The North American Hockey League announced its monthly player of the month awards for November and the Aston Rebels were well represented. Brennan Kapcheck was named defenseman of the month while Mareks Mitens was named goaltender of the month. Forward Gianluca Esteves was named as an honorable mention.
Kapcheck had eight points (6 goals and 2 assists) and a +12 rating in seven games. He leads all NAHL defensemen with 23 points (10 goals and 13 assists). Kapcheck was named the East Division’s player of the week for week ending November 13. The 5’9”, 160 lb native from Chicago, IL also announced his Division 1 NCAA commitment to American International College this past Saturday.
“Getting a commitment to play NCAA Division I hockey is something I have been working towards for a long time” stated Kapcheck. “To see it become a reality was a dream come true. I am exciting to be joining a team and program at AIC that is up and coming and heading in the right direction” said Kapcheck.
“Brennan can flat out play hockey” stated Rebels head coach Joe Coombs. “For an undersized defenseman, he plays with lots of fire and compete level, but his skill set is very good. American International College is getting a great player. He has been a big player for our organization for two years and will certainly be missed next season” concluded Coombs.
This is the second straight month that Mitens was name goaltender of the month (he was runner up in September). The 6’1”, 176 lb native of Ventspids, Latvia had a 5-0-0 record during the month with a 0.99 goals against average and a .959 save percentage. He leads all NAHL goaltenders in wins (15), goals against (1.23), save percentage (.948) and shutouts (6). He was the East Division’s second star of the week for week ending November 13 while he was the Division’s player of the week for week ending November 6.
“Mareks just continues to get better each time out” said Coombs. “He is getting more comfortable as he plays and makes it look easy at times, which any of us know who play this game that goaltending is not easy. The best part about Mareks is his compete level in practice and the fun he has doing so. I believe he makes everyone better around him” stated Coombs.
Mitens will represent Lativia at the World Junior Championships in December as they play against the likes of the United States, Canada and Russia.
“The past three months have really helped me develop as a goalie” said Mitens. “We have a very good team here in Aston and everyone puts in a lot of hard work to make sure we are successful. I am very excited to represent my country of Latvia at the World Junior Championship. It is something I have dreamed of since I was young and to be playing against the best in the world will be a very rewarding” concluded Mitens.
Esteves, the crafty forward from Winnipeg, MB, had six points for the month (3 goals and 3 assists). He had three points (1 goal and 2 assists) in the Rebels 7 – 0 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights on November 5. This is the first time the 5’11’, 168 lb forward has received weekly and/or monthly league accolades.