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SIJHL names its first and second all-star teams

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THUNDER BAY, Ont.—The SIJHL announced last Wednesday its first and second all-star teams for the 2019-20 season.

First Team

FORWARD: CODY BRUCHKOWSKI, THUNDER BAY NORTH STARS—Bruchkowski had a tremendous campaign, racking up 58 goals and assisting on 36 others for 94 points while earning SIJHL MVP accolades, as well as helping the North Stars wrap-up the league's regular season title.

Adding in the five tallies he collected with the Brockville Braves (CCHL) before joining Thunder Bay in early October, his goal total was the most in the entire Canadian Junior Hockey League this season with a CJHL-best 63.

In 50 outings with the North Stars, he was only held off the game sheet on four occasions.

Among his other accomplishments was league-high 21-game point streak as well as a run with goals in a dozen straight match-ups.

The 58 goals Bruchkowski scored this season is the third-highest total for a single campaign in league tenure.

FORWARD: JACOB BROWN, NORTH STARS—The 20-year-old finished second in SIJHL offensive numbers for his hometown side with a career-high 76 points in 54 games played.

Brown also set personal single-season bests in goals and assists with 34 and 42 respectively.

His five game-winning markers tied him for fourth among all league skaters and he was second overall in power play points with 21.

A consistent performer, Brown boasted consecutive game point streaks over 10 on three separate occasions.

FORWARD: JACK MICHELS, THIEF RIVER FALLS NORSKIES—Michels performed at well over a point-per-game pace for Thief River Falls after joining the club in October, collecting 57 in 43 outings.

Hailing from DeForest, Wis., he led the Norskies with 30 goals on the year and had the second-most game-winning markers in the league with eight.

Michels was the SIJHL's Monkey Team Sports, by Northland, Performer of the Month for November and sported a 16-game point streak during the campaign.

DEFENCE: CONNOR KALTHOFF, NORSKIES—The 19-year-old Sartell, Mn. native played at a point-per-game clip for Thief River Falls during the campaign with 48 in as many outings on 13 tallies and 35 assists.

Those numbers led all SIJHL blueliners and also tied him for 11th overall in league offensive production.

Of his 13 goals, six came on the power play, while three more were game-winners.

DEFENCE: LOGAN MIHALCIN, NORTH STARS—The veteran blueliner led all SIJHL defencemen in assists this season with 39.

Mihalcin also finished second in total points among league rearguards with 43 in 46 games for his hometown club.

The Thunder Bay native had career bests in helpers and points to wrap-up his junior 'A' career.

GOALTENDER: ZACH WILLMS, RED LAKE MINERS—The 20-year-old from Camrose, Alta. had a strong campaign for Red Lake as he led all SIJHL netminders in wins, goals-against average and save percentage at 27, 2.80 and .925 respectively, while his three shutouts tied him for second-most in league play.

He also set a SIJHL record for total career victories with 52, surpassing the 51 that both current Buffalo Sabres goalkeeper Carter Hutton (North Stars/Golden Hawks) and Josh Mrakic (Bearcats/Golden Hawks) had in their time in the league.

Second Team

FORWARD: BRYCE JOHNSON, NORSKIES—A solid campaign saw the 19-year-old Roseau, Mn., product lead Thief River Falls in offensive production, registering 59 points in 49 outings on 20 tallies and 39 assists, all of which were personal single-season bests in league play.

He also finished fourth in overall SIJHL scoring, while accumulating just four minor penalties on the year.

A veteran of 104 league contests, Johnson boasts 109 points on 39 markers and 70 helpers to his credit.

FORWARD: SPENCER MILNE, MINERS—The 20-year-old from Edmonton, Alta. was a solid contributor for the Miners on the year, scoring 24 times and helping set-up 25 others, for 49 points in 47 contests.

Milne provided 17 power-play points, including seven man advantage markers, two shorthanded efforts and four game-winning goals.

His goal total of 24 was a single-season high while picking up two hat tricks and finishing in the top 10 in SIJHL scoring.

FORWARD: XAVIER HALTERMAN, DRYDEN GM ICE DOGS—A solid contributor on both ends of the ice, Halterman led the Ice Dogs in scoring this season with 49 points in 52 outings.

The 19-year-old from St. Albert, Alta. notched a dozen markers and assisted on 39 others while also aiding on 34 per cent of Dryden's power-play goal success on the year.

Halterman twice captured league Play It Again Sports player of the week laurels and had five points while his club was down a man, helping Dryden lead the league in shorthanded goals with 14.

He also provided 14 more points when his club was on the man advantage.

DEFENCE: CARSON LUX, MINERS—A solid defender, Lux's efforts on the backend helped Red Lake allow the fewest goals-against in 2019-20 at 176.

The 20-year-old from Drayton Valley, Alta. was also a key contributor offensively, leading all SIJHL defencemen in power play points with 20.

Lux set personal highs in goals, assists and points this season with eight, 34 and 42, respectively, and finished third in offensive numbers among league D-men.

DEFENCE: MACKENZIE FLETT, FORT FRANCES LAKERS—Boasting good puck-control skills and a solid shot, Flett led the Lakers in points among their defensive group on the year.

The 20-year-old from Yorkton, Sask. scored five times and helped set-up 28 others, establishing career-bests in assists and points.

Overall, Flett saw action in 151 SIJHL games and nine more in the playoffs.

GOALTENDER: HUNTER ADAMS, WISCONSIN LUMBERJACKS—Adams gave the first-year Lumberjacks a chance to win in every appearance he made, finishing second among all league goaltenders in save percentage at .917.

The 19-year-old from Arlington, Texas had a strong January, going 6-1 while picking up a pair of player of the week nods, as well as earning performer of the month laurels.

Adams finished fourth among league netminders in wins and goals-against average.

Also last Wednesday, the SIJHL named its Honourable Mention all-star selections for the 2019-20 campaign.

Honourable Mentions

FORWARD: TYLER JOHNSON, NORSKIES—The Norskies' assistant captain concluded his second year in the SIJHL with career highs in goals (19); assists (43) and points (62) to lead his club offensively.

The 21-year-old from Monroe, Wis. ended up third in league offensive numbers

FORWARD: RYAN HOWE, MINERS—A solid initial campaign in the SIJHL saw Howe play at over a point-per-game pace with Red Lake as he accumulated 58 in 55 outings on 20 tallies and 38 assists.

The Caledon, Ont. product, who turned 19 in late January, saw his numbers pace all league rookies and had him finish fifth overall among all SIJHL skaters in offensive production.

FORWARD: NIKOLAS CAMPBELL, NORTH STARS—As the youngest full-time player in the league this season, the 17-year-old Thunder Bay product finished second in league rookie scoring with 24 tallies along with as many assists, for 48 points.

He was also selected by NHL Central Scouting to participate in this past January's CJHL Prospects Game in Hamilton, Ont.

DEFENCE: AMRAJ GILL, ICE DOGS—In his initial campaign in the SIJHL, Gill provided 35 points in 52 contests for Dryden.

Hailing from Surrey, B.C., the now 19-year-old blueliner tied for third in helpers among league D-men with 34, which also topped rookie rearguards, and was knotted for fourth in total numbers with 35.

DEFENCE: CAMERON BIRKELAND, LUMBERJACKS—Birkeland led the expansion Lumberjacks defensive corps with a team-high 27 points, including eight tallies.

Three of his markers were game-winners for the 20-year-old Alexandria, Mn. native.

After spending 2018-19 with the Minnesota Iron Rangers, he posted personal highs in nearly every offensive category for Wisconsin.

GOALTENDER: JACOB ANTHONY, ICE DOGS—In his final season in the junior 'A' ranks, the Grande Prairie, Alta. product finished second among league netminders in wins with 18.

Anthony also made the second-most saves in league play this season with 1,249 while finishing with 1,848 in total in his career, along with 31 victories for Dryden.

He concludes his time in the SIJHL with 31 victories and 1,847 stops.

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