The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Three Stars of the Week presented by Combat Hockey for the week ending April 1, 2012. 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. This week marks the final time during the 2011-12 season that the Three Stars of the Week will be awarded.
1st Star: Josh Dangel, forward, St. Louis Bandits
It was a record-breaking weekend for the St. Louis Bandits, who not only swept the Chicago Hitmen in three home games, but outscored them 34-4 in the process. One of the many offensive contributors over the weekend was Bandits forward Josh Dangel. Dangel, 19, recorded 11 points (3 goals, 8 assists) in the three wins and was an amazing +13. On Friday, Dangel picked up three assists in a 10-2 win. On Saturday, the Portage, Michigan native scored two goals and added an assist in an 8-0 win. On Sunday, Dangel (5’10/180) had his biggest game of the weekend as he recorded a goal and four assists for a five point game in a record-breaking 16-2 win. Dangel, who finished with 34 points during the regular season, put up almost a third of his total points this season in this past weekend’s games. “Josh has been a steady forward for us for two years now and he keeps getting better,” said Bandits head coach Jeff Brown. “I think he is playing his best hockey of the season and is doing it at both ends of the ice.”
2nd Star: Will Badner, forward, Traverse City North Stars
Traverse City North Stars forward Will Badner had a tremendous offensive weekend as his North Stars finished the regular season with a three-game home sweep of the Jamestown Ironmen. After being held scoreless in a 3-0 win on Friday, Badner, 20, recorded the game-winning goal and added an assist in Saturday’s, 3-2 win. Then on Sunday, Badner (6’1/190) had a career afternoon as he went off for four goals, including the game-winner, in a 6-0 win. The four goals was a new career-high for the Cadillac, Michigan native, who finished the weekend with five goals and an assist over the three game weekend. “Will’s game is really starting to peak and he is playing very well at both ends of the ice,” said North Stars head coach Chad Fournier. “He is making the most of his final opportunity in junior hockey. He is playing great defense, so when he is able to contribute like he did offensively, it is a bonus for our team.”
3rd Star: Ryan Cole, forward, Amarillo Bulls
Amarillo forward Ryan Cole, 19, has been a key mid-season addition to the Bulls roster and this past weekend was direct evidence of that. The forward from Anchorage, Alaska led the Bulls to a weekend road sweep of the New Mexico Mustangs and helped Amarillo finish the regular season with 99 points, the highest total in NAHL history. On Thursday, Cole (5’9/175) recorded a goal and added two assists in a 6-1 win. On Saturday, he chimed in with another goal in a 4-1 win to complete the weekend sweep and secure the NAHL record. For the weekend, Cole had four points (2 goals, 2 assists) and was +4 in two games. Since joining the Bulls, Cole has 11 points in 15 games played. “Ryan has worked very hard since arriving in Amarillo and has really taken his game to the next level,” said Bulls head coach Dennis Williams. “I think he is more comfortable by the day and he should have an impact for us in the playoffs.”
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Marc Biggs, forward, Texas Tornado – Brandon Brossoit, forward, Alaska Avalanche – Ben Carey, forward, Wenatchee Wild – Brian Christie, forward, Topeka RoadRunners – Aaron Davis, goaltender, Coulee Region Chill – Kyle Gattelaro, forward, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings – Greg Gruehl, goaltender, Amarillo Bulls – Joe Kalisz, forward, St. Louis Bandits – Nick Kovalchik, forward, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings – Kyle Laslo, goaltender, Traverse City North Stars – Sean Muller, forward, Kenai River Brown Bears – Robert Nichols, goaltender, Wenatchee Wild – Josef Pontasch, forward, Springfield Jr. Blues – Jack Prince, forward, Texas Tornado – James Ring, forward, Topeka RoadRunners – Nate Teuscher, goaltender, Janesville Jets – Connor Wright, forward, Alaska Avalanche.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)