he North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) announced today the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey for the week ending January 8, 2017. The divisional stars of the week are an award given each week of the regular season to the top performing players in each of the eight divisions of the NA3HL as nominated by their head coaches.
Central Division Star of the Week: Ben Ratner, forward, Wisconsin Whalers
Wisconsin forward Ben Ratner led the way for the Whalers this weekend, going on a “pointstreak” of all goals scored through the weekend. The 19-year-old forward was part of every goal, having either the goal or assist, to total 12 points through three games. Ratner had three goals (one game-winner) and nine assists in a +9 performance. “Ben was part of every goal this weekend. He played some of his best hockey this season,” said Head Coach Tom Mc Dermott.
2nd Star: Will Graves, goaltender, La Crosse Freeze
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Austin Lewis, forward, Wisconsin Whalers – Kadin Machusak, forward, La Crosse Freeze – Drew Scites, goaltender, North Iowa Bulls
Coastal Division Star of the Week: Phil Garcia, defenseman, Long Beach Sharks
Brooklyn, NY native Phil Garica made his presence known at the blue line for Long Beach this weekend. The 20-year-old defenseman played a full ice game, notching two goals and two assists. Garcia was +4 in the two-win weekend for the Sharks. “Phil played very sound defensively as he usually does. He is a very physical player and did an excellent job shutting down his opposition this weekend despite being under the weather,” said Head Coach Mike Stanaway.
2nd Star: Aaron Deady, forward, Cape Cod Islanders
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Caleb Labrie, forward, L/A Fighting Spirit – Dan Moore, forward, Cape Code Islanders – Kyle Van Wagner, goaltender, Long Beach Sharks
East Division Star of the Week: Ricky Kwapich, forward, Toldeo Cherokee
Hometown hero Ricky Kwapich racked up seven points for the Cherokee through their two-game weekend. Hailing from Toldeo, OH, the forward grabbed five goals (one game-winner) and two assists, while remaining +5 for the Cherokee. “Ricky was a difference maker this weekend, he has the ability to put points on the board every game and this weekend we proved it. He is very deserving of this award,” said General Manager and Head Coach Ken Miller.
2nd Star: Mathias Tellstrom, forward, Metro Jets
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Connor Inger, forward, Metro Jets – Tristin Snyder, forward, Toledo Cherokee
Frontier Division Star of the Week: No nominations were received
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Thomas Kolaz, forward, Peoria Mustangs
Leading the Mustangs to a two-win weekend was forward Thomas Kolaz. The Springfield, IL native hit double-digits in both points and performance, registering three goals and seven assists in a +11 effort. Kolaz also was credited with Saturday’s game-winning goal. “As a 20 year old on the team, Thomas has been a leader on and off the ice. It’s great to see him get some recognition for his efforts,” said General Manager and Head Coach David Karpa.
2nd Star: Weiland Parrish, forward, Nashville Jr. Predators
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Peter Cabala, defenseman, Nashville Jr. Predators – Ryan Edgar, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Jack Hatton, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Braden Stewart, forward, Peoria Mustangs
Northeast Division Star of the Week: Michael Gulawsky, forward, Jersey Shore Wildcats
Jersey Shore forward Michael Gulawsky contributed three points to help the Wildcats a winning weekend. The Detroit, MI native scored two goals (one game-winner) and an assist for three points in a +3 performance. Gulawsky grabbed 20 faceoff wins, five blocked shots, and registered a game-high of six hits this weekend for the Wildcats. “Michael played a big role in Sunday’s 3-2 win against Lockport. He scored the game-winning goal, and had an impact all over the ice,” said Head Coach Corey Leivermann.
2nd Star: Ryan Flanagan, forward, Binghamton Jr. Senators
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Dom Bogdziul, forward, Binghamton Jr. Senators – Sam Fitzpatrick, goaltender, Lockport Express
South Division Star of the Week: Niki Raiskio, defenseman, Louisiana Drillers
Coming in hot for the Drillers this weekend was defenseman Niki Raiskio. The 19-year-old from Tampere, Finland hopped on his flight to contribute eight points this weekend, which included five goals and three assists. Raiskio was +7 through three games, and registered a power play goal. “Niki has been a great find for our team. Not only does he have great skill on the ice, but he is well liked by his teammates. I expect great things from him as we make our push to the playoffs,” said Head Coach Shawn McNeil.
2nd Star: Thomas Delaney, forward, Euless Jr. Stars
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jake Cox, forward, Point Mallard Ducks – Sascha Figi, forward, Atlanta Capitals – Kristian Kause, forward, Louisiana Drillers – Kevin Mackey, goaltender, Point Mallard Ducks – Talon Medure, forward, Atlanta Capitals – Nick Sheridan, forward, Euless Jr. Stars
West Division Star of the Week: Brey Effertz, goaltender, Alexandria Blizzard
Winning both games in net for the Blizzard this weekend was goaltender Brey Effertz. The Minot, ND native played all 120 minutes in net, registering his sixth shutout in Saturday night’s game. Effertz faced 50 shots through both games, making 48 total saves through the weekend. “Brey had a great weekend in net, leading our team to two victories. He was very solid in a great road win, and earned his league-leading 6th shutout on the season,” said Head Coach Jeff Crouse.
2nd Star: Jack Petroske, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Mathew Sprink, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks