MASON CITY, Iowa – Byron Hartley has been a Bauer Hockey Central Division Star of the Week before, but he’s never had a game quite like the one he played on Friday.
His first junior hat trick and a career weekend made him the North American Hockey League’s pick for its Central Division Star of the Week award this week, the second time this season that a Bull has brought home the weekly hardware.
Hartley’s four goals and two assists marked the best weekend of his junior career, and helped to extend North Iowa’s Central Division lead over an idle Austin Bruins club. He added an assist to his three-goal haul in Friday’s 6-2 win, and posted another goal and assist, plus a goal in the shootout, in Saturday’s 4-3 triumph. He enters the upcoming weekend set against the Minot Minotauros with a team-best 14 points in 10 games, and his eight goals is tied for third in the NAHL.
“Byron had a great weekend for us, propelling us to two wins on the road,” said North Iowa head coach Todd Sanden. “He’s a player that can make and finish plays and brings energy to the team. We will not be surprised if he earns an NCAA Division I commitment soon.”
The Philadelphia native’s Star of the Week award follows goaltender Erik Chaffe‘s honor immediately following the NAHL Showcase last month. Chaffe was perfect in two appearances in Blaine, posting shutout wins over the Wisconsin Windigo and Odessa Jackalopes.
North Iowa and Minot drop the puck Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Mason City Arena, with live streaming coverage available on HockeyTV Presented by Dakota Fix Shelter Insurance and NorthIowaBulls.com.