Bruchkowski in winners circle again

Thunder Bay North Stars forward Cody Bruchkowski, right, scores an overtime goal against the Dryden GM Ice Dogs last November at Fort William Gardens. Despite the premature end to the season, Bruchkowski was named Canadian junior A hockey’s second star of the month for February.

Thunder Bay North Stars forward and Superior International Junior Hockey League scoring champion Cody Bruchkowski added another post-season accolade on Thursday.

The Canadian Junior Hockey League announced Bruchkowski as the second star of the Gongshow Gear’s 3 Stars of the Month for February. Goaltender Owen Say of the Powassan Voodoos was the first star, while Jeremy Cote of the Titan de Princeville was the third star.

Bruchkowski was named the SIJHL’s most valuable player earlier this month, automatically making him a finalist for national junior A hockey player of the year.

The 20-year-old Cochenour, Ont., native scored 16 goals and eight assists in 11 games in February as the North Stars went 8-3-0. Bruchkowski was on a record-breaking scoring pace before the regular season was cancelled on March 13 due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

He led the SIJHL with 58 goals and 36 assists in 50 games. Bruchkowski’s total in junior A action is 63 when including his start with the Brockville Braves.

Meanwhile, Say went 7-0-0 for the Voodoos in February and was third overall in goals-against average at 1.90 before the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League season ended. Cote racked up 29 points in eight February games for the Titans in the Quebec loop.

This past season was Bruchkowski’s first with the North Stars. He played two games during the 2016-17 season while a member of the Thunder Bay Kings. After three seasons in the Saskatchewan and Central Ontario leagues, Bruchkowski returned to the Northwest in the early part of the season.

The defending SIJHL champion North Stars were slated to be the top seed in the playoffs.

The Red Lake Miners, who lost to the Stars in last year’s final, were the second seed. On Thursday, their captain picked up an league award.

Shaye Sommerfeld was named the Best Defensive Forward award recipient for the 2019-20 campaign.

The 20-year-old from Drayton Valley, Alta., earned the honour over fellow nominees Bryce Johnson of the Thief River Falls Norskies and Jacob Brown of the Thunder Bay North Stars.

Sommerfeld helped his side defensively in allowing the fewest goals-against in league play during the year at 176.

He also scored 20 goals and added 20 assists to finish fifth in team scoring. This marks the second consecutive season a member of the Miners has won this award. Stratford Pickett was last year’s recipient.

The SIJHL awards for Top Defenceman, Top Goaltender and Coach of the Year will be announced over the next three days.

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