The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton for the week ending September 22, 2013. 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 four divisions of the NA3HL as nominated by their head coaches.
Central Division Star of the Week: Dan Marotz, defenseman, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs
The Jr. Bulldogs made a little history this past weekend as they posted their first NA3HL wins and NA3HL series sweep. The handled Battle Creek in two road games and defenseman Dan Marotz was a standout player. The 19-year-old defenseman from Forest Park, Illinois, had five points (2 goals, 3 assists) in the two wins and was a remarkable +10. On Saturday, Marotz (5’10/190) had four of his points in a 13-3 win and he added an assist in Sunday’s 11-0 win. He is second on the team in scoring this season with nine points.“Dan is a veteran defenseman for us and he makes very few mistakes. He is very strong on his skates, but he also has great stick-handling skills,” said Bulldogs head coach Tom Clarke. “He logged a lot of minutes this past weekend, especially killing penalties and he did very good job at all the little things that often go unnoticed.”
2nd Star: Jason Hoehn, forward, Wisconsin Whalers
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brett Gates, defenseman, Wisconsin Whalers – Rob Gentile, defenseman, Cincinnati Swords – Michael Krch, goaltender, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs – Ian Rolfsen, forward, Cincinnati Swords.
East Division Star of the Week: Clay Horvath, goaltender, Toledo Cherokee
Toledo is off to a strong 3-1 start and they made a big statement this past weekend with a home and home sweep of the Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks. Both games were one-goal games and the big difference was Toledo goaltender Clay Horvath, 18. The Lewis Center, Ohio native started and won his first two games of the season. Horvath (5’11/160) stopped a combined 61 of 64 shots on the weekend, which was good for a 95.3% save percentage and a 1.44 goals against average. On Friday, Horvath made 34 saves and stopped four of the five shooters in a shootout for a 3-2 win. On Saturday, he made 27 saves in a 2-1 win at home. "Clay was a difference maker this weekend,” said Toledo head coach Kenny Miller. “He was a big part of our success and I couldn't be happier for him, after only practicing for two days and stepping in and helping us get two wins this weekend was a big statement from him to his new teammates."
2nd Star: Nick Gnagni, forward, Flint Junior Generals
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Zach Collins, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats – Tom Diffendal, forward, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Conor Durgan, forward, Flint Junior Generals – Kade Morrison, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats – Tyler Spies, forward, Pittsburgh Vengeance.
West Division Star of the Week: Aidan Verbeke, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks
20-year-old veteran forward Aidan Verbeke got the Lumberjacks back on track this weekend with two big home wins over West Division rivals Twin City and Alexandria. All of Verbeke’s points came in Friday’s 7-1 win over Twin City, which he had four goals (including the game-winner) and an assist. He was also a +2 during the game. In Saturday’s 4-1 win over Alexandria, Verbeke (6’0/170) didn’t record a point, but was a +1. The native of Elmwood Park, Illinois, leads the Lumberjacks in scoring this year with six points. “It is nice to see Aidan back at the level he was playing at last year,” said Lumberjacks head coach Brad Willner. “He is always in the right position, which allows him to produce points.”
2nd Star: Drew Otto, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): None
South Division Star of the Week: No games played