NA3HL announces Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey
The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey for the week ending October 19, 2020. The divisional stars of the week are awards given each week of the regular season to the top-performing players in each of the five divisions of the NA3HL as nominated by their head coaches.
Central Division Star of the Week: Sam VanderHoeven, F, Oregon Tradesmen
VanderHoeven helped lead the Tradesmen to a pair of wins over Peoria this week, logging a total of six points in that span. Friday’s 6-2 blowout was his shining moment, as the Beaver Dam, WI native bagged two goals and three assists, featuring on all but one Oregon goal. VanderHoeven played a key role on Saturday as well, notching the second goal in Oregon’s three-goal comeback en route to a 4-3 OT victory. VanderHoeven now boasts 4g-4a—8pts in five games, good for a share of second in team scoring.
2nd Star: Reid Lune, F, Peoria Mustangs
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Connor Bennett, F, Peoria Mustangs — Jacob Best, F, Oregon Tradesmen — Owen Carlson, G, St. Louis Jr. Blues — Jackson Henningsgard, F, St. Louis Jr. Blues
East Division Star of the Week: Brandon Avezov, F, New Jersey Titans
Avezov and the Titans opened up the season on a hot streak, as the Bellmore, NY native recorded six points to lead his team to a pair of wins over Danbury. After scoring his first goal of the season and recording two assists on Thursday, Avezov followed up with an identical stat line on Friday, again scoring and setting up two teammates for goals. His six points lead all Titans skaters after their first two NA3HL contests.
2nd Star: Troy Harwell, F, Bay State Bobcats
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ethan Kavanaugh, G, New Jersey Titans — Nathan Moffitt, G, Bay State Bobcats
Frontier Division Star of the Week: Trever Mellen, G, Great Falls Americans
Mellen was on his game from the first drop of the puck this week, recording 66 saves on 70 shots for a .943 save percentage and, most importantly, two wins to keep his perfect 6-0-0 start to the season intact. Mellen shone brightest on Friday night with his first shutout of the season — a 35-save effort against Gillette — and followed up with another steady showing between the pipes as he turned aside 31 pucks in another win over the Wild. In addition to his unblemished win/loss record, Mellen now boasts a 1.92 GAA and .937 save percentage on the year, both of which lead all NA3HL goaltenders with at least four starts.
2nd Star: Declan Young, F, Gillette Wild
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Nathan Fanning, D, Gillette Wild — Jack Harris, F, Yellowstone Quake — Cole Komarek, F, Great Falls Americans — Cade Rosansky, F, Yellowstone Quake
South Division Star of the Week: Greg Smith, G, Atlanta Capitals
It’s not often a single goaltender takes the ice for each of a team’s three games in a weekend tripleheader, but Smith did just that in nearly perfect fashion. His 15-save shutout on Friday and 13-save shutout on Saturday were eyebrow-raising performances in their own right, but Smith put it all together once more on Sunday to stop 22 of 23 shots for another win and a rare three-game sweep. In total, Smith turned aside 50 of 51 shots and turned in a sterling 0.33 GAA and .980 save percentage on the weekend.
2nd Star: Jack Cooper, F, Texas Brahmas
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jacob Kalandyk, F, Texas Brahmas — Kyle Karoleski, G, Louisiana Drillers — Brendan Krawczyk, F, Louisiana Drillers — Vyacheslav Nilov, F, Atlanta Capitals
West Division Star of the Week: Garrett Freeman, F, North Iowa Bulls
Freeman got on the board for the first time this season last week, and built on that success this week with four points in the Bulls’ two-game sweep over the Steel. Freeman’s playmaking ability was on full display Friday night as he recorded two assists, while Saturday saw more balance from his offense. The Sartell, MN native scored the game-winning goal to go along with another helper to pace another North Iowa win. With two points in each of his last three games, Freeman has now logged 2g-4a—6pts in his first five games of the season after being held off the scoresheet in the first two outings.
2nd Star: Carson Simon, F, Granite City Lumberjacks
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Lucas Bellig, D, North Iowa Bulls — Joey Gimberlin, F, New Ulm Steel — Jonah Jangula, F, Granite City Lumberjacks — Michael Sweetland, F, Willmar Warhawks