NA3HL announces Easton Hockey Divisional Stars of the Week
The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton Hockey for the week ending September 27, 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: Brett Gravelle, forward, North Iowa Bulls
In his return to the line-up after a stint in the NAHL, North Iowa Bulls forward Brett Gravelle, 19, went off for 12 points as the Bulls posted a three-game road sweep of the Chicago Jr. Bulldogs. On Friday, the native of Forest Lake, MN had four goals and two assists in a 16-1 win. On Saturday, Gravelle (5’11/165) had three points in an 8-1 win and on Sunday, Gravelle added three assists in an 8-0 shutout of Chicago. He was also a +11 on the weekend. "Brett is a dynamic player and we expected big things from him in his return to our team from the NAHL,” said Bulls head coach Todd Sanden.
2nd Star: Jared Bromberg, D, La Crosse Freeze
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tommi Ahlgren, G, North Iowa Bulls – Austin Lewis, F, Wisconsin Whalers – Evan Moyse, G, Wisconsin Whalers – Cameron Preis, F, La Crosse Freeze
East Division Star of the Week: Kevin Shand, forward, Metro Jets
Although he played in just one game this past weekend, Metro Jets forward Kevin Shand, 20, made it count. The native of Saline, MI returned the line-up just a week ago and against West Michigan on Saturday, Shand (6’2/225) recorded two goals and was +1 in a 4-3 win to move the Jets into 1st place. In two games with the Jets this year, Shand has three goals. “Kevin had strong game on Saturday and his 2 goals were a big factor in the end. He and his line mates controlled the play for most of the night and his experience the past 2 games have helped our younger guys early this season,” said Metro head coach Justin Quenneville.
2nd Star: Cody Gibson, G, Southern Tier Xpress
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tait Aptakin, F, Southern Tier Xpress – Joe Morgan, G, Wooster Oilers – Will Schober, F, Wooster Oilers – Austin Turner, F, Toledo Cherokee
Frontier Division Star of the Week: Ricards Bernhards, forward, Great Falls Americans
18-year-old Ricards Bernhards helped the Great Falls Americans stay undefeated and in 1st place in the Frontier Division with a weekend road sweep of the Yellowstone Quake this past weekend. The native of Jejgava, Latvia, had five points and was a +2 in the weekend sweep. On Friday, Bernhards (6’4/170) had two goals, including the game-winner, in a come-from-behind 4-3 win. On Saturday, he had another game-winning goal and two more assists in a 5-1 win. Bernhards leads the team in scoring this season with seven points in three games. “Ricards is a great player and has some great size that he takes advantage of. He competes really hard and it is tough to tell he is a rookie. He stepped up to the plate this past weekend and has a ton of upside,” said Americans head coach Jeff Heimel.
2nd Star: Steven Marshal Frank, G, Bozeman Icedogs
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Blake Babineau, F, Helena Bighorns – Luke Erickson, D, Billings Bulls – Mason Graves, F, Billings Bulls – Alex King, F, Gillette Wild – Steven Nisbet, F, Bozeman Icedogs
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Brady Kiplinger, forward, Cincinnati Thunder
The Cincinnati Thunder and forward Brady Kiplinger, 18, kept things rolling this past weekend with a road sweep of the Evansville Thunderbolts. The native of Springboro, OH, racked up five points, including both game-winning goals in the two wins. On Friday, Kiplinger (6’2/178) scored two goals, including the game-winner, and added two assists in an 8-5 win. On Saturday, he had the game-winning goal in a 4-1 win. “Brady is a big, powerful forward who controls the puck and holds onto pucks as well as any I have seen at this level. He takes pucks to the net and is hard to stop when he gets momentum. He played a key role for us again this past weekend playing in all situations and scoring key goals. We are very proud of Brady and he's getting more confident and is improving every week,” said Cincinnati head coach Ryan Colville.
2nd Star: Zach Young, G, St. Louis Jr. Blues
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Marc Anderson, F, Cincinnati Thunder – Zach Mitchell, F, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Austin Wisely, F, Peoria Mustangs
South Division Star of the Week: Luca Valenza, forward, Sugar Land Imperials
The Sugar Land Imperials posted a three-game sweep of the Euless Jr. Stars this past weekend and leading the way was 18-year-old forward Luca Valenza. The native of Lausanne, Switzerland, had eight points in the three wins, which included five goals. On Friday, Valenza (5’11/170) had two goals and an assist in a 6-3 win. He duplicated that feat on Saturday night, with one of the goals being a game-winner in another 6-3 win. On Sunday, he had a goal and an assist in a 6-5 shootout win. For the season, he has 11 points in the team’s first five games played. “Luca played with an incredible amount of intensity and heart again this weekend. Every time he steps on the ice, he looks for every opportunity to score a goal or make an assist. He really gets the rest of the team pumped up and excited to be on the ice,” said Jamie Feltus, General Manager of the Imperials.
2nd Star: Kyle Rimbach, F, Atlanta Capitals
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Josh Hamilton, F, Point Mallard Ducks – Arturs Lauitkis, F, Atlanta Capitals – Zac McKenna, F, Sugar Land Imperials – Cooper Seedott, G, Point Mallard Ducks
West Division Star of the Week: Josh Laven, forward, Breezy Point North Stars
The Breezy Point North Stars posted their first wins of the 2015-16 season this past weekend with a home-and-home sweep of the Rochester Ice Hawks. Forward Josh Laven, 18, had a big weekend as the native of Hopkins, MN, recorded five goals and was a +3 in the two wins. On Friday night, Laven (5’11/190) had a goal in a 5-2 home win. On Saturday, he scored four goals, including the game-winner in a 6-3 win. In six games played this year, Laven had eight points, all of which are goals. “Josh is a first year player with lots of talent. Josh's work ethic and team first attitude will help him and the North Stars have a good year,” said North Stars head coach Jeff Worlton.
2nd Star: Gunnar Howg, G, Twin City Steel
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Lucas Carroll, F, Granite City Lumberjacks – Joe Costello, F, Twin City Steel – Wes Paupore, G, Breezy Point North Stars – Michael Piehler, F, Granite City Lumberjacks