Thursday, May 03, 2007

Two North Stars, two 'Diggers land NAHL honors

The North American Hockey League’s annual hardware was handed out Thursday and a pair of Traverse City North Stars players and the Alpena IceDiggers' general manager and top forward were among the honorees.

Forward Kory Kaunisto won the NAHL Academic Achievement Award as the league’s top scholar-athlete, while blueliner Nick Von Bokern was named to the All-NAHL second team.

Kaunisto, who is slated to play at Northern Michigan University in 2008-09 on a full scholarship, posted a perfect 4.00 GPA over his high school career, and found himself in the top one percent of students during his stint at Traverse City Central Senior High School.

The Marquette native is a longstanding member of the National Honor Society, the Business Professionals of America, and is nearing endorsement as a Certified Microsoft Expert. In his 61 games this season, the 6-foot, 170-pound winger scored six goals and assisted on 16 others, and was second among Stars regulars with 134 penalty minutes.

Von Bokern was the NAHL’s top-scoring defenseman with 12 goals and 37 assists. His 21 power-play assists were sixth among all skaters in the league.

Alpena forward Todd Rudasill was named to the league's second team as well after piling up 89 points on 33 goals and 56 assists, good for second overall during the regular season.

A pair of St. Louis players and Ferris State recruits took home top honors, as forward Pat Maroon was named NAHL MVP and Bandits netminder Pat Nagle landed Rookie of the Year accolades.

Alpena skipper Kenny Miller was named NAHL GM of the Year after guiding the IceDiggers to the franchise’s first-ever playoff berth. They were subsequently swept by the USA Under-17 Team in the first round.

G – Ryan Zapolski, Mahoning Valley Phantoms
D – Jeff Dimmen, St. Louis Bandits
D - Jeff Carlson, Southern Minnesota Express
F – Pat Maroon, St. Louis Bandits
F – Kyle Schmidt, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
F – Dustin Cloutier, Mahoning Valley Phantoms

G – Pat Nagle, St. Louis Bandits
D – Nick Von Bokern, Traverse City
D – Scooter Vaughan, St. Louis Bandits
F – Jesse Echternach, Fargo-Moorhead Jets
F – Todd Rudasill, Alpena IceDiggers
F – Tibor Kutalek, Santa Fe RoadRunners

G – Pat Nagle, St. Louis Bandits
D – Scooter Vaughan, St. Louis Bandits
D – Tom Kleidon, Santa Fe RoadRunners
F – Ryan Kretzer, Springfield Jr. Blues
F – Andy Inderieden, Southern Minnesota Express
F – Derek Graham, Mahoning Valley Phantoms
F – Andy McCabe, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

Sherwood MVP: Pat Maroon, St. Louis Bandits
Rookie of the Year: Pat Nagle, St. Louis Bandits
Coach of the Year: Bob Mainhardt, Mahoning Valley Phantoms
General Manager of the Year: Kenny Miller, Alpena IceDiggers
Community Service Award: Eric Borre, Alexandria Blizzard
Academic Achievement Award: Kory Kaunisto, Traverse City

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