The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Combat Hockey for the week ending February 17, 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: Cory Lushanko, forward, Coulee Region Chill
It was a good weekend for the Coulee Region Chill and 20-year-old forward Cory Lushanko. The native of Chisago City, Minnesota helped the Chill to two home wins. In the process, Lushanko (5’11/195) recorded four points (1 goal, 3 assists) in the two wins and was also a +3. On Friday, Lushanko recorded three assists, including one on the game-winning goal in a 5-2 win over the Brookings Blizzard. On Saturday, he scored the game-winning goal in a 3-0 shutout win over the Minot Minotauros. Lushanko, who is competing in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, has 25 points in 45 games played to date. “Cory has really stepped up his game and he is one of our leaders on and off the ice,” said Chill head coach AJ Degenhardt. “I think he has a chance to create offense each time he steps onto the ice.”
2nd Star: Tim Shaughnessy, goaltender, Coulee Region Chill
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Matt Anders, forward, Bismarck Bobcats – Nick DeCenzo, forward, Brookings Blizzard – Aaron Nelson, goaltender, Bismarck Bobcats – John Simonson, forward, Austin Bruins – Brandon Wahlin, forward, Austin Bruins.
North Division Star of the Week: Tyler Dunagan, forward, Jamestown Ironmen
Jamestown Ironmen forward Tyler Dunagan, 19, played a big role in the team’s home sweep of Fresno last weekend. The forward from Maple Grove, Minnesota, was a scoring machine as he lit up the Monsters for six points in the two games, which including five goals. He also recorded a +6 rating in the two games. On Thursday, Dunagan (5’11/178) recorded a hat-trick in Jamestown’s 7-4 win over Fresno. On Friday, it was another three point effort as he scored twice and added an assist in a 6-0 shutout win over the Monsters. To date, the 2nd year NAHL veteran has 32 points, including 19 goals, in 48 games played. He is also competing in this week’s NAHL Top Prospects Tournament. “Tyler works very hard for the chances he gets and last weekend was a perfect example,” said Ironmen head coach Dan Daikawa. “He did a great job of finishing his chances.”
2nd Star: Stefanos Lekkas, goaltender, Springfield Jr. Blues
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Taylor Burden, forward, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings – Rick DeRosa, forward, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Dan Dupell, forward, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Kyle Gattelaro, forward, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings – Robin Hoglund, forward, Soo Eagles – Mike Severson, forward, Springfield Jr. Blues – Paige Skoog, goaltender, Soo Eagles.
South Division Star of the Week: Paul Berrafato, goaltender, Amarillo Bulls
The Amarillo Bulls kept their momentum rolling last weekend as they won their 6th and 7th straight games and increased their South Division lead to 10 points with a weekend home sweep of the Texas Tornado. Both games came down to the wire, which is why the goaltending of 19-year-old Paul Berrafato was key to winning both games. On Friday, the native of Buffalo, New York, made 25 saves as the Bulls pulled out a last-minute 3-2 win over Texas. On Saturday, Berrafato (6’0/180) made 22 saves in another last minute 3-2 win. For the weekend, Berrafato stopped 47 of 51 shots and ran his personal winning streak to six games. Berrafato, who is competing in this week’s NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, has only lost twice in regulation this season. “Paul is just a solid goalie and a competitor,” said Bulls head coach Dennis Williams. “All we want him to do in win games, and his teammates play with a lot more confidence knowing he is behind them and will make the big saves when he has to.”
2nd Star: Kyle Sharkey, forward, Topeka RoadRunners
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Gage Christianson, forward, Amarillo Bulls – Sean Gaffney, forward, Topeka RoadRunners – Hunter Leisner, goaltender, Texas Tornado – CJ Reuschlein, forward, Texas Tornado.
West Division Star of the Week: Steve Perry, goaltender, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
The Fairbanks Ice Dogs got back on track last weekend with a home sweep of the Kenai River Brown Bears. Fairbanks allowed just a single goal in the two games, courtesy of veteran goaltender Steve Perry, 21. The native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, stopped a combined 39 of 40 shots in the two wins, which included a shutout on Saturday. On Friday, Perry (5’10/170) made 15 saves in a 6-1 win over the Brown Bears. On Saturday, Perry was even better as he stopped all 24 shots that came his way in a 3-0 shutout win. For the season, Perry’s 2.26 goals against average ranks 6th among all NAHL goaltenders. “Steve saw the puck exceptionally well this weekend and our guys played some great defense in front of him,” said Ice Dogs head coach Trevor Stewart. “It was the first time he played back-to-back games since coming back from injury and I thought he played great and got back into his grove.”
2nd Star: Trevor Stewart, forward, Wenatchee Wild
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Joe Sullivan, forward, Wenatchee Wild.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)