Photo credits: Island Images Photography (Kursonis), Darren Francis (La Starza), Garrett James Photography (Di Pasquo)
Alberni Valley Bulldogs forward Matt Kursonis, Chilliwack Chiefs forward Michael La Starza and Penticton Vees goaltender Luca Di Pasquo have been named the NAPA Auto Parts 3 Stars of the Week.
1st Star – Matt Kursonis (F) – Alberni Valley Bulldogs
Kursonis led all BCHL players with six points last week and tied for the league lead with four goals as the Bulldogs won three of four contests to force a seventh and deciding game in their second round series against the Surrey Eagles.
In Game 3 on Tuesday night, Kursonis was held off the scoresheet, but he was a major factor after that, starting with Game 4 the following night when he scored the overtime winner in Alberni’s 3-2 victory. He deflected a point shot home less than two minutes into the extra frame to seal the win and tie the series. The 19-year-old added an assist earlier in the game and was named first star.
In Game 5 on Friday, Kursonis kept things rolling with a goal in the first period in an eventual 3-2 Alberni loss, but he saved his best performance for the biggest game of the year, scoring twice and adding a helper for a three-point night in the Bulldogs 7-1 Game 6 win on Sunday.
The Worcester, Mass. native now has nine points in 10 playoff contests this year on five goals and four assists.
2nd Star – Michael La Starza (F) – Chilliwack Chiefs
La Starza tied for the BCHL lead in goals last week with four in four games. He also added an assist for a five-point week to help the Chiefs defeat the Nanaimo Clippers in six games in their second round series.
The Boston University commit had a goal and a helper in Tuesday’s 5-2 Game 3 win, assisting on the opening goal late in the first and stretching the lead with his own marker less than a minute into the second. On Wednesday in Game 4, he scored Chilliwack’s first goal in a 5-4 overtime loss, then potted the Chiefs only goal of the game in Friday’s 3-1 road defeat. In Game 6 on Sunday, La Starza scored for the fourth straight contest, helping his team to a 5-0 victory and the series win.
The 19-year-old has five goals, three assists and eight points in 11 postseason games this year.
3rd Star – Luca Di Pasquo (G) – Penticton Vees
In Tuesday’s Game 3, the BCHL 1st-Team All-Star faced the most rubber he has seen all postseason with 33 shots directed his way, but he managed to stop 32 of those attempts to get the 3-1 win. 14 of those shots came in the third period as Wenatchee mounted a comeback, but Di Pasquo shut the door and was named the game’s first star.
In Game 4 on Wednesday, the Michigan State University commit was solid again, stopping 28 of 29 shots to get the win and finish the series. He was named first star for the second game in row.
Through two rounds of playoff action, Di Pasquo leads the league in both save percentage (.939) and goals-against average (1.50) and has yet to lose a game.
Penticton Vees F Josh Nadeau: 2GP – 3G – 1A – 4PTS
Penticton Vees F Bradly Nadeau: 2GP – 1G – 3A – 4PTS
Alberni Valley Bulldogs G Hobie Hedquist: 2GP – 1W – .963 SV% – 1.20 GAA
Alberni Valley Bulldogs G Campbell Arnold: 3GP – 2W – .929 SV% – 2.14 GAA
Salmon Arm Silverbacks F Hayden Stavroff: 3GP – 2G – 3A – 5PTS
Salmon Arm Silverbacks G Matthew Tovell: 3GP – 3W – .926 SV% – 2.28 GAA