt Leon, goaltender, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Greg Lewis, goaltender, Wenatchee Wild – Jordan Lovick, forward, Texas Tornado – Max McHugh, forward, Wenatchee Wild – Ian Miller, forward, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Aaron Nelson, goaltender, Bismarck Bobcats – Robbie Payne, forward, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings – Jack Prince, forward, Texas Tornado – Tyler Richter, forward, Bismarck Bobcats – Pijus Rulevicius, forward, Janesville Jets – Trace Strahle, defenseman, Topeka RoadRunners – Reid Sturos, forward, Alexandria Blizzard – Cory Ward, forward, Aberdeen Wings – Ryan White, forward, Topeka RoadRunners.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)