Dennis Sievers/Peoria Rivermen
The Southern Professional Hockey League on Wednesday announced its 2013-2014 All-Rookie Team as selected by a vote of SPHL coaches, general managers and media representatives.
F - Garrett Vermeersch, Peoria Rivermen
F - Joe Caveney, Pensacola Ice Flyers
F - Francis Drolet, Knoxville Ice Bears
D - Mike Grace, Mississippi RiverKings
D - Jason Gray, Columbus Cottonmouths
G - Kevin Genoe, Huntsville Havoc
Garrett Vermeersch of the Peoria Rivermen finished second among all SPHL players in points (57), third in goals (27), game-winning goals (six) and power-play assists (14) and fourth in power-play goals (nine). Prior to turning pro, Vermeersch (Macomb, MI) played four seasons of collegiate hockey at Northeastern University where he scored 23 goals and added 50 assists.
Joe Caveney of the Pensacola Ice Flyers also finished second in the SPHL with 57 points, was fourth in goals (26) and fifth in assists (31) despite only playing 39 games due to a pair of call-ups to the ECHL where he played 14 games. Caveney (Fitchburg, MA) played 11 games for the Ice Flyers last March following his senior season at Fitchburg State College, where he earned USCHO East All-American honors and led all Division III players in points per game, assists per game and power-play goals.
Francis Drolet of the Knoxville Ice Bears finished third among all rookies with 24 goals, fourth with 29 assists, and was fifth in the SPHL with 53 points and nine power-play goals. Drolet (Lachine, QC) played collegiately at Brown University, where he was named Assistant Captain his senior season and was a three-time member of the ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team.
Mike Grace of the Mississippi RiverKings finished fourth among all SPHL defensemen in both assists (27) and power-play assists (13) and was sixth with 30 points. Grace (Rochester, NY) played four seasons at Plattsburgh State, where he was a three-time SUNYAC All-Conference honoree and named a 2012 CCM Hockey Division II-III Men's Hockey Second Team All-American.
Jason Gray of the Columbus Cottonmouths finished third among all rookies with 12 power-play assists, was fourth in goals by a defenseman with eight and sixth in points with 30. Gray (Winnipeg, MB) played four seasons at Nipissing University, where in his senior season he was named the Leckie Award winner as the defenseman who best combined academic excellence and high standard of play.
Kevin Genoe of the Huntsville Havoc went 16-11-1, finishing third among SPHL goaltenders with a 2.46 goals against average and fourth with a .915 save percentage. Before turning pro, Genoe (Qualicum Beach, BC) played four seasons at Michigan Tech University where he was a three-time Western Collegiate Hockey Association Scholar-Athlete, earning a 3.72 cumulative grade point average in civil engineering. Genoe was also named the Norbert Matovich Memorial Award Winner as the Huskies’ outstanding freshman in 2009-10.
The league will announce its First and Second-Team All-SPHL rosters on Thursday.
The Rivermen begin their quest for the 2014 President’s Cup tonight with a 7:15 p.m. puck drop against the Columbus Cottonmouths at Carver Arena. For tickets and more information, please visit the Rivermen office located inside the Peoria Civic Center, or call 309-676-1040. The game can be heard locally on CD Country 107.9 FM or online here. Fans can also follow along via the live video and audio stream atwww.americaonesports.com.