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NA3HL announces Easton Divisional Stars of the Week

September 15, 2015

(from left to right): Honors this week go to Ricky Kwapich from Toledo, Jason Hoehn from Peoria and Casey Esselman from Granite City.

The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton Hockey for the week ending September 13, 2015. 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 six divisions of the NA3HL as nominated by their head coaches.

Central Division Star of the Week: No nominations

East Division Star of the Week: Ricky Kwapich, forward, Toledo Cherokee

Toledo opened up their season with a big weekend sweep of the Wooster Oilers led by the play of forward Ricky Kwapich. The native of Toledo, Ohio, racked up seven points in the two wins and factored in on seven of Toledo’s nine goals in the two wins. On Saturday, Kwapich (6’0/165) had two goals and two assists in a 6-3 win. On Sunday, Kwapich, 18, had two goals, including the game-winner and an assist in a 3-1 win. He was also a +1 during the weekend. “Ricky is a guy we will count on to score for us this season and he did that this past weekend, he was very good in both games and was a big reason we were able to get the two wins,” stated Toledo head coach Kenny Miller.

2nd Star: Chas Distelrath, F, Metro Jets

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Rubin Chavarria, F, Wooster Oilers – Trevor Kalinowski, G, Metro Jets – Adam Schaffer, D, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Tristin Snyder, F, Toledo Cherokee – Jacob Stack, G, Pittsburgh Vengeance

Frontier Division Star of the Week: Did not play

Midwest Division Star of the Week: Jason Hoehn, forward, Peoria Mustangs

In their first games of the season, the Peoria Mustangs swept the Central Division’s Chicago Bulldogs by scores of 5-3 and 11-4. Veteran forward Jason Hoehn, 20, had a great season debut posting five points in the two wins. On Saturday, the native of Port Byron, Illinois had a hat-trick in a 5-3 win. On Sunday, Hoehn (6’0/200) had two assists in an 11-4 win. He was also a +6 during the weekend. “Jason is the ultimate leader and teammate. He showed those capabilities this weekend and led us to two wins. When he is going the whole team will follow,” said Peoria head coach Tyler Rennette.

2nd Star: Frankie Cardinale, F, St. Louis Jr. Blues

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Mark Candotti, D, Peoria Mustangs – Zach Young, G, St. Louis Jr. Blues

South Division Star of the Week: Did not play

West Division Star of the Week: Casey Esselman, defense, Granite City Lumberjacks

The defending Silver Cup Champion Granite City Lumberjacks won their opening game of the weekend, which was a 6-2 home win over the Minnesota Flying Aces. The Lumberjacks appear to have found their next great defenseman in the form of 19-year-old Casey Esselman. The native of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin had two goals, including the game-winner, in the 6-2 victory. Esselman (5’11/195) was also a +2 in the game. “Casey had a very good first game of junior hockey.  Not only did he play well defensively, he was smart about his decisions to join the rush.  He has a great shot and showcased that with his goals.  I am very pleased with his transition from high school hockey,” said Lumberjacks head coach Brad Willner.

2nd Star: Michael Piehler, F, Granite City Lumberjacks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None

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