The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton Hockey for the week ending December 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: David Johnson, goaltender, North Iowa Bulls
The North Iowa Bulls moved their winning streak to 20 straight games over the weekend, but it wasn’t without a tough battle against their longtime rival, the Granite City Lumberjacks. After a 4-0 win on Friday, the Bulls and goalie David Johnson, 20, faced all they could handle on Saturday as the Lumberjacks took them to overtime, only to see the Bulls triumph 2-1 thanks in large part to Johnson (6’2/200). The native of Bloomington, MN, made 31 saves in the overtime win to keep his perfect record intact. For the season, Johnston has a perfect 10-0 record with a 1.80 GAA and a 92.8% save percentage. “David made several key saves when he was called upon including a breakaway save in overtime. We have been blessed with the opportunity to have two of the top goaltenders in the NA3HL and they are proving it every weekend,” said North Iowa head coach Todd Sanden.
2nd Star: Ben Ratner, F, Wisconsin Whalers
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tommi Ahlgren, G, North Iowa Bulls – Colby DeCarlo, F, Rochester Ice Hawks – Trey McMillen, D, Rochester Ice Hawks – Roni Sener, G, Wisconsin Whalers
East Division Star of the Week: Pearce Vance, forward, Metro Jets
The Metro Jets added to their lead in the East Division with two convincing wins over the weekend. Veteran forward Pearce Vance, 20, was a big part of the offense as he recorded five points in the two wins over Wooster and Toledo. On Saturday, Vance (5’11/190) had three assists in a 6-2 road win in Wooster against the Oilers. On Sunday, the native of Berkley, MI, had a goal and an assist in a 5-0 home shutout of the Toledo Cherokee. He was also a +4 during the weekend. In 22 games played so far this season, Vance has 19 points. “Pearce played consistent both games contributing in all areas. When he gets going he is a dangerous player offensively and everyone hopes that continues moving forward,” said Metro head coach Justin Quenneville.
2nd Star: Jake Gwillim, G, Metro Jets
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tristin Snyder, F, Toledo Cherokee
Frontier Division Star of the Week: Wyatt Stotts, defenseman, Helena Bighorns
Helena Bighorns defenseman Wyatt Stotts, 18, helped his team to two road wins over the weekend in Billings and Glacier to help the Bighorns stay firmly in the 4th and final playoff spot on the Frontier Division. The native of Stillwater, MN, had five points in the two wins, which included a goal, four assists and a +5 rating. On Friday, Stotts (6’0/210) had a goal and two assists in a 6-2 win in Billings against the Bulls. On Saturday, he had two more assists in a 5-1 road win in Glacier. In 20 games played this season, Stotts has 13 points.
2nd Star: Steven Nisbet, F, Bozeman Icedogs
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ricards Bernhards, F, Great Falls Americans - Matt Blassic, F, Helena Bighorns – Tanner Congdon, F, Great Falls Americans – Nick Greene, F, Yellowstone Quake – Tristan Henrichs, F, Billings Bulls – Nick Thompson, D, Bozeman Icedogs
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Ross Lipic, goaltender, Peoria Mustangs
Peoria Mustangs goalie Ross Lipic, 19, was close to perfection this past weekend as he backstopped the Mustangs to a weekend home sweep of the Evansville Thunderbolts. The native of Forsyth, IL, stopped 45 out of 46 shots in the two wins, which helped Peoria move into 2nd place in the Midwest Division. On Saturday, Lipic (6’3/200) made 24 saves in a 4-1 win over the Thunderbolts and on Sunday, he stopped all 21 shots that came his way for his second shutout of the season in a 4-0 win. Lipic’s nine wins this season ranks in the Top 10 of all NA3HL goalies. “Ross has been working very hard and is playing with a lot of confidence right now. He made some big saves and gave us a chance to win and showed he can be an elite goaltender for us,” said Peoria head coach Tyler Rennette.
2nd Star: Zach Young, G, St. Louis Jr. Blues
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Grant Kiepper, D, Cincinnati Thunder – Sam Maddox, F, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Shawn Moody, F, Cincinnati Thunder – Austin Wisely, F, Peoria Mustangs
South Division Star of the Week: Jonathan Adnell, forward, Sugar Land Imperials
The Sugar Land Imperials are making their bid and run for a playoff spot in the South and this weekend was a big shot in the arm as they picked up a weekend road sweep of the Louisiana Drillers. Forward and leading scorer Jonathan Adnell, 20, was a point-producing machine as the native of Stockholm, Sweden recorded eight points in the two wins, which included two goals, six assists and a +4 rating. On Friday, Adnell (6’0/180) had three assists in a 6-3 win and on Saturday, he had two goals and three assists in a 9-2 win. For the season, Adnell leads the Imperials in scoring with 34 points in 26 games played. “Jonathan is a playmaker with great speed and vision. He's got his touch back and we are all excited to see what he is going to bring the rest of the season because when he's on, the rest of the team is as well,” said Imperials General Manager Jamie Feltus.
2nd Star: Victor Ekk, F, Texas Jr. Brahmas
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Zac McKenna, F, Sugar Land Imperials – Tyler Myers, G, Texas Jr. Brahmas
West Division Star of the Week: Brenden Russ, defenseman, Twin City Steel
Twin City Steel defenseman Brenden Russ, 19, has contributed in a big way since arriving to play for the Steel back in mid-November. The native of Las Vegas, NV, played in just one game during the weekend, but made it count as he helped the Steel pick up a 4-3 overtime win over the Breezy Point North Stars on Saturday. Russ (5’10/175) recorded two goals and assisted on the overtime-winning goal to complete the three point night. He was also a +2 in the game. In just seven games with the Steel this season, Russ has seven points. “Brenden has been a welcomed addition to our defensive corps. He brings a great defensive mindset first, with and offensive flare second, which he showed this past weekend with multiple points,” said Steel head coach Jay Witta.
2nd Star: Mac Berglove, G, Granite City Lumberjacks
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Lucas Carroll, F, Granite City Lumberjacks – Luc Kreuser, F, Twin City Steel