Granite City's Taylor Portner, Pittsburgh's Sean Keating and Toledo's Ryan Kelly earn weekly honors
FRISCO, TEXAS - The North American 3 Hockey League (3HL) today announced the Three Stars of the Week presented by Combat Hockey for the week ending November 13, 2011. The Three Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2011-12 regular season that honors the top performing players each week of the regular season as nominated by their respective teams.
1st Star: Taylor Portner, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks
A third of Portner's season offensive output came in this past weekend alone as the forward from Andover, Minnesota had two goals and eight assists for 10 points as Granite City won all three of their games this past weekend over Peoria and Quad City. On Friday, Portner, 19, recorded two assists, including one on the game-winning goal in a 7-0 win over the Mustangs. The next night, Portner recorded four assists, again including the game-winning goal, in a 6-1 win over Peoria. Portner saved his best game of the weekend for last as on Sunday he recorded two goals and two assists for four points in a 7-2 home win over Quad City. For the season, Portner is tied for 4th in league scoring with 30 points and leads the Lumberjacks in points. "He is making great plays and it really helps that he plays with a guy like Tyler Cayemberg, who can put the puck in the net. They are a lethal combination right now," said Lumberjacks head coach Brad Willner. "Taylor sees the ice really well and has really stepped his game up as of late."
2nd Star: Sean Keating, goaltender, Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins
Keating, 17, came up huge for Pittsburgh in their weekend road sweep of the Flint Jr. Generals. Keating was in goal for both games, both of which Pittsburgh won by identical 2-1 scores. On Saturday, the Smithtown, New York native allowed just one goal on 41 shots as Pittsburgh topped Flint in overtime. On Sunday, Keating was just as good, again allowing just one goal (which came on the power play) on 24 Flint shots. For the weekend, Keating stopped 63 of a total 65 shots for a 96.9% save percentage and a miniscule .96 goals against average. "I thought that Sean was very solid positionally," said Pittsburgh head coach Brian Cersosimo. "He is still getting comfortable and adjusting to junior hockey life in the 3HL. He is improving by the week and hopefully it is something that continues the remainder of the season."
3rd Star: Ryan Kelly, forward, Toledo Cherokee
Kelly, 19, helped the Toledo Cherokee win two more games over the weekend to widen their lead in the 3HL's North Division. On Friday the Wilton Manors, Florida native recorded three assists, including assisting on the game-winning goal, in Toledo's 6-3 win at home over Michigan. The next night, Kelly scored a goal and assisted on another as Toledo came up with a big 5-3 road win against the Metro Jets. For the 2011-12 season, Kelly has recorded 24 points in just 18 games played. "I thought Ryan had a great weekend and really gelled well with his new linemates, and that really helped him get back on track," said Toledo head coach Scott Syring. "I think he is taking advantage of his opportunities and is proving that he is a legitimate NCAA Division III prospect."
Other players nominated were (alphabetical order): Cameron Brown, forward, Peoria Mustangs - Tyler Cayemberg, forward, Granite City Lumberjacks - Cody Damon, forward, Flint Jr. Generals - Schuyler Ferguson, goaltender, Michigan Mountain Cats - Austin Fletcher, forward, Toledo Cherokee - Matt Hughes, goaltender, Battle Creek Jr. Revolution - James Koonce, forward, Michigan Mountain Cats - Abe Liebel, forward, Quad City Jr. Flames - David Mnatsyan, defenseman, Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins - Jim Odom, forward, Flint Jr. Generals - Daniel Rosse, forward, St. Louis Jr. Blues - Trevor Voelker, forward, Queen City Steam - Josh Wentz, forward, Peoria Mustangs.
About the 3HL
Now in its second season, the North American 3 Hockey League (3HL), one of six USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier III Junior leagues, serves as one of the top training grounds in the country by providing the best coaching, exposure and developmental vehicles available for student-athletes in its classification. The primary mission of the 3HL, which is managed organizationally by the North American Hockey League (NAHL), is to provide a structured developmental environment for student-athletes whose youth options are limited but are still reaching their potential and have aspirations of playing in the NAHL or United States Hockey League and eventually the NCAA or American College Hockey Association. For more information, visit www.na3hl.com.