Monday, December 30, 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 29, 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: Bjorn Sigurdarson, forward, Aberdeen Wings

Icelandic-born forward Bjorn Sigurdarson, 19, will represent his home country at the Division II Group B IIHF World Junior Championships in Spain in a few weeks and he warmed up nicely as he helped the Aberdeen Wings to a weekend home and home sweep of the Minot Minotauros. Sigurdarson (5’11/175) had two goals and two assists in the two games and was +2. Both of his goals each night were the game-winners. On Friday, he had the game-winning goal and an assist in a 3-2 win. On Saturday, he added another game-winning goal and an assist in a 4-1 road win. For the season, Sigurdarson is second on the Wings in scoring with 23 points in 29 games. “Bjorn was great for us this past weekend. He’s a player that is really improving and has been one of our best players the last month or so,” said Wings head coach Travis Winter. “He has the ability to be a difference maker for us and we look forward to his continued growth.”

2nd Star: Conor Andrle, forward, Brookings Blizzard

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Chad Catt, goaltender, Aberdeen Wings – Brandon Parker, defenseman, Brookings Blizzard

Midwest Division Star of the Week: Kris Oldham, goaltender, Kenai River Brown Bears

Although he played in just one game this past weekend, Brown Bears rookie netminder Kris Oldham made it count. The 16-year-old from Anchorage, Alaska, posted his first career NAHL shutout on Saturday night as the Brown Bears blanked the Minnesota Wilderness, 3-0. Oldham (6’4/215) made 33 saves in the game, including 14 in the 3rd period when the Brown Bears were outshot, 14-2. For the season, Oldham has a 5-3-2 record with a 2.95 goals against average and a 91.1% save percentage. “We needed a lift this weekend and Kris came through with a great performance on Saturday night,” said Brown Bears head coach Geoff Beauparlant. “He was confident and focused all game long and saved his best hockey for the last period when we were shorthanded for a long period of time.”

2nd Star: Brett Gervais, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Cam Bleck, forward, Coulee Region Chill – Ben Campbell, defenseman, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Kasimir Kaskisuo, goaltender, Minnesota Wilderness – Matt Rudin, forward, Kenai River Brown Bears

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

Springfield rookie goaltender Stefanos Lekkas, 17, helped his team to a weekend split in Topeka. On Friday night, the native of Elburn, Illinois made 46 saves in a 2-0 loss to the RoadRunners. On Saturday night, Lekkas (5’11/165) stopped all 45 shots that came his way in regulation and it overtime, and then he stopped all three shooters in the shootout for the 1-0 shutout win. It was his first career NAHL shutout. For the weekend, Lekkas faced 93 shots and stopped 91 of them. For the season, Lekkas is in the top 10 in NAHL goaltending statistics including wins (10), goals against average (2.17) and save percentage (93.4%). “Stefanos was great all weekend. All we ask is that he gives is a chance to win every night and that’s what he has done for us,” said Jr. Blues head coach Tony Zasowski. “His strength is his quickness and he manages to make the saves he probably shouldn’t make, which keeps us in the game.”

2nd Star: Logan Halladay, goaltender, Janesville Jets

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Zach Avolio, forward, Janesville Jets

South Division Star of the Week: Forbes Ploszaj, goaltender, Corpus Christi IceRays

Corpus Christi goaltender Forbes Ploszaj, who celebrates his 17th birthday today, helped the IceRays pick up a weekend home and home split with the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. On Friday, the native of Gilbert, Arizona made 29 saves in a 2-1 loss at home to the Killer Bees. The next night, Ploszaj (6’0/180) stopped all 20 shots that came his way for his first career NAHL shutout in a 1-0 win over the Killer Bees. For the weekend, he stopped 49 of a possible 51 shots in the two games. For the season, Ploszaj has a 6-7-1 record with a 2.33 goals against average and a 91.1% save percentage.“Forbes stepped up in a big way with Ben Myers out,” said IceRays head coach John Becanic. “He gave us an opportunity each night to get points and stay in the hunt for a playoff spot.”

2nd Star: Jake Kamrass, forward, Topeka RoadRunners

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): PJ Bridges, goaltender, Topeka RoadRunners – Collin Delia, goaltender, Amarillo Bulls – Kyle Froese, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays

 (Nathan can be reached at

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