The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) today announced the Three Stars of the Week presented by Combat Hockey for the week ending January 6, 2013. The three stars of the week is an award given each week of the regular season to the top performing players in the NA3HL as nominated by their head coaches.
1st Star: Tom Diffendal, forward, Three Rivers Vengeance
The Vengeance have surged into 2nd place in the East Division thanks to one of the NA3HL’s most high-powered offenses, which this past weekend was led by forward Tom Diffendal. The 17-year-old forward from Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, had a six point weekend as the Vengeance posted a weekend home sweep of the Metro Jets. With the wins, the Vengeance are now all alone in 2nd place in the East Division. On Saturday, Diffendal (6’3/200) scored the opening goal and assisted on another in a 4-1 win over the Jets. On Sunday, Diffendal was even better as he recorded another goal and added three assists in a 6-4 win. He was also an impressive +6 over the weekend and for the season has 23 points in 28 games played. “Tom is a very important part of our depth on offensive and for a 17-year-old, plays with a lot of composure and confidence,” said Vengeance head coach Brian Cersosimo. “He uses his size well to create scoring chances for he and his teammates and has a very bright future ahead of him.”
2nd Star: David Fassbender, forward, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks
Cleveland is happy to have forward David Fassbender, 19, back in uniform. The Parma, Ohio native had a big weekend as the Jr. Lumberjacks posted a weekend home sweep of the Flint Jr. Generals to keep their East Division lead at five points. In the two games, Fassbender (6’1/190) had six points (3 goals, 3 assists) and was a +3. On Saturday, Fassbender scored twice and assisted on another goal as Cleveland defeated Flint, 6-4. The next day, Fassbender scored again and posted two assists, including on the game-winning goal in a 6-2 win. It was no surprise that the Jr. Lumberjacks had 12 goals in the two games with Fassbender in the line-up and Cleveland head coach Bob Jacobson agreed. “David made such an immediate impact to the team upon his return because he brings so much to the table. We are happy to have him back and happy that he is playing well and showing veteran leadership.”
3rd Star: Nico Vecchio, forward, Three Rivers Vengeance
Having been named the NA3HL Forward of the Month in December, Three Rivers forward Nico Vecchio, 20, picked up in January right where he left off in December with another outstanding and productive weekend. The native of North Huntington, Pennsylvania, recorded six points (4 goals, 2 assists) in two home weekend wins over the Metro Jets. Vecchio (5’11/180) now leads the NA3HL in points this season with 52 points in 29 games played. On Saturday, Vecchio had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win. On Sunday, he recorded a hat-trick, which included the game-winning goal, along with an assist in a 6-4 win. “Nico does it all for us and we were very happy he decided to return and play for the Vengeance in his final junior season,” said Vengeance head coach Brian Cersosimo. “His veteren leadership and presence in the lockerroom is as valubale as his production on the ice.”
Honorable Mention (alphabetical order): Matt Bartels, goaltender, North Iowa Bulls – Thomas Clayton, forward, Queen City Steam – Peter Coppola, forward, Quad City Jr. Flames – Spencer Craig, goaltender, Michigan Mountain Cats – Bryan Davis, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats – Jordan Fogarty, forward, Toledo Cherokee – Nate Gay, goaltender, Toledo Cherokee – Rob Gentile, defenseman, Queen City Steam – Isaac Hale, defenseman, Twin City Steel – Chancie Hanson, defenseman, North Iowa Bulls – David Heflin, goaltender, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – Trey Hughes, forward, Twin City Steel – Alex Koopmeiners, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks – Harley Manus, forward, Quad City Jr. Flames – Andrew Palushaj, forward, Metro Jets – Blake Phenow, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks – Matt Stirling, forward, Metro Jets.