The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton Hockey for the week ending December 20, 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
North Iowa forward Brett Gravelle, 20, played a big role in helping his club go undefeated at the NA3HL Showcase and in the process, set a new league record for consecutive wins. The native of Forest Lake, MN, totaled 10 points in the three wins and was a +9. On Thursday, Gravelle (6’0/180) had a hat-trick in a 5-2 win over Nashville. On Friday, he had another hat-trick, which included the game-winning goal, and added an assist in a 6-0 shutout of the Pittsburgh Vengeance. On Saturday, Gravelle added a goal and two assists in a 6-1 win over Atlanta. His 48 points leads the Bulls in scoring and is also tops in the NA3HL. “Dynamic, consistent, and efficient are terms that describe Brett’s abilities that were displayed during the Showcase. He has been such a catalyst for our team and with his production has allowed us opportunities to get wins we may not have without him,” said North Iowa head coach Todd Sanden.
2nd Star: Peter Henderson, F, Wisconsin Whalers
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Vaughn Clouston, F, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs – Daylon DeSouza, F, La Crosse Freeze – Tim Hoffenkamp, F, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs – Ben Ratner, F, Wisconsin Whalers – Zack St. John, G, North Iowa Bulls – Dan Toycen, F, La Crosse Freeze
East Division Star of the Week: Brendon Block, forward, West Michigan Wolves
West Michigan Wolves forward Brendon Block, 19, had quite the NA3HL Showcase as he led the Wolves to a 2-1 record with 10 points in the three games. The native of Carmel, IN, began the event with two goals and two assists in a 6-3 win over the Twin City Steel. On Friday, he scored two more goals and added three assists in a 6-3 win over the NA3EHL West team. On the final day, he assisted on the lone Wolves goal in a 3-1 loss against the Breezy Point North Stars. For the season, Block (5’11/193) is 2nd in team scoring for the Wolves with 29 points in 24 games played. “Brendon has been one of our most consistent forwards this year. He has been putting in extra effort in practice to improve his game to compete at the next level. He led the team this weekend with his work ethic and strong fore-check creating opportunities offensively and a big part of our teams success,” said Wolves head coach Mark Lawrence.
2nd Star: Jacob Drinkard, F, Metro Jets
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Cody Gibson, G, Toledo Cherokee – Nick Hawkins, F, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Jacob Stack, G, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Michael Tratar, F, Metro Jets – Dakota Ulmer, F, West Michigan Wolves
Frontier Division Star of the Week: Brandon Mills, forward, Helena Bighorns
Helena Bighorns forward Brandon Mills, 20, had a great showing at the NA3HL Showcase, as the native of San Dimas, CA, recorded seven points and was +4 in the three Bighorns games. On Thursday, Mills (5’11/190) had an assist in a 3-2 loss to the Texas Jr. Brahmas. On Friday, he had a hat-trick and an assist as he factored in on all four goals in a 6-4 loss to St. Louis. On the final day, he had two goals in a 4-2 win over the Wooster Oilers. Mills currently is tied for 2nd in team scoring so far this season with 25 points in 26 games. “Brandon has been playing great as of late. Being his last year at the junior level, he has been working on becoming a complete player and has done just that and played a 200-foot game in the showcase along with tallying some huge goals. Brandon is a strong leader. His leadership is what helps this team keep moving forward. We are excited to see how he comes back for the second half of the season,” said Helena head coach Jon Jonasson.
2nd Star: Blake Babineau, F, Helena Bighorns
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tristan Henrichs, F, Billings Bulls – Chris Nicolai, F, Billings Bulls
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Austin Wisely, forward, Peoria Mustangs
The Peoria Mustangs posted a perfect 3-0 record at the Showcase, thanks in part to the play for forward Austin Wisely. The 19-year-old native of Chillicothe, IL, had seven points in the three wins and was a +7. On Thursday, Wisely (5’11/200) had two assists in a 4-3 shootout win over the NA3EHL West team. The next day, Wisely had two goals in a 7-2 win over the Bozeman Icedogs. On the final day, he scored two goals, including the game-winner, and added an assist in a 6-4 win over the Alexandria Blizzard. In 20 games played so far this season, Wisely has 37 points. “Austin has the ability to take a game over every time he has puck on his stick. He played like a next level player this past weekend and it's something I am going to be counting on him to do for the rest of the season. He's determined to help this team succeed,” said Peoria head coach Tyler Rennette.
2nd Star: Daniel Dunaway, F, St. Louis Jr. Blues
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Justin Bioni, D, Cincinnati Thunder – Thomas Kolaz, F, Peoria Mustangs – Tomas Loeffelman, F, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Brenden Williams, F, Cincinnati Thunder
South Division Star of the Week: Ryan Dunner, forward, Texas Jr. Brahmas
With a 2-1 record at the Showcase, the Texas Jr. Brahmas stayed in 1st place in the South. Forward Ryan Dunner, 19, had a four-point event and a +2 rating. On the opening day, the native of Glassboro, NJ, had a goal in the 3-2 win over the Helena Bighorns. After going scoreless in a loss to Breezy Point, Dunner (5’10/180) then had two goals, including the game-winner, and an assist as he factored in on all three Texas goals in a 3-1 win over Cincinnati. His 47 points leads the team in scoring and ranks 2nd in the NA3HL. "Ryan is a difference maker for the Brahmas, pure and simple. He leads the team in goals and points, and when he's playing his game he gets the opponent back on their heels allowing other guys room to do their thing. We needed a bounce back game on Saturday against Cincinnati and Ryan led the way being involved in all three goals in a 3-1 win. When the Thunder were trying to claw their way back into the game, Ryan used his speed and finished them off with a fantastic breakaway goal. He's a vital part of our success here,” said Texas head coach Al Rooney.
2nd Star: Artrus Lauitkis, F, Atlanta Capitals
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jonathan Adnell, F, Sugar Land Imperials – Frank Muscarella, D, Sugar Land Imperials – Tyler Myers, G, Texas Jr. Brahmas – Kyle Rimbach, F, Atlanta Capitals
West Division Star of the Week: Wes Paupore, goaltender, Breezy Point North Stars
Breezy Point goalie Wes Paupore, 19, helped his club post a perfect 3-0 Showcase record by winning two of the three games for the club. The native of Kingsford, MI, faced a total of 39 shots in the two wins and made 37 saves, giving up just a single goal in each game. On Thursday, Paupore (6’3/180) made 17 saves in a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Vengeance. On Saturday, Paupore made 20 saves in a 3-1 win against the West Michigan Wolves. “Wes had two games at the Showcase and played lights out hockey. The team is playing great in front of him and knowing that you have a goalie that can make that key saves, makes it easier to play the game,” said North Stars head coach Jeff Worlton.
2nd Star: Tommy Giller, F, Granite City Lumberjacks
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tanner Skaja, F, Granite City Lumberjacks – Jake Tomkowiak, F, Breezy Point North Stars