The SHL selected Anchorage Igloos LW Jerry Koons as its Player of the Week. It’s the second time this season Koons has received the honor; he was also chosen back in Week 5. Koons wasn’t able to repeat his 14-point performance from that week, but he did put up 9 points (4 goals, 5 assists) and led the Igloos to an undefeated week that puts them in position to claim the Western division title. With his strong week, Koons is now tied with teammate Jake Frost for the league lead in goals with 40, and now holds the overall SHL lead in points with 82.
On Saturday, Koons had a goal and an assist as Anchorage swamped Saskatchewan 5-2. On Tuesday, he scored twice and added an assist in a 6-0 rout of Dakota. And on Friday, Koons put up a goal and two assists in a 5-4 win over Seattle.
“I’m pulling for Koonsy to win the [goal] title, honestly,” said Frost. “Everyone knows my name, and they think this is my team. But Jerry’s as important to us as I am. More, even. If we win the Vandy again this year, it’s going to be because Koonsy and me and Nicky and everybody gets this done.”
The SHL selected Hershey Bliss RW Noah Daniels as its Player of the Week. Daniels had a 10-point week (7 goals, 3 assists), a particularly remarkable feat for a player who came into the week having scored only 25 points on the season. Thanks to Daniels’ hard work, the Bliss went 4-1-0 on the week and jumped back into first place in the East.
On Sunday, Daniels turned in his first career hat trick, contributing to Hershey’s 7-1 pummeling of Hamilton. (More on that game here.) On Tuesday, the winger scored two more goals and added three assists as the Bliss shredded Quebec 9-2. And on Friday, Daniels scored two more to help Hershey tip New York 4-3.
“Noah’s a real fighter,” said Bliss coach “Chocolate Chip” Barber. “He may not be the biggest or most gifted player out there, but he’s out there working hard every shift and clawing for every opportunity. He’s made himself a player, and he deserves all the recognition he can get.”
The SHL selected Anchorage Igloos C Jake Frost as its Player of the Week. Frost had an incredible week, scoring 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists) and leading the Igloos to an undefeated week that lengthened their lead in the West to 6 points. On Sunday, Frost scored twice and added an assist in the Igloos’ 5-1 win over Seattle. On Wednesday, he had a four-point day (two goals, two assists) to lead Anchorage’s 6-1 beatdown of Hershey. Then on Friday, Frost scored the Igloos’ first goal in a key 3-2 overtime win over Michigan.
Frost has resumed his place among the league;s top scorers. His 37 goals leads the league, and his 61 points is third in the league overall, behind teammates Jerry Koons and Nicklas Ericsson. It’s only the second time in SHL history that the top three point scorers in the league have all played for the same team. (The Hamilton Pistols had the top four point scorers for a couple weeks last month.)
“We’ve got a lot of good scorers here, but in the end, it’s still Jake’s team,” said Ericsson. “If it’s Game 7 of the Finals, Jake’s the guy we all want taking the big shot. He’s our star, and we all know that.”
The SHL selected Washington Galaxy G Ron Mason as its Player of the Week. The 33-year-old backup appeared twice this week, and both times he turned in a splendid performance. On Sunday, Mason stopped 27 shots as the Galaxy stuffed Seattle, 7-1. Then on Tuesday, Mason blocked all 33 shots he faced as Washington notched a 1-0 win over Anchorage. Mason’s play was a key part of the Galaxy’s undefeated week, which helped them take over first place in the East.
For the season, Mason has been excellent, going 9-4-0 with a 2.68 GAA and a .918 save percentage. The only backup in the league with better numbers is Hamilton’s Dennis Wampler. Washington’s goaltending tandem is tied for the league’s second-best save percentage and is third in goals-against average, trailing only Michigan and Anchorage.
“People tend to ignore backup goalies,” said Galaxy coach Rodney Reagle. “But having two quality netminders is great for a team. If your main guy gets hurt or needs a breather, you know you won’t miss a beat between the pipes. Ron’s a cagey vet, and he knows all the angles. He never gets caught out of position and he doesn’t let in cheapies.”
The SHL selected Washington Galaxy RW Jefferson McNeely as its Player of the Week. The Galaxy had an amazing week, going 5-0-0 and moving within two points of first-place Hershey, and McNeely’s performance was key to Washington’s week.
McNeely scored 9 points on the week (3 goals, 6 assists). On Friday, McNeely became one of the few players in SHL history to record a five-point game (2 goals, 3 assists) in Washington’s 6-2 rout of Dakota. On the season, his 34 points is second-highest on the team behind C Eddie Costello, and his 15 goals is second to LW Casey Thurman.
“He’s just a joy to watch,” said Galaxy coach Rodney Reagle of McNeely. “He has an electric star’s presence. The whole arena just lights up every time he goes out on the ice. Just an incredible talent.”
The SHL selected New York Night D Tuomas Nurmi as its Player of the Week. The Finnish-born blueliner was on fire this week, putting up 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists) on the week. Nurmi’s big-scoring weeks nearly doubled his season point total (from 12 to 22) and earned him a promotion back to the Night’s top defensive pairing.
Nurmi scored at least a point in every New York game in the week. His most impressive performance came on Wednesday, when he scored a goal and added two assists in the Night’s 6-5 overtime loss to Dakota. On Tuesday, Nurmi had a pair of assists to help New York to a stunning 7-4 thrashing of Michigan.
“Tuomas is an offensive-minded defenseman, but he doesn’t neglect the other end,” said Night coach Nick Foster. “He’s a tough, diligent, capable player and he has a terrific motor. He’s really shown me something.”
The SHL selected Anchorage Igloos LW Jerry Koons as its Player of the Week. Koons had one of the highest-scoring weeks in SHL history, scoring 14 points (5 goals, 9 assists). Powered by Koons and the rest of the potent top line, the Igloos went 3-1-1 on the week, allowing them to keep pace with Michigan in the ever-competitive Western race. For the season, Koons has recorded 38 points, second in the league behind linemate Nicklas Ericsson; His 19 goals place him in the league’s top five.
Koons turned in his most impressive performance on Saturday, during a 10-2 demolition of Quebec. The winger set a new league record for points scored in a game with 8 (3 goals, 5 assists). In the same game, C Jake Frost became the first SHL player ever to score four goals in a game; Koons assisted on three of them.
“Jerry’s really starting to step into the spotlight,” said Anchorage coach Sam Castor. “We’ve known all along what an incredible two-way player he is and how much he contributes to our success, but now the rest of the league is starting to figure it out as well. That’s what makes us so dangerous; if teams key on Jake and try to shut him down, Jerry will make them pay. We’ve got a lot of weapons.”