The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton for the week ending January 5, 2014. 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: Luke Morin, forward, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs
It was a big weekend for the Chicago Jr. Bulldogs and 20-year-old forward Luke Morin. The native of Aurora, Illinois was front and center in a weekend road sweep over the Wisconsin Whalers, which moved Chicago into 3rd place, one point ahead of Wisconsin. On Friday night, Morin (6’0/185) had two goals, including the game-winner, and three assists for a five point night in a 7-4 win. On Saturday, Morin had two more goals in a 5-4 win over the Whalers. He was also a +3 during the weekend. For the season, Morin leads Chicago in scoring with 37 points in 27 games played.
2nd Star: Aaron Storch, forward, Cincinnati Swords
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Billy Hindle, goaltender. St. Louis Jr. Blues – Andrew Kovacich, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Dan Marotz, defenseman, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs – Luke McCammant, forward, Cincinnati Swords
East Division Star of the Week: Stefan Horgas, forward, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks
In a home-and-home series with the Pittsburgh Vengeance, the Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks picked up three of four points this past weekend. Forward Stefan Horgas, 19, totaled six points in the two games to help Cleveland move into a 2nd place tie in the East Division with the Vengeance. The native of State College, Pennsylvania started his weekend on Saturday with three assists in a 6-5 overtime loss in Pittsburgh. Horgas (6’0/180) then followed that up on Sunday with two goals, including the game-winner, and an assist in a 5-1 win over the Vengeance. In 30 games this season, Horgas has put up 36 points. “Since the first part of November, Stefan has taken his game to another level and he has really adapted quickly to the level of play in the NA3HL,” said Cleveland head coach Bob Jacobson. “He has really meshed well with his linemates and we are very happy with his performance. Stefan is just a good all-around hockey player.”
2nd Star: Jared Johnson, forward, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Zach Armstrong, forward, Toledo Cherokee – Justin Fisher, forward, Flint Junior Generals – Austin Fletcher, forward, Flint Junior Generals – Kevin O’Shea, goaltender, Michigan Mountain Cats – Abram Prince, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats
South Division Star of the Week: Tommy Stock, forward, Dallas Jr. Stars
In two close wins this weekend over the Sugar Land Imperials, Dallas Jr. Stars forward Tommy Stock, 19, was a difference maker as the Stars won two, one-goal games. The native of Chicago, Illinois had six points in the two wins and was also a +2. On Saturday night, Stock (5’10/170) had a goal and an assist in a 4-3 shootout win. On Sunday, Stock had two goals, including the game-winning goal, and two assists in a 6-5 win. Stock is tied for the team lead in points with 25 points in 25 games played. His 11 goals is also tops on the team. “Tommy had a really good week. He is a very good penalty killer and he is really effective when he moves his feet and shoots the puck,” said Dallas head coach Jason Deitsch.
2nd Star: Chris Mallon, goaltender, Dallas Jr. Stars
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None
West Division Star of the Week: Aidan Verbeke, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks
Granite City picked up two more wins this past week. They defeated Alexandria on New Year’s Eve by an 8-3 score and topped Breezy Point 4-2 on Saturday. Veteran forward Aidan Verbeke, 20, led the way with five points in the two wins to bring his team-leading total to 52 points in just 31 games played this season. On Tuesday night, Verbeke (6’0/170) had three assists in the 8-3 win at Alexandria, which included an assist on the game-winning goal. On Saturday night, Verbeke had the game-winning goal and an assist in the 4-2 home win over the North Stars. “I think this weekend Aidan took it upon himself to play his best hockey when the games were close and really made an impact on the games,” said Granite City head coach Brad Willner.
2nd Star: Richie Marenis, forward, North Iowa Bulls
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Taylor Brown, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks – Kurt Halbach, defenseman, North Iowa Bulls