The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) 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 an award given each week of the regular season to the top performing players in each of the four divisions of the NA3HL as nominated by their head coaches.
Central Division Star of the Week: Adam Roeder, defenseman, St. Louis Jr. Blues
St. Louis defenseman Adam Roeder, 17, has really picked his game up in recent weeks and that was evident this past weekend as the Jr. Blues split a weekend series with the Cincinnati Swords. The native of Ballwin, Missouri, had two goals and two assists and was a +4 in the weekend games. On Saturday, Roeder (5’11/185) had two goals and assisted on another as St. Louis beat Cincinnati, 4-1. On Sunday, Roeder assisted on the lone goal in a 2-1 loss to the swords. For the season, Roeder leads the Jr. Blues in plus/minus with a +19 rating and is tied for the team lead in defensive scoring with 23 points. He is currently riding a seven-game point streak. Roeder has already signed an NAHL tender to play next season for the Janesville Jets. “Adam is so good offensively, and when you combine that with his responsible play on the defensive end, you get one heck of a defenseman,” said Jr. Blues head coach Chris Flaugher. “He is never satisfied and is always working hard to become a better hockey player.”
2nd Star: Joe Sheppard, goaltender, Cincinnati Swords
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Billy Hindle, goaltender. St. Louis Jr. Blues – Hunter Schnieder, forward, Cincinnati Swords
East Division Star of the Week: None
South Division Star of the Week: Hu Hikosaka, forward, Topeka Capitals
Topeka forward Yu Hikosaka has taken his recent play at the Division I Group B World Junior Championships and built upon it upon his return to the NA3HL as the 18-year-old forward from Tokyo, Japan was front and center in a three-game home sweep of the Sugar Land Imperials. On Friday, Hikosaka (6’0/180) had four goals and three assists in a 9-0 win. On Saturday, he recorded a hat-trick and two assists in a 7-4 win and on Sunday he had his third straight hat-trick in a 9-2 win over the Imperials. For the weekend, Hikosaka had 10 goals and five assists for 15 points in the three wins and was also a +9. His 44 points to date leads the Capitals in scoring and his 25 goals ranks tied for 3rd in the NA3HL. "Yu came back from world juniors an even more determined player, he leads us offensively and we are very happy to have him back in our line-up,” said Topeka head coach Anthony Bohn.
2nd Star: Kole Hudson, forward, Topeka Capitals
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None
West Division Star of the Week: Matt Kroska, forward, North Iowa Bulls
A familiar face earned the West Star of the Week honors as North Iowa Bulls forward Matt Kroska, 20, had another big offensive weekend. In a home split with the Twin City Steel, the native of Elko, Minnesota, had a goal and five assists for the six-point weekend, which included a +4 rating. On Friday night, Kroska (5’10/180) assisted on five of North Iowa’s six goals, including the game-winner, in a 6-3 win over the Steel. The next night, Kroska scored a goal in a 4-3 loss. For the season, Kroska leads the Bulls in scoring with 61 points to date, which also ranks 2nd in the NA3HL. His 46 assists and +48 rating are also tops in the league. “Matt is the ultimate team player. He knows where everyone is around him and he knows how to create for his teammates,” said North Iowa head coach Todd Sanden. “He is going to be a very good NCAA player some day because he is unselfish with the puck and knows how to play responsibly at both ends of the ice.”
2nd Star: Ron Lindgren, defenseman, North Iowa Bulls
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None