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NA3HL announces Divisional Stars of the Week

November 12, 2013

(from top left to bottom right): Chicago goaltender Michael Krch, Flint forward Mark McGee, Topeka forward Yu Hikosaka and North Iowa forward Matt Kroska honored this week.

The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton for the week ending November 10, 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: Michael Krch, goaltender, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs

19-year-old veteran netminder Michael Krch helped the Chicago Jr. Bulldogs to a weekend home sweep of the St. Louis Jr. Blues. The wins brought Chicago to five points of 1st place Peoria. Krch (6’1/160) was outstanding in goal, allowing just a pair of goals both night, despite record shot totals against him. On Saturday, the native of Justice, Illinois made an NA3HL season-high 67 saves in a 4-2 win over the Jr. Blues. The next afternoon, he made 56 saves in another 4-2 win. For the weekend, Krch stopped 113 of 117 shots that came his way. “Michael is a guy that brings us a veteran presence and he has proven he can handle the workload,” said Chicago head coach Tom Clarke. “He stays square to the puck, controls his rebounds real well and has played really well as of late.”

2nd Star: Nikita Korotkov, forward, Cincinnati Swords

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Devin Fracassi, defenseman, Cincinnati Swords – Tommy Heinzman, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Jason Hoehn, forward, Wisconsin Whalers – Matt Kostopoulos, forward, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs – DJ Mussey, forward, Wisconsin Whalers – Adam Roeder, defenseman, St. Louis Jr. Blues


East Division Star of the Week: Mark McGee, forward, Flint Junior Generals

The Flint Junior Generals stayed undefeated in regulation by passing a major test this weekend with a sweep in Cleveland over the Jr. Lumberjacks. 19-year-old forward Mark McGee led the offense with four points (2 goals, 2 assists) in the weekend wins, while also posting a +4 rating. On Saturday, McGee (5’9/185) factored in on all three Flint goals as he scored and assisted twice in a 3-2 win. On Sunday, the native of Canton, Michigan added another goal in a 4-2 win. In 13 games this season, McGee has 15 points. “Cleveland has a great team, so to come out of the weekend with a sweep was a great team effort,” said Flint head coach Steve Howard. “Mark made good decisions with the puck. He possesses a lot of speed and talent and has been a pleasure to coach. He has really embraced his time here and made the most of it.”

2nd Star: Kevin O’Shea, goaltender, Michigan Mountain Cats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Zach Armstrong, forward, Toledo Cherokee – Tyler Geloneck, goaltender, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Conner McGovern, defenseman, Flint Junior Generals – Joe Randazzo, forward, Pittsburgh Vengeance – Max Vance, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats


South Division Star of the Week: Yu Hikosaka, forward, Topeka Capitals

Topeka forward Yu Hikosaka, 18, helped the Capitals take two of three games in a weekend series in Dallas against the Jr. Stars. The Capitals leading scored was on all weekend, as the native of Tokyo, Japan, had six points (3 goals, 3 assists) in three games. On Friday, Hikosaka (6’0/180) had an assist on Topeka’s lone goal in a 2-1 loss. On Saturday, he had a goal and assisted on the game-winner in a 3-1 win.  On Sunday, he saved his best for last as he had two goals, including the game-winner and an assist in a 6-2 win over the Jr. Stars. For the season, Hikosaka is Topeka’s leading scorer with 18 points in nine games played. “Yu has tremendous speed and skill and is a very talented player,” said Topeka head coach Anthony Bohn. “I think he has the ability to take over the game and he carries himself like a professional on and off the ice.”

2nd Star: Chris Mallon, goaltender, Dallas Jr. Stars

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ben Owen, defenseman, Dallas Jr. Stars – Nick Rizzo, defenseman, Topeka Capitals


West Division Star of the Week: Matt Kroska, forward, North Iowa Bulls

The North Iowa Bulls and team captain Matt Kroska, 20, haven’t missed a beat since winning the National Championship last season. The native of Elko, Minnesota helped the Bulls stay undefeated with another weekend sweep, this time over the Breezy Point North Stars. During the weekend sweep, Kroska (5’10/180) was a remarkable +9 and had eight points in the two wins. On Friday, Kroska assisted on three goals including the eventual game-winner in a 10-0 win. On Saturday, Kroska posted a hat-trick and added two assists for a five-point game in a 11-2 win over Breezy Point. Kroska’s 21 assists to date leads all NA3HL players and his 26 points are good for 3rd in team scoring. “Matt is such a good player, but even a better kid,” said Bulls head coach Todd Sanden. “You can’t duplicate guys that are third-year captains, so we feel very fortunate to have him back and playing well this season.”

2nd Star: Jordan Moran, goaltender, Twin City Steel

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Chris Amsden, goaltender, North Iowa Bulls – Drew Otto, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks – Aidan Verbeke, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks

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