The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Three Stars of the Week presented by Combat Hockey for the week ending November 13, 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: Kyle Laslo, goaltender, Traverse City North Stars
Laslo, 19, had a spectacular week in goal for the North Stars. In the two games he started (both on the road), the Fenton, Michigan native allowed just one goal, posting a shutout and stopped 70 of a possible 71 total shots during the week. For the week, Laslo posted a .50 goals against average and a 98.6% save percentage. Laslo’s shutout came in first game of the week on Wednesday when he blanked Port Huron with a 33-save effort. Two nights later, Laslo made 37 saves in a 5-1 win at Michigan. Laslo currently ranks sixth in the NAHL in goals against average with a 1.92 goals against. He has been in goal for all eight of the North Stars wins this season. “Kyle has the ability to keep us in game, especially on the road,” said Traverse City head coach Chad Fournier. “He doesn’t give up bad goals and our guys play with a lot of confidence knowing that.”
2nd Star: Matt Leon, goaltender, Wichita Falls Wildcats
There have been plenty of players in the NAHL that have paid their junior hockey dues, and new Wildcats goaltender Matt Leon is no exception. Leon, 19, spent the beginning of this season and all of last season in the NA3HL, where he was the league MVP for the Queen City Steam. Since his call up to the NAHL, Leon has been making the most of his opportunity, which included the Wildcats home games this weekend against Corpus Christi. The Charlotte, North Carolina native allowed just one goal in two games, posted his first NAHL shutout and stopped 66 of a possible 67 shots during the weekend as Wichita Falls swept the Ice Rays. For the week, Leon posted a .50 goals against average and a 98.5% save percentage. “I think once Matt started to see some shots and make some saves at this level, he really started to gain some confidence,” said Wildcats head coach Paul Baxter. “The best part of his game may be the mental side. He has the ability to block out the bad and move onto the next save. It is something I think he has gained through his experience playing junior hockey in the 3HL.”
3rd Star: Joe Kalisz, forward, St. Louis Bandits
This marks the second time this season Kalisz, who is tied for the league lead in points with 29, has been honored as one of the three stars. This past weekend, Kalisz, 20, helped his Bandits team to a three-game road sweep of the Chicago Hitmen. The three wins helped the Bandits stay atop of the Midwest Division in 1st place. For the weekend, the Davison, Michigan native scored five goals (one game-winner) adding two assists for seven points and was +7 in the three wins. On Friday, Kalisz had two goals including the game-winner in a close 3-2 win over the Hitmen. Saturday, he added a goal and an assist in a 7-2 Bandits win. On Sunday, he chimed in with two goals and an assist as the Bandits completed a three-game sweep with an 8-5 win. “Joe has been a great leader on and off the ice for our team and he has been very consistent,” said Bandits head coach Jeff Brown. “Chicago has improved a lot and we worked very hard to win three games this past weekend.”
Other players nominated were (alphabetical): Ben Bahe, forward, Topeka RoadRunners – Tyler Bruggeman, goaltender, Austin Bruins – Tommy Burke, goaltender, Bismarck Bobcats – Brett D’Andrea, forward, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Willie Faust, forward, Odessa Jackalopes – Kyle Gattelaro, forward, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings – Andrew Graves, forward, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings – Gregg Gruehl, goaltender, Amarillo Bulls - Alec Hajdukovich, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Tony Kujava, goaltender, Janesville Jets – Craig Lindegard, forward, Alexandria Blizzard - Jordan Lovick, forward, Texas Tornado – Reid Mimmack, goaltender, Texas Tornado – Sean Murphy, forward, Traverse City – Steve Obarzanek, forward, Aberdeen Wings – Kody Polin, forward, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Jameson Shortreed, goaltender, Alexandria Blizzard - Cory Ward, forward, Aberdeen Wings – AJ White, forward, Michigan Warriors – Ryan White, forward, Topeka RoadRunners – Dan Zawacki, forward, Bismarck Bobcats.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)