Monday, November 4, 2013

NAHL announces Easton Divisional Stars of the Week

Press Release

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton for the week ending November 3, 2013.  The Divisional Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2013-14 regular season that honors the top performing players in each of the four NAHL divisions. Only players that are nominated by their respective teams are considered for the Divisional Players of the Week award.

Central Division Star of the Week: Guillaume Leclerc, forward, Austin Bruins

One of the early candidates for Rookie of the Year through the first two months of the season is Austin Bruins forward Guillaume Leclerc. The 17-year-old University of Massachusetts-Lowell recruit has lit the NAHL on fire since his debut in September and this past week was another example of his stellar play as the Bruins swept the Kenai River Brown Bears. The native of Franois, France, had two goals and an assist and was a +4 in the two wins. All of Leclerc’s (5’8/165) scoring came in Friday night’s 5-3 win. He was also a +1 in a 3-1 win on Saturday. For the season, Leclerc is second on the Bruins roster in scoring with 19 points and he ranks 2nd in the entire NAHL with 11 goals to date. “For his size, he does such a good job of getting in front of the net and he isn’t afraid to go in the tough areas,” said Bruins head coach Chris Tok. “Guillaume has a tremendous amount of skill and will be a great NCAA Division I hockey player. He is just scratching the surface with his potential.”

2nd Star: Kyle Haak, forward, Aberdeen Wings

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Troy Delger, forward, Minot Minotauros – TJ Roo, forward, Aberdeen Wings – Cameron Rowat, forward, Minot Minotauros

Midwest Division Star of the Week: Thomas Delaney, defenseman, Minnesota Magicians

New Minnesota Magicians defenseman Thomas Delaney, 18, has been a breath of fresh air for the Magicians. This past weekend, Delaney (6’2/195) was a major difference maker in Minnesota’s three-game series in Janesville. The native of White Bear Lake, Minnesota ended up with four points (3 goals, 1 assist) and a +3 rating as the Magicians took two of three games against the Jets. Delaney scored a goal in each game, which included a goal and an assist in a 5-4 shootout loss on Friday, a 4-2 win on Saturday and a 3-2 win on Sunday. His goal on Saturday ended up being the game-winner. “Thomas is a smooth skating and physical defenseman and he brings a lot to the offensive side,” said Magicians head coach Scott Meyer. “When you combine that with his physicality, he is a really special and talented player and he makes us a better team.”

2nd Star: Gustaf Johansson, goaltender, Wenatchee Wild

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Trey Bradley, forward, Wenatchee Wild – Lonnie Clary, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Matt Colford, forward, Minnesota Magicians – Brett Gervais, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Albin Karlsson, forward, Kenai River Brown Bears – Kasimir Kaskisuo, goaltender, Minnesota Wilderness – Frank Oplinger, goaltender, Minnesota Wilderness

North Division Star of the Week: Alex Archibald, defenseman, Port Huron Fighting Falcons

One of the key pieces to the puzzle of the Fighting Falcons early season success is third-year veteran defenseman Alex Archibald. The 19-year-old Port Huron, Michigan native helped the Fighting Falcons take three of four points on the road this weekend against the Johnstown Tomahawks in a pair of games. On Friday, Archibald (6’0/175) had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win. On Saturday, he picked up another assist in a 4-3 overtime loss. Archibald was also a +4 during the weekend. For the season, Archibald ranks 4th among NAHL defensemen in scoring with 13 points and his +10 rating ranks him tied for 3rd among league defensemen. “Alex has played really well of late and for whatever reason, plays extraordinarily well against Johnstown,” said Fighting Falcons head coach Michael Gershon. “He initiated a lot of plays and he understands how to play at this level. He is a good skater and has put on some size, which helps him be a complete player.”

2nd Star: Jake Hopfner, forward, Michigan Warriors

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Shane Bednard, forward, Johnstown Tomahawks – Alex Blankenburg, goaltender, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Max Kalter, forward, Springfield Jr. Blues – Stefanos Lekkas, goaltender, Springfield Jr. Blues – Bradley Mueller, defenseman, Soo Eagles – Alec Pellegrino, forward, Michigan Warriors

South Division Star of the Week: Evan Schmidbauer, forward, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees

For the second week in a row, a Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees forward has been selected as the South’s #1 star and conversely in that time frame the Killer Bees have moved into a tie for the top spot in the division. This week, the honor went to 20-year-old veteran forward Evan Schmidbauer. The native of Surrey, British Columbia helped the Killer Bees pick up a weekend road sweep in Wichita Falls against a Wildcats team that began the weekend in 1st place. Schmidbauer (6’2/200) scored two goals, which the game-winners in both contests, and added an assist in the weekend wins. He was also a +2 in the two games. In Friday’s 4-1 win, Schmidbauer had the game-winning goal and an assist in a 4-1 win and on Saturday he scored the game-winning goal again in a 3-1 win. Schmidbauer, who has played in almost 200 career NAHL regular season and playoff games, has 10 points in 17 games played this season. “Evan brings a ton of valuable experience and leadership to our club,” said Killer Bees head coach Joe Coombs. “He was coming off an injury and didn’t miss a beat this past weekend. He played really well because picking up a sweep in Wichita Falls is a tough thing to do.”

2nd Star: Tyler Gernhofer, forward, Amarillo Bulls

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Paul Berrafato, goaltender, Amarillo Bulls – Josh Haverstrom, forward, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Olli Kalkaja, goaltender, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees – Yoshihiro Kuroiwa, goaltender, Odessa Jackalopes – Leo Lumm, forward, Odessa Jackalopes - Wes Michaud, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays

 (Nathan can be reached at

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