Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Interior All Stars

(Chad Gehon and J.F. Boisvert)

Congratulations to Smokies forwards Chad Gehon and J.F. Boisvert for being named to this year's BCHL Interior Conference All-Star Team. They are both deserving of the honour after very strong first halfs. Gehon has put up a very impressive 13 goals, 23 assists and 36 points in only 27 games so far this season. He's a third year veteran who has been Trail's most dynamic offensive threat. Boisvert made a quick adjustment to the BCHL as a rookie from Quebec and has notched 9 goals, 23 assists and 32 points in 29 games. He and Ryan Bulach have been terrific together and a force on the wall. Congratulations to Chad and J.F. for their well deserved honour.

Click here for the full release, but for now here's the roster:

Sean Ambrosie - Prince George Spruce Kings
JF Boisvert - Trail Smoke Eaters
Keenan Desmet - Salmon Arm Silverbacks

Chad Gehon - Trail Smoke Eaters
Trevor Hertz - Quesnel Millionaires
Connor Jones - Vernon Vipers

Curtis McKenzie - Penticton Vees
Denver Manderson - Penticton Vees
Conor Morrison - Salmon Arm Silverbacks
Sam Muchalla - Prince George Spruce Kings
Braden Pimm - Vernon Vipers
Mark Zengerle - Salmon Arm Silverbacks

Kyle Bigos - Vernon Vipers
Zach Davies - Prince George Spruce Kings

Matt Grassi - Salmon Arm Silverbacks
Wes McLeod - Prince George Spruce Kings
Cory Pritz - Westside Warriors
Justin Schultz - Westside Warriors

Kevin Genoe - Prince George Spruce Kings
Andrew Hammond - Vernon Vipers
Harrison May - Merritt Centennials

A couple of things strike me when reading that list. First of all that the Prince George Spurce Kings lead the conference with five players on the team. All those players are certainly deserving, but it seems odd to me that they would have five players while Trail, Westside and Penticton (three teams ahead of them in the standings) are only sending two players to the game. I'm not saying that to denigrate the play or achievements of any of those players, but it seems to me there could easily have been three from PG and three from two of those other teams that only have two players going.

Penticton, Wetsside and Trail all have players with comparable achievements to those of Sean Ambrosie and Wes McLeod. I'm thinking of Garrett Milan, Ryan Viseli or Zack Josepher from Penticton. Trevor Bailey or Jordan Gagne from Westside. What about Ryan Bulach, Andrew Pickering, Paul Mailey or Brandon Clark from Trail? I'd say Nick Sandor too if not for his injury.

Ambrosie has more points than all those forwards I mentioned, but that doesn't tell the whole story. A guy like Bulach for example has taken his game up to another level this season at both ends of the ice and in the dressing room. He's been perhaps the best two-way player in the Interior while putting up a point per game pace and leading a dressing room full of rookies to 18 wins in 30 games.

McLeod has 2 more points than say a guy like Brandon Clark, but has any defenseman meant more to his team's early success this season than Clark? He scored 3 overtime winners and 4 game winning goals. He's been out there in every key situation delivering with offensive numbers, defensive stops, physical play and leadership. He's been the veteran leader of a young defensive crew that has surprised the league. Again I'm not saying Clark on an individual basis is absolutely 100% more deserving than McLeod, I'm saying the spots could easily have been spread out more evenly with justified selections.

Those are just guys from Trail.

As pointed out by Ryan Pinder on his blog, Penticton's Zack Josepher has 27 points in 30 games from the blue line. What about Kevin Jebson who has solidified the goaltending in Westside? 18 year old Jordan Grant who has been producing at both ends of the ice on an offensively depleted Merritt team. Quesnel's Mitchell Smith who has teamed with Hertz to create one of the most dynamic one/two punches in the league this year and who has put up 34 points on an injury riddled Millionaires squad.

I know the All Star selections were done by a vote from coaches around the league, but I also think there should be a little bit more balance. I'm sure some exceptions were made to get guys from the struggling teams into the game so obviously the voting system isn't entirely to the letter by the book here. I just think some tweaks could have been made to make this a more representative team while still putting deserving players on the squad.

That being said, all the players deserve the be there. I picked on Ambrosie and McLeod, but both those players have had terrific seasons that should be recognized. I just think there were some excellent players on excellent teams who should have perhaps been given more consideration.

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