Monday, December 23, 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 December 22, 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: Luke Dietsch, forward, Austin Bruins

The Austin Bruins got back to the winning side of the things this past weekend as they captured two wins and moved back into sole possession of 1st place in the Central Division. Forward Luke Dietsch, 19, paced the offense during the weekend as he recorded six points (2 goals, 4 assists) in the two wins. On Friday, the native of St. Paul, Minnesota, had a goal and three assists, including an assist on the game-winning goal, in a 5-1 road win against the Minnesota Magicians. The next night in Austin, Dietsch (6’1/200) had a goal and an assist in a 4-3 shootout win over the Minnesota Wilderness. For the season, Dietsch has 16 points in 29 games played this year. “Luke got back to playing the game the way he is capable of,” said Bruins head coach Chris Tok. “Luke plays with a lot of speed and did a great job of possessing the puck and driving to the net. We are playing him more on special teams and he has made an impact there as well.”

2nd Star: Brandon Parker, defenseman, Brookings Blizzard

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Dillon Eichstadt, defenseman, Aberdeen Wings – Evan Giesler, forward, Bismarck Bobcats - Russ Jordan, forward, Brookings Blizzard – TJ Roo, forward, Aberdeen Wings



Midwest Division Star of the Week: Eddie Matsushima, forward, Coulee Region Chill

The Coulee Region Chill have been on fire as of late and even though the split with the surging Brookings Blizzard this past weekend, the Chill have a firm hold on 3rd place in the Midwest Division. 19-year-old forward Eddie Matsushima led the charge this weekend as he was a factor in both games, totaling three points during the weekend. On Friday, the native of Verona, Wisconsin had the game-winning goal late in the 3rd period as the Chill downed the Blizzard, 5-3. On Saturday, Matsushima (5’11/185) had a goal and an assist and was +2 in a 4-2 loss against the Blizzard. In 24 games played this season, Matsushima has 19 points, which ranks 5th on the Chill roster. “Eddie has had a great couple of weeks recently and this past weekend was no exception to that,” said Chill head coach AJ Degenhardt. “He works really hard to get chances and generate offense for he and his teammates.”

2nd Star: Chase Perry, goaltender, Wenatchee Wild

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Billy Exell, forward, Minnesota Wilderness – Nicholas Rivera, forward, Wenatchee Wild

North Division Star of the Week: Scott Cuthrell, forward, Soo Eagles

Soo Eagles forward Scott Cuthrell, 20, has been on fire since joining the club last week and this past weekend was no exception. The native of Waterford, Michigan, helped the Eagles take five of six points in three tough road games as Soo moved into 4th place in the North Division. Cuthrell (5’9/160) totaled five points in the three games and has registered at least a point in all five games played with Soo to date. On Thursday, Cuthrell had two goals and an assist against his old club as the Eagles defeated the Michigan Warriors, 4-2. On Friday, Cuthrell had a goal in a 3-2 shootout loss at Port Huron. A night later, he scored again in regulation and also added a shootout goal in a 4-3 shootout win against the Fighting Falcons. “Scott knows how to score goals and create offense. As long as he remains responsible on the defensive end, he is very effective as a hockey player,” said Eagles head coach Bruno Bragagnolo. “He is blessed with some great talent and a scoring touch and I think he could be a future NCAA Division I player.”

2nd Star: Joe Drabin, forward, Johnstown Tomahawks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Shane Bednard, forward, Johnstown Tomahawks – Niko Coffman, defenseman, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Mitch Maloney, forward, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Landon Trutt, goaltender, Soo Eagles

 South Division Star of the Week: David Zevnik, goaltender, Wichita Falls Wildcats

There is a new top team in the South Division and it is the Wichita Falls Wildcats thanks to their weekend road sweep of the Amarillo Bulls. The wins were thanks in large part to goaltender David Zevnik, who shut the door on the Bulls. The 19-year-old from Lakeville, Minnesota allowed just three goals in the two wins and stopped 68 of a possible 71 shots in the two wins. On Friday night, Zevnik (5’11/160) made 35 saves in a 4-2 win. On Saturday, Zevnik was even better as he stopped 33 shots through overtime and regulation and then stopped two of four shooters in the shootout as the Wildcats won 2-1 in a shootout. Zevnik has won his last five starts and ranks in the Top 7 in all major NAHL goaltending statistics including goals against average (1.76), save percentage (93.2%) and wins (13). “I thought David was clutch all weekend. He was under control the entire time, showed a lot of poise and most importantly, he gave us a chance to win,” said Wildcats head coach Paul Baxter. “He is a very solid person and athlete and will be a great NCAA Division I goalie in the future.”

2nd Star: Nick Farmer, forward, Wichita Falls Wildcats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Roman Ammirato, forward, Amarillo Bulls – Joe Chitwood, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays – Brady Ferguson, forward, Amarillo Bulls – Wes Michaud, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays – Connor Pelkey, defenseman, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees

 (Nathan can be reached at nathanfournier@mainehockeyjournal.com)

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