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SIJHL announces its CCM Hockey 1st & 2nd All-Stars teams for 2017-18

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced Thursday its CCM Hockey first and second all-star teams, for the 2017-18 season.

These annual awards, which are presented by CCM Hockey, recognize the individual accomplishments of six forwards, four defencemen and two goaltenders during the course of regular season play in the SIJHL.

Along with the players, two head coaches, general managers and individuals who serve in trainer and/or equipment manager capacities with their respective clubs have also been honoured for their efforts over the 2017-18 campaign.

The CCM Hockey first and second all-stars were selected, in conjunction with voting done by each of the SIJHL’s member clubs.

“We at the SIJHL congratulate each of the recipients of the CCM Hockey all-star team awards for their significant contributions and achievements during the 2017-18 regular season,” offered SIJHL Commissioner Bryan Graham.

“The SIJHL would also once again extend our appreciation to CCM Hockey for their commitment and partnership of this, the fifth annual CCM Hockey first and second all-star teams,” added Graham.

The following are the CCM Hockey first and second all-star team recipients for the 2017-18 SIJHL season:

CCM HOCKEY 1ST ALL-STAR TEAM

FORWARD: JACEN BRACKO, DRYDEN GM ICE DOGS – Earns the accolades for a second consecutive season. … Was earlier named the league’s Mallon’s Corporate Impressions/Play It Again Sports Most Valuable Player. … In 56 games played, the 20-year-old Calgary, Alta., product led all SIJHL skaters in both goals and points with 48 and 81 respectively. … Bracko also finished in the Top 10 in the league in assists (33), shorthanded markers (3) and game-winning goals (5) as did his nine power play tallies, 12-man advantage helpers and 21 extra man points. … Was twice named CCM Hockey Performer of the Month. … Marks the second straight year Bracko has been named a first team all-star.

FORWARD: PARKER SIMONSON, THIEF RIVER FALLS NORSKIES – Was second in league scoring with 68 points. … His 37 tallies also ranked him second among skaters. … Finished second in the SIJHL in game-winning goals with seven. … The 20-year-old from Bismarck, N.D., also produced 20 power play points for the Norskies. … Was a finalist for league MVP honours. … Was tabbed CCM Hockey Performer of the Month for October.

FORWARD: BRADLEY THROWER, THUNDER BAY NORTH STARS – The Thunder Bay native averaged over a point-per-game this season with 60 in 54 outings as he scored 26 times and helped set-up 34 others. … The veteran forward led the SIJHL in power play goals with 12. … Thrower’s 29-man advantage points topped all league skaters. … Was a finalist for MVP laurels. Was selected the CCM Hockey Performer of the Month for November.

DEFENCE: CORY DENNIS, DRYDEN GM ICE DOGS – Was chosen the SIJHL’s Top Defenceman for 2017-18. … In 54 games this season, the veteran blueliner from Madison, Wis., tied for the SIJHL lead in goals among defenceman with 15 while finishing second in points with 46. … He also produced 16 power play points for the league-leading GM Ice Dogs. … In 96 career league contests, Dennis has registered 80 points, including 26 tallies.

DEFENCE: JOE NEWHOUSE, THUNDER BAY NORTH STARS – Marks the second consecutive season the Thunder Bay product has earned league all-star laurels. … Led all SIJHL defencemen in both assists and points with 40 and 47 respectively. … Also topped all blueliners in power play points with 24. … A veteran of 213 SIJHL contests, Newhouse has 154 regular season points to his credit. … Was a finalist for Top Defenceman honours.

GOALTENDER: – BRANDON BODNAR, THUNDER BAY NORTH STARS – Bodnar was earlier named the league’s Top Goaltender for 2017-18. … On the year, the 20-year-old Fort Frances, Ont., product led all league goalkeepers in wins while going 23-7-2-1 overall with a 2.64 goals-against average and .918 save percentage. … His eight shutouts were just two off the league record set by former North Stars’ netminder and current NHL – St. Louis Blues goalkeeper Carter Hutton back in 2005-06.

COACH: ROB DEGAGNE, THUNDER BAY NORTH STARS – Earned SIJHL Coach of the Year honours previously. … In his first season behind the North Stars bench, DeGagne led Thunder Bay to a 38-13-4-1 record, including guiding his club to a 22-3-1-1 run the second half of the campaign. … It also marked a 13-point improvement from the totals the club posted in 2016-17.

GENERAL MANAGER: DEREK SWEET-COULTER, ENGLISH RIVER MINERS – A tireless recruiter, Sweet-Coulter once again did a tremendous job formulating the English River roster and icing a line-up that was ever-competitive on a nightly basis. … Also coaches the team and was on the staff of Canada West that won gold at the 2017 World Junior A Challenge in Truro, N.S. … Is also heavily involved within the community, with other members in the organization, in their continued efforts in Red Lake and surrounding area.

TRAINER/EQUIPMENT MANAGER: BRYAN COULSON, ENGLISH RIVER MINERS – A selfless and dedicated volunteer, Coulson has wholeheartedly committed his efforts in serving the Miners in their trainer and equipment manager capacities.

CCM HOCKEY 2ND ALL-STAR TEAM

FORWARD: ERIC STOUT, DRYDEN GM ICE DOGS – Finished third in SIJHL offensive production with 67 points after scoring 30 times and assisting on 37 others. … Also produced 10 power play markers and three game-winners. … The 20-year-old from Brainerd, Minn., has 122 points in 94 career league contests.

FORWARD: MICHAEL JOHNSON, THIEF RIVER FALLS NORSKIES – Was over a point-per-game player for Thief River Falls in 2017-18. … In 54 games played, Johnson produced 64 points for the Norskies on a dozen tallies and a league-high 52 assists. … The 20-year-old from Thief River Falls also picked up 20 power play points.

FORWARD: KEIGHAN GERRIE, THUNDER BAY NORTH STARS – Was earlier named CCM Hockey Rookie of the Year. … As the youngest player in the SIJHL, finished second in scoring among first-year skaters with 51 points in 53 outings. … He tied for the league lead in goals scored by rookies with 24. … The Thunder Bay product turns 17 Saturday.

DEFENCE: LOGAN JACKSON, THIEF RIVER FALLS NORSKIES – An anchor on defence for the Norskies, Jackson bolstered his team’s efforts in allowing the fewest goals against in the league this season at 133. … Also chipped in 13 points offensively on three goals and 10 helpers. … He also serves as captain of Thief River Falls.

DEFENCE: KYLE AUGER, THUNDER BAY NORTH STARS – Auger immediately bolstered the North Stars fortunes when he joined the club’s line-up. … He topped all SIJHL defencemen in point-per-game average at 1.41. … He also tied for the league lead among blueliners in goals with 15 and paced all D-men with six game-winning markers. … Was named CCM Hockey Performer of the Month for February. … The North Stars were 22-3-1-1 with Auger in the line-up this season.

GOALTENDER: BAILEY SCHMITZ, THIEF RIVER FALLS NORSKIES – His efforts between the pipes helped backstop Thief River Falls to a second-place finish in the regular season standings. … Schmitz’s 20 wins were the second-most in league play. … The 20-year-old from Red Lake Falls, Minn., led all SIJHL netminders in save percentage at .927. … He was second in both goals-against average (2.44) and shutouts (6).

COACH: COLE WORKMAN, THIEF RIVER FALLS NORSKIES – Did a tremendous job for a second consecutive campaign behind the Norskies’ bench. … Workman guided Thief River Falls to a league-best 41 victories this season. … In his first two years as head coach his club sports a 71-32-4-5 record. … His efforts also helped the Norskies finish up in 11th spot in the final CJHL Rankings for 2017-18. … Was a finalist for SIJHL Coach of the Year.

GENERAL MANAGER: SCOTT/KRIS KELLAWAY, THUNDER BAY NORTH STARS – The North Stars duo helped build the Thunder Bay roster that featured transactions, which saw the return of a number of Lakehead products to the city, who all went on to have impressive seasons for the club.

TRAINER/EQUIPMENT MANAGER: HAILEY CLENDENNING, FORT FRANCES LAKERS – Earns the all-star honours for his significant contributions with the Fort Frances Lakers in her initial campaign in the league. … Was also named as an athletic trainer for the SIJHL All-Star Game in Eveleth, Minn., earlier this season.

HONOURABLE MENTION

FORWARD
Evan Walls, Dryden GM Ice Dogs
Mitchell Soderberg, Thief River Falls Norskies
Alex Maticic, Thunder Bay North Stars

DEFENCE
Brody Jennings, English River Miners
Connor Bowey, Thief River Falls Norskies

GOALTENDER
Michael Lenko, English River Miners

COACH
Kurt Walsten, Dryden GM Ice Dogs

GENERAL MANAGER
Kurt Walsten, Dryden GM Ice Dogs

TRAINER/EQUIPMENT MANAGER
Don Dowswell, Thunder Bay North Stars

ABOUT THE CCM HOCKEY 1ST & 2ND ALL-STAR TEAMS – This marks the fifth time in the 17-season history of the SIJHL that that league has awarded first and second all-star teams. Through partnership with CCM Hockey the two all-star squads honour the elite talent within the league on and off the ice as well as behind the bench.

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