The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton for the week ending March 2, 2014. 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: Henry Dill, goaltender, Aberdeen Wings
With a weekend home-and-home sweep of the Bismarck Bobcats, the Aberdeen Wings moved into sole possession of 2nd place in the Central Division. 18-year-old goaltender Henry Dill played a key role in the weekend sweep as the netminder from Columbus, Ohio shut the door on the Bobcats. Dill (6’2/205) allowed just two goals in both games on 70 total shots. On Friday, Dill made 41 saves as Aberdeen picked up a 5-1 win in Bismarck. Upon returning home on Saturday, Dill made 27 saves in a 3-1 win. Dill has allowed two goals or less in his last nine outings. For the season, Dill has a 15-7-1 record with a 2.29 goals against average and a 92.6% save percentage. “Henry has been very solid as of late, but we have great depth at the goaltending position. Both have played really well this year. Henry has come such a long way since the beginning of the season and will work very hard to try and earn that #1 spot as we inch towards the playoffs,” said Wings head coach Travis Winter.
2nd Star: Guillaume Leclerc, F, Austin Bruins
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Connor Girard, G, Brookings Blizzard – Jonathan Grebosky, F, Aberdeen Wings – Nick Lehr, G, Austin Bruins – Michael Louria, F, Minot Minotauros – Wyatt Schmidt, D, Brookings Blizzard – Luke Voltin, F, Minot Minotauros
Midwest Division Star of the Week: David Powlowski, forward, Wenatchee Wild
Thanks to a three-game sweep of the Kenai River Brown Bears, the Wenatchee Wild are not only in playoff position, but are now in 3rd place in the Midwest Division. 20-year-old forward David Powlowski was a big factor in all three wins as he scored in each game to lead the Wild to victory. The native of Rochester, New York totaled four goals in the three wins and was also a +2 in the series. In Thursday night’s opener, Powlowski (6’1/170) scored Wenatchee’s second goal in a 4-2 win. Two nights later, Powlowski had two power play goals in a 6-1 win and on Sunday, Powlowski had a shorthanded goal in a 4-3 win, which completed a three-game sweep. For the season, Powlowski has 23 points in 44 games with the Wild. In 64 career NAHL games, he has recorded 38 career points. “David has been expecting a big year and now that he is healthy he is being rewarded with success through his hard work. Every night is one of those games we are going to have to battle hard to try and make the playoffs, but we are playing some of our best hockey right now, so we are a confident group,” said Wild head coach Bliss Littler.
2nd Star: Parker Tuomie, F, Wenatchee Wild
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jack Gessert, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Kasimir Kaskisuo, G, Minnesota Wilderness – Nolan Culver, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Matt Rudin, F, Kenai River Brown Bears
North Division Star of the Week: TJ Stuntz, forward, Michigan Warriors
20-year-old Michigan forward TJ Stuntz helped the Warriors to a two-game weekend home sweep of the Johnstown Tomahawks to move back into sole possession of 2nd place in the North Division. The native of Round Rock, Texas piled on the points in the two-game series as he had a six-point weekend. On Friday, Stuntz (6’1/180) scored a goal in a 3-1 win over Johnstown. On Saturday, Stuntz had a hat-trick and added two assists for a five point game as Michigan claimed a 9-4 win. The nine goals helped tie a franchise record. This is Stuntz’s second year in the NAHL. In 47 games played this season, Stuntz has 29 points. In 77 career NAHL games, he has recorded 37 points. “We are very excited for TJ and his success. Since Christmas, he has brought his game to different and better level. TJ works very hard and will be a key player for us in the playoff push,” said Warriors head coach Moe Mantha.
2nd Star: Jordan Himley, F, Janesville Jets
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Zach Badalamenti, F, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Nik Dotolo, D, Springfield Jr. Blues – Tyler Groat, F, Michigan Warriors – Logan Halladay, G, Janesville Jets – Nikita Prishyvalko, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Bryan Yim, F, Port Huron Fighting Falcons
South Division Star of the Week: Tyler Poulsen, forward, Topeka RoadRunners
Topeka leading scorer Tyler Poulsen, 20, was dominant in a weekend home series sweep of the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. The forward from Arvada, Colorado and University of Alabama-Huntsville commit recorded eight points in the two wins as the RoadRunners distanced themselves from the Killer Bees for 2nd place in the South Division. On Friday, Poulsen (5’7/150) had a goal and four assists for a five-point night in an 8-0 win. On Saturday, Poulsen had another goal and two assists in a 3-1 win. For the season, Poulsen had 52 points in 46 games played and has 13 points in his last five games. “The leadership he showed on and off the ice this weekend was huge. His entire line with Jake Kamrass and Yu Hikosaka was clicking and you could just tell by the week of practice he had with his hard work and focus that he was going to do something pretty special,” said Topeka head coach Scott Langer.
2nd Star: Yu Hikosaka, F, Topeka RoadRunners
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Kyle Bauman, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Brenden Dunning, F, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees – Marcus Ericsson, D, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees – Connor Kelly, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Chase Munroe, G, Wichita Falls Wildcats
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)