NIHL South 2 End Of Season Awards 2018-19

The NIHL South 2 (Wilkinson) End of Season Awards return for a second season, with 482days once again reaching out to all the clubs in the league to establish a panel of managers, coaches, and senior players to vote on the awards.

There were no restrictions on non-British trained players, and the only rule was that you couldn’t vote for anyone within your own club.

Player of the Season will be announced at the Finals weekend in Bracknell, but the Coach and Team of the Season can be announced as follows:

Coach of the Season

Lukas Smital (Slough Jets)

Smital joined the Jets as player-coach last season, and took them from rock bottom to seventh place. This season he went one better, as he built a team that won the league title in spectacular fashion. Smital gave youth a chance throughout the season, playing with four lines and giving a lot of ice time to junior players. Special mention must also be made of assistant coach Joe Ciccarello, who took over coaching duties when Smital was banned for two months and also received votes in this category.

Photo: James Assinder

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All Star Team – Line 1

Netminder – Christian Cole (Solent Devils)

After being named on the second line of the All Star Team last season, “Chico” Cole went one better this time around and was named as the best netminder of the season. He logged a save percentage of 92.86% and conceded just 58 goals all season long, as he helped the south coast side concede the lowest number of goals of any team in the league.

Photo: Kevin Slyfield

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Defenceman – Josh Florey (Oxford City Stars)

Having played as a forward for much of his career, 27-year-old veteran Florey dropped back to defence this season. And the move paid off, as he impressed his peers and was voted onto the All Star Team. He was still able to contribute offensively with 16 points, while his cool head at the back helped the Stars to only concede 70 goals this campaign – only Solent had a better defence.

Photo: Flyfifer Photography

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Defenceman – Alex Staples (Oxford City Stars)

Our first returnee from last season, Staples was also voted on the first line of the All Star Team 12 months ago. The 29-year-old always impresses with his strong positioning and consistency, while he is a real leader on and off the ice for the Stars. He chipped in from the blueline with 17 points, while 84 penalty minutes show that he is not afraid to play physically when it is called for.

Photo: James Assinder

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Forward – Ross Brears (Chelmsford Chieftains)

Chelmsford’s talismanic forward Brears had a breakout year offensively; having never topped 65 points in a season in his career thus far, the 27-year-old smashed his personal records this year as he scored 42 goals and assisted on a further 52, to record 94 points for the season. This put him second in league scoring only behind last year’s Player of the Season, Richard Facey, with Brears playing one game less than the Solent forward.

Photo: James Assinder

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Forward – Lukas Smital (Slough Jets)

Not content with being named Coach of the Season, Lukas Smital is also a part of the All Star Team as a forward too – for the second season in a row. Despite only playing 19 of a possible 28 games, the Czech veteran was fourth in league scoring with 27 goals and 57 assists for 84 points – a rate of 4.42 points scored per game. He oozes class all over the ice and makes the game look simple, and is almost impossible to defend against.

Photo: Flyfifer Photography

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Forward – Richard Facey (Solent Devils)

Also returning from the first line of last season’s All Star Team is Richard Facey. The Solent forward had another fantastic campaign as he scored 15 points more than last season to reach exactly 100 points this time around (43 goals and 57 assists) for his best ever individual season, and helped the Devils finish the season level on points with champions Slough.

Photo: Kevin Slyfield

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All Star Team – Line 2

Netminder – Brad Windebank (NIHL2 Raiders)
Defencemen – Jack Tarczycki (Bracknell Hornets) and Dominic Hopkins (Oxford City Stars)
Forwards – Sean Norris (Slough Jets), Sam Talbot (Slough Jets) and Tommy Huggett (NIHL2 Raiders).

April 19th, 2019 by