The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton for the week ending September 29, 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: Ryan Martin, forward, Wisconsin Whalers
The Wisconsin Whalers are off to a 3-1-0 start and leading the way is 18-year-old forward Ryan Martin. The native of Rochester, Minnesota, played very well this past week as the Whalers earned a weekend home split with the Peoria Mustangs. On Saturday, Martin (5’10/170) had a goal and two assists in a 5-4 win. On Sunday, he scored both Whalers goals in a 6-2 loss. For the season, Martin leads the Whalers in scoring with eight points in four games played. “Ryan has really met our expectations to start the season and his play and confidence on the ice has transferred to his teammates,” said Wisconsin head coach Tom McDermott. “We have been very pleased with our start this season and Ryan has been a big part of that early success.”
2nd Star: RJ Marshall, forward, Cincinnati Swords
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jarin Aden, goaltender, Peoria Mustangs – Andrew Bond, forward, Cincinnati Swords – Zach Johnson, forward, Wisconsin Whalers – Michael Paku, goaltender, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs - Sam Turner, forward, Peoria Mustangs.
East Division Star of the Week: Brett Leppek, forward, Flint Junior Generals
One of the reasons that the Flint Junior Generals are off to a 6-0-1 start and atop of the East Division is their depth. That was evident this weekend as they picked up a weekend road sweep of the Pittsburgh Vengeance thanks in large part to the play of forward Brett Leppek. The 20-year-old from Au Gres, Michigan, had a big hand in both weekend wins. On Saturday, Leppek (6’1/200) had a short-handed goal and assisted on the game-winning goal in a 4-0 win. The next day, he scored twice in a 4-3 win. For the season, Leppek has seven points in five games played. “Brett played like a veteran this past weekend. He is a physical player and likes to grind, but he also has a nice scoring touch,” said Flint head coach Steve Howard. “He has really developed in a good, all-around player.”
2nd Star: Mike Palasics, forward, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Walker Bass, goaltender, Michigan Mountain Cats – Matt Dempsey, forward, Metro Jets – Brody Duncan, forward, Toledo Cherokee – Zach Koonce, forward, Flint Junior Generals – Davide Mantovani, goaltender, Metro Jets – Joe Moza, goaltender, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – Noah Szenderski, forward, Toledo Cherokee.
West Division Star of the Week: Drake Hunter, forward, Alexandria Blizzard
Three straight road wins over the weekend is just what the doctor ordered for the Alexandria Blizzard, as they pushed their record to 4-1. Forward Drake Hunter, 19, had a monster weekend as the native of Greenfield, Minnesota totaled seven points, including six goals in the three wins. On Friday, Hunter (6’0/195) had a hat-trick, which included the game-winning goal in a 6-2 win over Twin City. On Saturday, he added another goal in an 8-5 win at Breezy Point. On Sunday, he had two more goals, including the game-winner and an assist in a 5-1 win at Minnesota. Hunter leads the team in scoring with seven points, which were all earned this past weekend. “Drake had a huge weekend and it was what we needed out of a veteran forward,” said Blizzard head coach Jeff Crouse. “We had our top two players out of the lineup and Drake really picked up his game. He's a big strong kid that can skate and shoot well and I am looking forward to watching him progress into a goal scorer.”
2nd Star: Aidan Verbeke, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Mitchell Gwost, defenseman, Granite City Lumberjacks
South Division Star of the Week: No games played