The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton Hockey for the week ending January 24, 2016. 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: Max McConnell, goaltender, Wisconsin Whalers
It was quite literally the perfect weekend for Wisconsin Whalers goalie Max McConnell. The 19-year-old native of Madison, WI, got the start in both game as the Whalers swept a home-and-home series against the Rochester Ice Hawks. McConnell (6’4/175) faced 54 shots in the two games and made 54 saves for two shutouts. On Friday, McConnell made 29 saves in a 5-0 win and on Saturday he made 25 saves in a 9-0 win. McConnell currently ranks tied for 7th in the NA3HL with a 92.9% save percentage and his five shutouts rank tied for 2nd. “Max is playing great right now seeing the puck very well. He has really been unbelievable lately, making big saves and keeping us in games when we need him to or keeping the momentum on our side,” said Whalers head coach Tom McDermott.
2nd Star: Peter Henderson, F, Wisconsin Whalers
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tommi Ahlgren, G, North Iowa Bulls – Eric Arrigo, D, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs – Kevin Ely, D, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs – Austin Jackson, F, North Iowa Bulls
East Division Star of the Week: Brendon Block, forward, West Michigan Wolves
West Michigan forward Brendon Block, 19, had a big weekend as the Wolves split two games. The native of Carmel, IN, had six points and was a +2 in the two games. On Friday, Block (5’11/193) had an assist in a 5-2 road loss in Toledo. Two nights later, Block had a hat-trick and two assists in a 6-3 home win over the Wooster Oilers. For the season, Block has 39 points in 30 games played, which ranks 2nd in scoring on the Wolves roster. “Brendon has really stepped up his game since we have had some key injuries coming into the weekend. He is a workhorse on and off the ice and his drive to be a better player is contagious,” said West Michigan head coach Mark Lawrence.
2nd Star: Nick Lyon, F, Pittsburgh Vengeance
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Cody Gibson, G, Toledo Cherokee – Daniel Lee, G, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Chase Sereno, F, Metro Jets – Pearce Vance, F, Metro Jets
Frontier Division Star of the Week: Adam Maxfield, defenseman, Gillette Wild
The Gillette Wild stayed in the Frontier Division playoff race with a weekend home sweep of the Glacier Nationals. Defenseman Adam Maxfield, 19, played a big role in the sweep as the native of Austin, MN, had five points and was a +4 in the two wins. On Friday, Maxfield (6’2/210) had the game-winning goal and two assists in a 7-2 win. On Saturday, he racked up two more assists in a 7-1 win. For the season, Maxfield has 23 points in 31 games played. “Adam has been a big part of our team since coming to us in October. He played great for us over the weekend against Glacier with his physical play and his size and speed are going help us make a strong push for the playoffs,” said Gillette head coach Brendon Hodge.
2nd Star: Gennadi Zabeline, D, Gillette Wild
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brandon Brown, G, Billings Bulls – Jake Dickison, F, Yellowstone Quake – Tristan Henrichs, F, Billings Bulls – Steven Nisbet, F, Bozeman Icedogs – AJ O’Dell, F, Bozeman Icedogs – Adam Ranck, G, Helena Bighorns – Wyatt Stotts, D, Helena Bighorns
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Austin Wisely, forward, Peoria Mustangs
The Peoria Mustangs kept their Midwest Division title hopes alive with a weekend road sweep of the Cincinnati Thunder. Forward Austin Wisely, 19, had a big weekend as the native of Chillicothe, IL had six points and was a +5 in the two wins. On Saturday, Wisely (5’11/200) had a goal and two assists in a 7-2 win. On Sunday, Wisely had two goals and an assist in a 4-1 win. For the season, Wisely is 2nd on the Mustangs roster in scoring with 46 points in just 24 games played. His 28 goals ranks him 4th among all NA3HL players. “Austin has the ability to take over a game every time he is on the ice. He was determined to help us win this weekend and came ready to play like the leader he is,” said Peoria head coach Tyler Rennette.
2nd Star: Trent Kulczyk, F, Nashville Jr. Predators
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ezekiel Estrada, F, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Ross Lipic, G, Peoria Mustangs – Nicholas Redmon, D, Nashville Jr. Predators – Brian Schumacher, D, St. Louis Jr. Blues
South Division Star of the Week: Jonathan Adnell, forward, Sugar Land Imperials
The Sugar Land Imperials picked up a three-game weekend road sweep in Euless against the Jr. Stars this past weekend and veteran forward Jonathan Adnell, 20, was front and center in the production. The native of Stockholm, Sweden, had eight points and was a +5 in the three wins. On Friday, Adnell (6’0/180) had two goals and an assist in a 4-2 win. On Saturday, he scored the game-winning goal and added three assists in a 10-0 win. On Sunday, Adnell added another goal in a 6-0 win. For the season, Adnell leads the Imperials in scoring with 48 points in 35 games played. “Jonathan played a key role in our sweep this weekend with his unwavering confidence on and off the ice. His ability to both make and read plays allowed him to help set the tone for all of our players, most of whom came away with points this weekend. His move up to assistant captain continues to benefit the team and we are proud of the accomplishments he's had so far this season,” said Sugar Land head coach Jarod Palmer.
2nd Star: Zac McKenna, F, Sugar Land Imperials
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None
West Division Star of the Week: Joe Costello, forward, Twin City Steel
Twin City forward Joe Costello, 20, helped his team to a weekend road sweep in Chicago against the Jr. Bulldogs as the veteran from Rochester, MI, had six points and was a +7 in the two wins. On Saturday, Costello (5’11/165) had two goals in a 12-1 win and on Sunday, he scored two more goals and added two assists in a 9-2 win. For the season, Costello leads the Steel in scoring with 41 points in 31 games played.
2nd Star: Yannick Zehnder, F, Twin City Steel
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Caleb Anderson, F, Alexandria Blizzard – Devin Finley, D, Granite City Lumberjacks – John Suess, F, Granite City Lumberjacks