The North American 3 Hockey League (3HL) today announced the Three Stars of the Week presented by Combat Hockey for the week ending October 23, 2011. The Three Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2011-12 regular season that honors the top performing players each week of the regular season as nominated by their respective teams.
1st Star: Alex Berardinelli, forward, Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins
It was a week to remember for Berardinelli, who is one of the youngest players in the 3HL, having just turned 16-years-old. The forward from Export, Pennsylvania helped his team to a weekend road sweep of the Michigan Mountain Cats this past weekend with two goals and three assists good for five points during the two games. On Friday, Berardinelli scored a goal and added three assists, including assisting on the game-winning goal in a 6-3 win. Saturday, Berardinelli scored Pittsburgh’s fourth goal in a close 7-5 win. “The best thing about Alex is that he can play in all situations at a young age,” said Jr. Penguins head coach Brian Cersosimo. “He is a key component to this team and is learning to do the little things that will make him a successful junior hockey player.”
2nd Star: Kyle Fink, forward, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks
Fink, 19, helped Cleveland stay atop of the East Division with the 3HL’s best record, as the Jr. Lumberjacks took a pair of weekend road games at Queen City. What is more impressive is that both goals that Fink scored on the weekend were the respective game-winners for Cleveland in both games. Saturday, the New Berlin, Wisconsin native scored the eventual game-winning goal on the power play early in the 2nd period in a 6-1 win. On Sunday, he again recorded the game-winning goal along with two assists to cap his four-point weekend. Part of his inspiration may be because Kyle’s sister, who serves in the US Army, was in town for two weeks on break from her service in Afghanistan. “Kyle can put the puck in the net and more importantly, he is doing it at key times in the game,” said Cleveland head coach Bob Jacobson. “He has been playing well and has continued to contribute from Day 1.”
3rd Star: Matt Grove, goaltender, Granite City Lumberjacks
Grove, 20, appeared in all three Lumberjacks games this past weekend, allowing just one goal in the process, as he continues to lead the 3HL in goals against average for the season. Friday, the Crookston, Minnesota native stopped all 14 shots in a 3-0 shutout win over Quad City. On Saturday, Grove made a relief appearance, not allowing a goal in a 4-3 loss at Peoria. On Sunday, Grove allowed just one goal on 15 shots, but it would not be enough as the Lumberjacks were edged by the Mustangs, 1-0. For the weekend, Grove played almost 130 minutes of hockey, allowing just one goal and stopping 29 of 30 shots. “We have had some trouble scoring and Matt has really helped us stay in games,” said Lumberjacks head coach Brad Wilner. “He plays the position well with good angles and has really had a nice start to the season.”
Other players nominated were (alphabetical order): Matt Bartels, goaltender, North Iowa Bulls – Andrew Carlson, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats – Josh Foster, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats – Josh Kestner, forward, Flint Jr. Generals – Mike Meadows, goaltender, Quad City Jr. Flames – Evan Mulvihill, defenseman, Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins – Dominic Orlando, goaltender, Flint Jr. Generals – Christos Papaioannou, forward, Toledo Cherokee – Taylor Portner, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks – Jared Ramstead, forward, North Iowa Bulls – James Steele, forward, Toledo Cherokee.