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NA3HL announces Divisional Stars of the Week

January 21, 2014

(from top left to bottom right): Cincinnati forward Henry Smith, Pittsburgh goaltender Jason Kumpfmiller, Topeka forward Hardijs Kupaks and North Iowa forward Richie Marenis honored this week.

The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton for the week ending January 19, 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: Henry Smith, forward, Cincinnati Swords

It was huge weekend for the Cincinnati Swords and captain Henry Smith. The third-year veteran from Charleston, West Virginia, helped the swords to a weekend home sweep of Chicago to move into 3rd place in the Central Division. In a pair of 7-5 wins, Smith (5’9/180) picked up a total of five assists and was a +4 during the weekend sweep. On Saturday, Smith recorded four assists, including one on the game-winning goal, in a 7-5 win. On Sunday, he assisted on Cincinnati’s fifth goal as the Swords again captured a 7-5 win. For the season, Smith is tied for 4th in team scoring with 29 points in 36 games played. The Swords are 10-1-1 in their last 12 games. “Henry raised his game to the highest level I have seen in three years and that’s what you look for in your captain,” said Swords head coach Lee Landsdowne. “He is one of the big reasons we have been playing so well as a team lately.”

2nd Star: Tanner Bennet, forward, Cincinnati Swords

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Billy Hindle, goaltender, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Andrew McGlynn, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues

 

East Division Star of the Week: Jason Kumpfmiller, goaltender, Pittsburgh Vengeance

The Vengeance are locked in a tight playoff battle in the East Division and that was evidence by the competitive series they had in Toledo this past weekend. The Vengeance ended up with a weekend split with each team winning a game by a 2-1 score. Pittsburgh goalie Jason Kumpfmiller, 20, played in both games and put up some very good numbers. On Saturday, the native of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania made 22 saves in a 2-1 loss. On Sunday, Kumpfmiller (5’10/160) was even better as he made 30 saves in a 2-1 win. For the weekend, Kumpfmiller’s save percentage was 94.5%. He has appeared in 22 games to date for the Vengeance. “We had two close games with a very good Toledo team on the road that could have gone either way, but Jason gave us a chance to win both games,” said Pittsburgh head coach Dave Dorsey. “Jason is a very solid goalie. He has to rely on his reflexes, but he is very fast and quick. He is our go-to guy right now and handles the pressure well.”

2nd Star: Jared Johnson, forward, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Stefan Horgas, forward, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – Kevin O’Shea, goaltender, Michigan Mountain Cats – Dominic Pisanti, forward, Toledo Cherokee – Sami Pokka, forward, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Abram Prince, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats

 

South Division Star of the Week: Hardijs Kupaks, forward, Topeka Capitals

For the second straight week, Topeka forward Hardijs Kupaks, 20, is the South Division star of the week, and for good reason. In four games last week against the Sugar Land Imperials, the native of Riga, Latvia had 12 points, which included five goals and seven assists. He was also a +7 in the four wins. Kupaks (6’0/175) had a four-point game in a 10-1 win on Wednesday and a five-point game in a 6-4 win on Sunday, in which he also scored the game-winning goal. Kupaks had two points in a 5-0 win on Saturday and one point in an 8-3 win on Thursday. For the season, Kupaks leads the Capitals in scoring with 48 points in 29 games played. "Hardijs was a warrior for us this past week and he continues to improve week in and week out and it's showing in his play,” said Capitals head coach Anthony Bohn. “Any team that picks up at the next level will be getting a complete player."

2nd Star: Georgey Ostapchuk, forward, Topeka Capitals

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None

 

West Division Star of the Week: Richie Marenis, forward, North Iowa Bulls

The North Iowa Bulls were firing on all cylinders this weekend as they picked up a pair of road wins in Breezy Point and Minnesota by a combined score of 29-0. Forward Richie Marenis, 20, had 12 points in the two wins, which included nine goals and three assists. He was also an incredible +14 in the two games. On Saturday night, the native of Riga, Latvia scored six goals in a 14-0 win against the Minnesota Flying Aces. On Sunday, Marenis (6’1/190) had three goals and three assists for another six-point game in a 15-0 win at Breezy Point. Marenis currently leads the NA3HL in goals with 37 and ranks 4th in points with 75. His +66 rating ranks 2nd in the league. “Richie is on fire right now. He is seeing the puck well and his vision is the best it has ever been,” said North Iowa head coach Todd Sanden. “He can distribute the puck, but he also knows when to shoot. He makes everyone around him better.”

2nd Star: Jackson Germaine, goaltender, Twin City Steel

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Matt Fosdick, defenseman, North Iowa Bulls – Drew Otto, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks – Luke Richardson, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks

 
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