Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Players of the Week: 12/8

Here's a look at different players of the week for the period ending on December 6. This week, we have a Corpus Christi Icerayz goalie and a Wichita Falls Wildcats Forward winning it in the South Division as the Tornado are looking to climb back up in the South Division as we get near the Christmas break in the North American Hockey League. Also, We have Mathieu Beaudoin of the Texas Stars who was the AHL Player of the Week.

Kevin Nastiuk

Kevin Nastiuk of the Corpus Christi Icerayz was named the leagues goalie of the week after coming up with stopping 55 of 58 shots in a 1-1 week with a win against the Arizona Sundogs and a loss against the Texas Brahmas. In the win against Arizona, A convincing 6-1 win was a big part of trying to get the Icerayz up in the Southern Conference as the Sundogs continue to sit in the Southern Conference where after a 1-1 game at the 8 minute mark.

Nastiuk help out the team which scored 5 unanswered goals, including 2 in 90 seconds late in the 1st period to make it 3-1. Then goals early in the 2nd and 3rd period helped make it 5-1 before Jason Tessier scored his 2nd of the game to cap the 6-1 win on Thursday. On Friday night against Texas, It was a hard luck loss where after a Justin Quenneville goal just 3 minutes in helped out the Icerayz early.

However, the Brahmas came back with a goal just 2 minutes later to tie it at 1-1. Then it became a goalie dual where it stayed 1-1 until a Grant Jacobsen goal early in the 2nd gave the Brahmas a 2-1 lead which turned out to be the game winner goal to help the Brahmas win 2-1.

Despite, stopping 55 of 58 shots in the 2 games and having the 2nd best GAA at 2.37 and a league best SV% at .927. The Icerayz still sit in 7th place in the Southern Conference, because the offense in front of him hasn't helped him out very much as Jereme Tendler leads the team with just 10 goals and is tied with Arizona for having the worst team offense in the Southern Conference.

If Corpus Christi is going to move up in the South, the offense will need to support Nastiuk more often and give him some breathing room to work with and give the team more chances to win against the best in the league.

Aaron Quick

During a rare successful weekend for the Wildcats this season, Aaron Quick scored 3 goals and an assist in a 3 games this week against the Springfield Jr. Blues. On Wednesday, the week began with an assist on a goal by JT Osborn on the PP to bring the Wildcats within a goal of the Jr. Blues that was later tied by Ryan Frost in the opening minute of the 3rd period which got the game to a SO before losing to the Jr. Blues back on Wednesday night.

Then on Saturday came his best night when he scored a hat trick on Saturday which included the game winner early in the 2nd period and an empty netter in the final minutes of the game to make it a 4-1 win over the Wildcats. This week was big on what the Wildcats need to do dig out of the hole their in right now in the South Division. Currently, they are still 10 points back of the Springfield Jr. Blues and Texas Tornado who are tied for 3rd in the South Division.

For Quick, this takes his point total to 13 (5G 8A) this season through 20 games played, but has a -7 Plus/Minus rating and he's hoping to use this as a break out weekend to improve his and the teams season right now.

As for the upcoming schedule, these games were the final home games of the 1st half of the season. A pair of games against the Springfield Jr. Blues on 12/18-19 will be huge towards ending the 1st half of the season with some momentum. However, this weekend, it's an instate clash with the Texas Tornado this weekend, who are on a hot streak by winning 6 of their last 8 which continued with a split of the Topeka Roadrunners last weekend.

For Wichita Falls, to get back in the South Division Race, the Wildcats need to get players like Tyler Lundey and Adam Kuhn who are leading the team in assists with 15 to score some goals to increase the number of scoring threats on the team.

Mathieu Beaudoin

The American Hockey League has announced that Beaudoin has had a great week with a 5 goal week in 3 games this past weekend and helped keep the Texas Stars keep their lead in the West Division.

On the road within the division this weekend, he got the Stars going with a hat trick back on Friday night with a 5-1 win over the Milwaukee Admirals in just a dominating performance from start to finish. Then next up against Chicago, his goal which helped the Stars get to 2-1 against Chicago helped get a comeback rolling where the Stars won the game 5-3 against the Chicago Wolves who themselves have been on a hot streak. Then on Sunday, it was back to Texas as Beaudoin scored the equalizer in the 2nd period which propel ed them to a 4-1 win to complete the 3 game road trip.

For Beaudoin, this takes his point total for the season to 15 points (6G 9A). Even though the Stars don't have a single dangerous goal scorer. Everyone has been contributing to help the team win, especially on defense where they have just given up 50 goals in 27 games which is the best team defense in the AHL right now.

As for the upcoming schedule, 6 of their next 8 will be at home with trips to Grand Rapids and Syracuse that are a part of it. The Stars also face Rockford twice, Peoria on 12/9, 2 games against the Houston Aeros and a game against San Antonio on 12/27.

The Stars can make a statement be developing a strong home ice advantage that can make it a very hard place to play in the later part of the season. Another part of the home ice is the crowds where the team is averaging over 5000 fans a game so far this season, which is in the top 10 of the AHL.

Other Players getting Players of the Week!

North American Hockey League

North Division: John Fritsche of the Alpena Ice Diggers

Central Division: Ryan Bohrer of the North Iowa Outlaws

West Division: Mark Pustin of the Fairbanks Ice Dogs

Goalie: Marco Wieser of the Alpena Ice Diggers

United States Hockey League

Forward: Reed Seckel of the Green Bay Gamblers

Defensemen: Jared Beers of the Cedar Rapids Roughriders

Goalies: Carsen Chubak of the Tri-City Storm

Western Hockey League

Johnny Lazo of the Tri-City Americans

Ontario Hockey League

Alex Hutchings of the Barrie Colts

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Player: Samson Mahbod of the P.E.I. Rockets

Goalie: Nathan Dunnett of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar

Central Hockey League

Player: Louis Dumont of the Mississippi Riverkings

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