The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Combat Hockey for the week ending February 10, 2013. The Divisional Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2012-13 regular season that honors the top performing players in each of the four NAHL divisions as nominated by their respective teams.
Central Division Star of the Week: Patrick Steinhauser, forward, Aberdeen Wings
19-year-old forward Patrick Steinhauser of the Aberdeen Wings was a force this past weekend as Aberdeen split a pair of games in Coulee Region. The native of Plymouth, Minnesota, had five points (2 goals, 3 assists) and was also a +5 during the weekend. Steinhauser (5’8/165) scored a goal in Friday’s 4-3 loss to the Chill. The next night, he scored a goal late in the 2nd period to spark a comeback and assisted on three other goals in a 6-4 win over Coulee Region. For the season, Steinhauser has 20 points in 41 games played. “Patrick was terrific this weekend and has a very good ability to make plays,” said new Wings head coach Travis Winter. “He had a great week of practice leading up to the games. I think with all of our players, including Patrick, I am just trying to get them out of their comfort zone and get them to push themselves. Everyone is going to get an opportunity to show what they can do.”
2nd Star: Evan Hesse, forward, Brookings Blizzard
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Matt Anders, forward, Bismarck Bobcats – Drew Brevig, defenseman, Brookings Blizzard – Andy Faust, forward, Coulee Region Chill – Joe Giordano, forward, Bismarck Bobcats – Jonathan Grebosky, forward, Aberdeen Wings – Derek Smith, defenseman, Coulee Region Chill.
North Division Star of the Week: Marcus Due-Boje, goaltender, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings
Thanks to three more wins last week, the Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings are just two points out of 1st place and bookending two of the three wins last week was 19-year-old goaltender Marcus Due-Boje. The native of Stockholm, Sweden, was perfect in both starts last week as he shutout the Michigan Warriors on Friday and then shutout the Springfield Jr. Blues on Sunday. It was Due-Boje’s (5’11/170) first two shutouts of the season. On Friday, Due-Boje made a career-high 46 saves in a 3-0 shutout in Flint against the Warriors. On Sunday, he stopped all 33 shots that came his way in a 7-0 shutout at home of Springfield. For the weekend, he stopped all 79 shots that came his way. His 93.5% save percentage ranks tied for 2nd among all NAHL goaltenders. “Marcus is a fundamentally sound goalie and very calm in net,” said Kalamazoo head coach Marc Fakler. “Marcus has come back from injury playing the best hockey he has all season. The team has a lot of confidence in both of our goalies. Both can get it done, so we don’t worry so much who starts.”
2nd Star: Danny Hamburg, forward, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Max Milosek, goaltender, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Brett Skibba, forward, Springfield Jr. Blues – Tyler Spezia, forward, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Jared Van Wormer, forward, Soo Eagles – Chris Waterstreet, forward, Soo Eagles – Jordan Watt, forward, Johnstown Tomahawks.
South Division Star of the Week: Kyle Sharkey, forward, Topeka RoadRunners
The Topeka RoadRunners took a big step towards climbing the South Division standings with a weekend road sweep in Texas against the Tornado. Veteran forward Kyle Sharkey, 20, came through in the clutch with four goals in the weekend sweep and was also a +4. The native of Moore, Oklahoma, started the weekend off in style with a hat-trick on Friday in Topeka’s 5-3 win. On Saturday, Sharkey scored again in a 5-2 win against the Tornado, which completed the weekend road sweep. For the season, the three-year veteran ranks 4th in NAHL goal scoring with 25 goals and his 50 points ranks tied for 8th. Sharkey is committed to play NCAA hockey next season at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. “Kyle is a smart player and knew we were not scoring a ton of goals heading into the weekend series with Texas,” said RoadRunners head coach Scott Langer. “He just worked hard as he always does, kept with it, dug down deep and kept trying to score. Kyle never gives upon a play. The bigger the game, the bigger he steps up for us.”
2nd Star: TJ Sarcona, forward, Amarillo Bulls
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brandon Brossoit, forward, Topeka RoadRunners – Nick Monfils, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays – Blake Roubos, forward, Amarillo Bulls – Rudy Sulmonte, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays.
West Division Star of the Week: Marcus Zelzer, goaltender, Kenai River Brown Bears
Unbeaten in regulation in their last nine games and winners of their last six straight, Kenai River’s recent success is in direct correlation with the arrival of veteran goaltender Marcus Zelzer, 20. The native of Green Bay, Wisconsin, was on fire again this past weekend as the Brown Bears completed a weekend home sweep of in-state rival Fairbanks. On Friday, Zelzer (6’3/200) made 31 saves in a 3-1 win over the Ice Dogs, as he lost his shutout bid with less than four minutes remaining in the game. On Saturday, Zelzer was injured early in the 3rd period and had to leave the game, but not before he stopped all 27 shots that came his way as the Brown Bears ended up winning 3-2 in a shootout. For the weekend, Zelzer stopped 58 of 59 shots and gave up just one goal in over 102 minutes of action. “We were and happy to jump at the chance to get him from Aberdeen,” said Brown Bears head coach Oliver David. “We needed to solidify things in goal and Marcus was exactly the type we were looking for. He has lost a game in regulation since his first one with us when he stepped right off a plane. He has been the key factor in our current success, is a great addition and we could not be happier.”
2nd Star: Joe Sullivan, forward, Wenatchee Wild
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Nick Hinz, defenseman, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Chris Kerr, forward, Wenatchee Wild.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)