PSR ANYTIME. ANYWHERE. Introducing the Pittsburgh Sports Report eMagazine. Click to read and watch the best sports coverage in the region.
Friday August 22 2014
Leave this field empty.

Two local hockey players tabbed for NAHL

PSR Logo
Canon-Mac's Alex Baskakov signs tender while Joseph Bender of Mars is selected in draft

Two additional members of the 2011-2012 Pittsburgh Viper Stars 18U AAA hockey club have been tabbed for play in the North American Junior Hockey League (NAHL) for the 2012-2013 season.

Alex Baskakov, a senior at Canon McMillan High School, has signed a tender to skate for the Springfield (IL) Blues, and Joseph Bender, a senior at Mars Area High School, was selected in the sixth round of the NAHL Entry Draft by the Johnstown (PA) Tomahawks.

A 6’1”, 185 lbs., defenseman, Baskakov will have an opportunity to skate next season in Springfield, for new Jr. A Blues new head coach Tony Zasowski.  The Blues, who finished the 2011-12 season in third place in the NAHL’s Mid-West Division, qualified for the NAHL’s post-season playoffs, advancing to the division finals before falling to the St. Louis Bandits 3 games to 1 in a best of five division finals.

Baskakov, who skated for the 18U Viper Stars for the past two seasons, is a native of Ufa, Russia.  He helped lead the 18U AAA Viper Stars during the 2011-12 season to a first place finish in the 17-team North American Prospects Hockey League (PHL) regular season, with an 19-2-0-1 record.

During the 2011-2012 season, Baskakov scored 57 points (11 goals and 46 assists) in 64 games, helping the Viper Stars to an overall record of 52-19-5-1.  He finished the 2011-12 North American Prospects Hockey League (PHL) season as the second leading scorer among defenseman in league play with 27 points (3 goals and 24 assists), in 26 league games played, and was named to the PHL second team league all-star team.

Baskakov scored 70 points (14 goals and 56 assists) in 64 games during the 2010-11 season, helping the 18U AAA Viper Stars to an overall record of 50-20-3-6.  He finished the 2010-11 North American Prospects Hockey League season as the second leading scorer among defenseman in the PHL league play with 28 points (6 goals and 22 assists), in 30 league games and was named to the PHL first team league all-star team.

Bender a 5’11”, 165 lbs., forward, will have an opportunity to skate next season in Johnstown, for the Tomahawks inaugural season under new head coach Jason Spence.  The Tomahawks name is the new moniker for the former Alaska Avalanche who relocated to Johnstown from Palmer, Alaska beginning with the upcoming 2012-13 season.  This past season, the Avalanche who finished the 2011-12 season in third place in the NAHL’s West Division, qualified for the NAHL’s post-season playoffs falling to the Wenatchee (WA) Wild 3 games to 2 including an over-time game loss in game five of a best of five division semi-finals.

During the 2011-12 season, Bender scored 43 points (18 goals and 25 assists) in 69 games for the AAA 18U Viper Stars.  He finished the 2011-2012 North American Prospects Hockey League (PHL) season with 14 points (5 goals and 9 assists), in 23 league games.

A Mars, PA, resident, Bender was selected in the sixth round of the NAHL’s Annual Entry Draft on Thursday, May 31, 2012.  He helped lead the 2011-12 18U Viper Stars to the a final season record of 52 – 19 – 5 – 1, placing them first in the nation in wins; capture the regular season title of the NAPHL and finish as runner-up in the NAPHL Playoffs; win the prestigious Midget AAA Steel City Cup Tournament; and finish as runner-up in the Mid-American District Championships.

Baskakov and Bender join Viper Stars teammates Elliott Tisdale and Robert Tritschler (Jamestown Ironmen), Jake Pilewicz (Minot Minotaurus), Heinz Koster (Aberdeen Wings), Jake Hetz (Fairbanks Ice Dogs), and Austin Heakins (Port Huron Fighting Falcons) in being tabbed by NAHL clubs for the 2012-13 season.

By signing a tender to an NAHL club, a contract of sorts, a player is announcing his intentions to play for that particular NAHL team and that NAHL team only.  Once a player signs a tender with an NAHL team, his playing rights belong to that team within the NAHL and he may not be recruited by any other NAHL team.  Tendered players are not eligible for the NAHL draft.  All tendered and drafted players are eligible to try out for any team in any league other than the NAHL in the U.S. and Canada.

Paul Chryst sat at a table in Greensboro, North Carolina, answering questions from the media. The third-year Pitt head coach was certainly anxious to wrap up the interview session and catch his plane back to Pittsburgh, but he was also at ease.
Editor's DeskFeature OnePitt Football
The Steelers had a productive offseason, but nevertheless must replace several veterans. Here's a look at who's gone and how their absences may impact the team.
Feature TwoPure Steel
Here’s what we know: Mike Johnston wasn’t the Penguins’ first choice to replace Dan Bylsma this summer.
Blue LineFeature ThreeTop Story
When Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis June 10, he made an immediate impact, going on a 14-game hitting streak and adding a consistent bat at the top of the lineup.
Feature FourNorth Shore Notes
PSR VIDEO
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 1 USS HS GOTWHigh School TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 2Pirates TV Channel
Full size video and summary... COGOS Feature MatchupMisc YouTube Player 3High School TV Channel
With a brand new playoff system in place this season, it doesn't matter who finishes No. 1 at the end of the regular season -- the top four teams will meet in a two-round tournament to decide the national champion.
Custom 1National
A quick glimpse at the 2014 Pitt football teams reveals some major red flags. A veteran quarterback and the program's all-time leading wide receiver have departed for the NFL.
Custom 2Pitt FootballTop Story
After 45 years of one head coach and two more of another, a different figure will be pacing up and down the sidelines at Beaver Stadium this season.
Custom 3Penn StateTop Story
The last two years have not been what WVU football fans were expecting. Ever since the Mountaineers made the switch to the Big 12, their success has slowly dwindled.
Custom 4WVU