The Spinal Column Newsweekly is proud to present its 2011 All-Area Hockey Team, made up of the best lakes area varsity hockey players during the 2010-11 season.
Selections were not only based upon players’ statistics, but also nominations from area coaches; other honors a player received, such as conference awards; and overall contributions to their team throughout the season.
As always, with so many talented nominees, narrowing down the final selections was a difficult process.
Orchard Lake St. Mary’s was battle-tested by opponents in the new Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League, as well as out-of-state teams before putting together a strong state tournament run and advancing to its first state final since 2008, where the Eaglets fell.
St. Mary’s is represented on the All-Area First Team by its standout defenseman, and a slew of Eaglets also help make up the All-Area Second Team.
Not to be outdone, Waterford Mott rolled its way to a Kensington Lakes Activities Association (KLAA) North Division title, three wins over rival Waterford Kettering and a regional championship thanks in part to the efforts of two All-Area First Team members.
Also included on the All-Area First Team are two Waterford Kettering Captains who helped their team contend during the 2010-11 season.
ALL-AREA FIRST TEAM
Garnering 40 goals and 25 assists for a total of 60 points in 25 games this season, Murphy set Kettering records for goals and points in a season and also had 7 game-winning goals during the year.
“What made Nick so special this season was the fact that every team we played keyed on him and yet he still was one of the top players and scorers in all of Michigan high school hockey,” said Kettering Head Coach Dan Whitener.
Murphy earned All-KLAA Lakes Conference honors as well as an All-State Division 2 Honorable Mention. Whitener said he will be playing junior hockey next season.
Finishing with 43 goals and 33 assists for a total of 76 points, Larkin earned an All-State Division 2 Second Team selection and All-KLAA Lakes Conference honors in helping lead the Corsairs to division and regional championships.
Garnering 41 goals and 37 assists for a total of 78 points this season, Clemence was named to the All-State Division 2 Second Team and was awarded All-KLAA Lakes Conference honors for his strong senior season.
Having played all four years of high school with the Captains, Gilliland made sure his senior season was the strongest. He finished with 13 goals and 18 assists and earned an All-State Division 2 Honorable Mention and All-KLAA Lakes Conference honors.
“Taylor had the opportunity to play junior hockey this past season but chose to return to the Captains, not only to play with his brother for the first time ever, but also because he truly cared about every other player on our team and did not want to disappoint them by leaving early,” Whitener said.
Gilliland, who also was awarded All-State Academic status, is set to attend Michigan State University in the fall and is expected to play for the Spartans’ ACHA club team.
Orchard Lake St. Mary’s
Black earned a spot on the All-State Division 1 Second Team as he finished the 2010-11 season with a goal and 11 assists in helping the Eaglets reach the 2011 MHSAA Division 1 State Final.
Walled Lake Northern
Hellebuyck completed a storied four-year career at Walled Lake Northern by earning his second consecutive Division 2 All-State Honorable Mention, as well as his third straight All-KLAA Lakes Conference selection as he finished with a save percentage of over 93 percent for the Knights.
“In my opinion Connor is the top goaltender in the area. He is a great young man as well. He has worked hard to improve his game since his freshman season. It’s kids like Connor that really make going to the rink enjoyable,” said Northern Head Coach Claude Tunison Jr.
ALL-AREA SECOND TEAM
• Trevor Bardallis, forward, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s;
• Cody Milan, forward, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s;
• Zach Rogow, forward, West Bloomfield;
• Matt Latham, defenseman, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s;
• Andrew Murphy, defenseman, West Bloomfield;
• Mitch Leist, goaltender, Huron Valley Lakeland.
Jordan Blanzy, Huron Valley Lakeland; Kyle Zunich, Huron Valley Lakeland; Ryan Biondo, Huron Valley Lakeland; Graham Shearer, Huron Valley Lakeland; Zach Zimmerman, Waterford Kettering; Emmett Smith, Waterford Mott; Andrew Bozimowski, Walled Lake Northern; Alan Boozer, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s; Austin Julvezan, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s; Joeseph Janiga, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s; Connor Lyons, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s; Andrew Wood, Walled Lake Central; Kyle Shreve, Walled Lake Western; Julian Pierce; Walled Lake Western; Cooper Nye, Walled Lake Western; Dylan Kamen, West Bloomfield; Storm Chester, West Bloomfield.