Monday, November 25, 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 24, 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: Brandon Wildung, goaltender, Minot Minotauros

Minot Minotauros goalie Brandon Wildung, 19, helped his team pick up a weekend series sweep for the second time this season as the Minotauros took two games on the road against the Minnesota Magicians. On Friday, the native of Minneota, Minnesota made 26 saves in a 4-3 overtime win. On Saturday, Wildung (6’0/170) was even better as he stopped all 22 shots that came his way in a 3-0 shutout victory. It was Wildung’s first shutout of the season. For the weekend, Wildung stopped 48 of a possible 51 shots. "Brandon has been very solid for us all season long and he turned in a very good weekend for us,” said Minot head coach Marty Murray. “He came up huge for us on Friday stopping a penalty shot to give our team a chance to win. On Saturday, I thought our team played very well in front of him, but he was very good when called upon. Both he and Merrick Madsen have been very good and are both a big part of our success as of late."

2nd Star: Nick Lehr, goaltender, Austin Bruins

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Chad Catt, goaltender, Aberdeen Wings – Colton Kramer, forward, Minot Minotauros – Aaron Nelson, goaltender, Bismarck Bobcats – Brandon Parker, defenseman, Brookings Blizzard – TJ Roo, forward, Aberdeen Wings – Huba Sekesi, forward, Bismarck Bobcats – Drew Weigman, goaltender, Brookings Blizzard

 Midwest Division Star of the Week: Doug Rose, defenseman, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

The Fairbanks Ice Dogs increased their winning streak to five straight games thanks to two home weekend wins over the Wichita Falls Wildcats by identical 3-1 wins. Ice Dogs defenseman Doug Rose, 20, not only helped hold the Wildcats to a goal each night, but he also contributed on the offensive end. For the weekend, Rose (5’11/190) had three goals and an assist for four points and was a +4 in the two wins. Both of Rose’s goals were the game-winners. On Friday, the native of Sewell, New Jersey had two goals in a 3-1 win. On Saturday, Rose had the game-winning goal and an assist in another 3- 1 win. Now in his third NAHL season, Rose leads all Ice Dogs defenseman in scoring with 13 points in 23 games played. “Doug had an exceptional weekend,” said Ice Dogs head coach Trevor Stewart. “He defended well, moved the puck well, competed hard and jumped in to the offensive play at the appropriate times.”

2nd Star: Richard Zehnal, forward, Coulee Region Chill

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Trey Bradley, forward, Wenatchee Wild – Alec Butcher, forward, Kenai River Brown Bears – Jack Gessert, forward, Kenai River Brown Bears – Terry Leabo, defenseman, Minnesota Wilderness – Troy Loggins, forward, Wenatchee Wild – James McGing, forward, Coulee Region Chill – Jakob Romo, forward, Minnesota Wilderness – Colton Wolter, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

North Division Star of the Week: Stefanos Lekkas, goaltender, Springfield Jr. Blues

Springfield goalie Stefanos Lekkas, 17, had a great weekend for the Jr. Blues as they picked up three of four points in home series with the Janesville Jets. For the weekend, the native of Elburn, Illinois started in both games and stopped a combined 60 of 62 shots, good for a 96.8% save percentage. On Friday, Lekkas (5’11/165) made 38 saves through regulation and overtime and faced seven shooters in a 2-1 shootout loss. On Saturday, Lekkas made 22 saves in a 4-1 win over the Jets. For the season, Lekkas has a 2.36 goals against average and a 92.8% save percentage. “Stefanos has been solid all year for us,” said Jr. Blues head coach Tony Zasowski. “The team has a lot of confidence when he is in net and we have a chance to win any game we play. He makes all the saves you expect him to and some that you don’t.”

2nd Star: Bruno Birzitis, forward, Soo Eagles

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Kevin Shand, forward, Springfield Jr. Blues – Zach Wallace, forward, Johnstown Tomahawks – Jordan Watt, forward, Johnstown Tomahawks

 South Division Star of the Week: PJ Bridges, goaltender, Topeka RoadRunners

It was a perfect week (literally) for Topeka goaltender PJ Bridges.  The 20-year-old from Waterford, Michigan, who was picked up by the RoadRunners in late October has really solidified the position for Topeka and this past week was another example of that as Bridges (6’0/185) posted two shutouts in two home starts over the Odessa Jackalopes. On Thursday night, Bridges stopped all 16 shots that came his way in a 4-0 win. On Friday, he made 15 saves in a 7-0 shutout of the Jackalopes. In seven starts this season, Bridges already has three shutouts, a goals against average of 1.27 and a save percentage of 95.1%. “PJ has been a huge addition to the team,” said RoadRunners head coach Scott Langer. “He is a leader and he comes to work everyday. His work ethic sets him apart and he is a player capable of being an NCAA Division I goalie someday.”

2nd Star: Maurin Bouvet, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Dylan Abood, defenseman, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees – Roman Ammirato, forward, Amarillo Bulls – Jake Durflinger, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays – Jasen Fernsler, forward, Topeka RoadRunners – Tyler Gernhofer, forward, Amarillo Bulls – Nick Schmit, goaltender, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees – Will Vosejpka, forward, Wichita Falls Wildcats

 (Nathan can be reached at

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