The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton Hockey for the week ending February 28, 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: Marshall Barnes, forward, North Iowa Bulls
As the North Iowa Bulls cruised to a weekend home sweep of the Rochester Ice Hawks, forward Marshall Barnes, 19, showed that he is someone that is deserving of attention from those at the next level. The native of Edina, MN, had nine points and was a +8 in the two wins over Rochester, who also happens to be North Iowa’s opening round opponent in the playoffs. Banres (6’0/190) had three assists in Friday’s 11-2 win and on Saturday, he had two goals and four assists in a 10-1 win. For the season, Barnes is 2nd in team scoring with 60 points in 42 games played and his 48 assists in 2nd in the NA3HL. “Marshall is one of the best distributors of the puck we have seen in North Iowa. He is currently second overall in assists in the NA3HL. As a 1997 birth year, we feel Marshall should garner some NAHL attention,” said North Iowa head coach Todd Sanden.
2nd Star: Taylor Trapp, F, La Crosse Freeze
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Connor Bump, D, North Iowa Bulls – Ben Henderson, F, La Crosse Freeze – Peter Henderson, F, Wisconsin Whalers – Joe Perrelle, F, Wisconsin Whalers
East Division Star of the Week: Mike Zenone, forward, Wooster Oilers
The Wooster Oilers took a huge step towards making the playoffs with a weekend home-and-home sweep of the Pittsburgh Vengeance, who began the weekend just two points behind the Oilers, but now are six points back with four games to play. Forward Mike Zenone, 19, had a good weekend as the native of North Ridgeville, OH, had four points and was a +2 in the two wins. On Friday, Zenone (5’9/185) had a pair of assists, including one on the game-winning goal, in a 4-0 shutout of the Vengeance. On Saturday, Zenone would again pick up a pair of assists, which again would also include the game-winner in a 4-2 win. For the season, Zenone, who recently played in the 2016 NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament for the East Division team, leads the Oilers in scoring with 36 points in 38 games played. “Mike is having a great rookie season. His hard work on and off the ice is indicative of why he leads the teams in points and was a Top Prospects selection. It's great to have him as an Oiler,” said Oilers head coach and GM Valentino Hernandez.
2nd Star: Cody Gibson, G, Toledo Cherokee
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tyler Groth, D, Wooster Oilers
Frontier Division Star of the Week: Arseny Ivanov, defenseman, Great Falls Americans
The Great Falls Americans kept their Frontier title hopes alive with a 7-1 win over Billings in their lone game of the weekend last week. Defenseman Arseny Ivanov, 20, had a big game as the native of Moscow, Russia, recorded two goals from the blueline, including the game-winner in the win. Ivanov was also a +2 in the game. Ivanov (5’11/178) recently played in the 2016 NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament for the Frontier Division team, where had had a great event with four assists in three games. In 36 games played this season, Ivanov has 19 points. “Arseny is a true competitor. He plays well on both sides of the puck and last weekend showed his ability to produce offensively. His plus/minus on the season reflects his completeness as a defenseman and we are excited by his performance so far this season,” said Americans head coach Jeff Heimel.
2nd Star: Connor Melton, F, Billings Bulls
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Kegan Couture, F, Bozeman Icedogs – Tyler Garcia, F, Great Falls Americans – Kyle Jacobs, G, Billings Bulls
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Ross Lipic, goaltender, Peoria Mustangs
As Peoria came closer to locking up 2nd place in the Midwest over the weekend thanks to two wins in Evansville, they looked to their goalie Ross Lipic for stability in the series. Lipic, 19, delivered in grand fashion as he stopped 49 of a possible 50 shots in the series. On Friday, the native of Forsyth, IL, stopped all 22 shots that came his way for his 4th shutout of the season in a 4-0 win. On Saturday, Lipic (6’3/200) made 27 saves in a 7-1 win. Lipic also recently played in the 2016 NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament for the Midwest Division team. For the season, he has a 15-7-2 record. “Ross has been playing great hockey for us as of late. He is going to be called on to carry the load for us down the stretch and he is showing he is ready for the challenge,” said Mustangs head coach Tyler Rennette.
2nd Star: Jacob Weatherly, G, St. Louis Jr. Blues
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Anthony Iacullo, F, Peoria Mustangs – Hunter Schneider, F, Cincinnati Thunder – Ezekiel Estrada, F, St. Louis Jr. Blues
South Division Star of the Week: Zack Andersen, forward, Texas Jr. Brahmas
The Texas Jr. Brahmas kept their South Division title hopes alive this past weekend with a home sweep of the Euless Jr. Stars. Forward Zack Andersen, 18, had four points in the two wins. On Saturday, the native of Long Beach, NY, had the game-winning goal and an assist in a 5-0 shutout win. On Sunday, Andersen added another goal and assist in a 5-1 win. In 34 games played this season, Andersen has recorded 30 points. “Zack has quietly put together a really good season for us here in Texas. He was playing well early in the season and suffered a leg injury that he ended up losing over a month of time to and has worked hard to regain his form. He has great size, he's sturdy on the puck and can beat opponents with either a physical or a skill game. He has really good hands for a player of his size. I am really happy to see his hard work rewarded with this honor and glad that our team is the beneficiary of his talents on the ice and his demeanor and presence off the ice,” said Texas head coach Al Rooney.
2nd Star: Cooper Seedot, G, Point Mallard Ducks
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Nick Nitta, D, Texas Jr. Brahmas
West Division Star of the Week: Yannick Zehnder, forward, Twin City Steel
Twin City forward Yannick Zehnder, 18, recorded back-to-back hat-tricks on Friday and Saturday this past weekend in a home-and-home series against the Minnesota Flying Aces to keep the Steel in the hunt for the West Division title. The native of Zug, Switzerland, was a one-man wrecking crew as he totaled eight points in the two wins. On Friday, Zehnder (6’0/180) had a hat-trick, which included the game-winning goal, and added an assist in a 7-5 win. On Saturday, he duplicated the same feat in an 8-0 shutout win. In 25 games played this season with the Steel, Zehnder has 38 points. He has also appeared in two games this season in the NAHL with the Minnesota Magicians. “Yannick has been nearly unstoppable the whole month of February. He is always in the right spots to capitalize on his opportunities. His vision on the ice makes his line mates and teammates excel in all facets of the game,” said Twin City head coach Jay Witta.
2nd Star: Tanner Skaja, F, Granite City Lumberjacks
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jared Erickson, F, Twin City Steel – Tyler Frischmon, F, Alexandria Blizzard – Adam Marty, F, Granite City Lumberjacks