BY DAN STICKRADT
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to some technical difficulties, NOS is reposting some of its fall and winter sports All-Area teams from the 2011-12 school year.)
For the 10th straight season, at least one area boys hockey team advanced to the state quarterfinals in one of the three divisions. Additionally, eight players with local ties earned a spot on the coaches associations All-State teams in 2012.
That just helps showcase the amount of boys hockey talent in the NorthOaklandSports.com coverage area this season. There was plenty to go around.
Over on the All-North Oakland Area Team, there are several players that shined this past winter. The NOS squad, which features a first team of six players and a second- and third-team of seven players each, was selected by NOS sfaff in conjunction with area coaches. There are 16 seniors, three juniors and one sophomore in this group, plus honorable mentions.
Below are the profiles of each of the players named to one of the three teams:
JAMES NAHIKIAN, Troy sr. F: A year ago, Troy only won two games and scored under 50 goals as a team. This season the Colts had one of the state’s biggest turnarounds and that had a lot to do with the scoring touch of Nahikian. Playing high school for the first time, Nahikian scored 43 goals with eight assists for 51 points, with the goals scored and total points leading the area and the goals and points becoming new school records. Nahikian, who will play at Bowling Green next season, also posted a plus-22 margin. He earned Al-State First Team honors in Division 1 and All-Oakland County Second Team status.
“James is the first member of the Troy High hockey to be named first team all-state,” said coach Tim Zimmerman. “He set the school record for goals scored. He was a team leader throughout the season and always deflected credit to his line mates and others. He is a player that the underclassmen looked up to during practices and game.”
ADAM LARKIN, Clarkston jr. D: A lock-down defenseman, Larkin also had some offensive skills in his arsenal. The junior finishe3d the year as the OAA Red Division MVP after scoring 21 goals and 20 assists for 41 points, best of all league defensemen. In league play, he collected nine goals and 12 assists. Larkin, a third-year varsity veteran, earned All-State First Team and All-County Second Team honors.
NICK BALAVICH, Lake Orion sr. C: A three-year varsity performer, Balavich led the Dragons to back-to-back OAA Red Division league championships and three straight berths in the Division 1 regional finals, including Final Four as a junior. The senior was named to the OAA-Red, All-County First Team and All-State Honorable Mention honors after scoring 15 goals with 19 assists for 34 points. Balavich is also a fine sprinter on the Dragons’ track team that should be one of the best in the state this season. He is exploring options for college and junior hockey.
NOLAN CHAPMAN, Oxford sr. F: A four-year varsity performer, Chapman helped the Wildcats make a slow steady climb to being a respec5table program during his tenure, which included a league runner-up spot as a sophomore, the OAA White Division title as a junior and a promotion to the OAA Red Division this season. This year Chapman earned All-State Second Team honors in Division 2 as well as being All-County Honorable Mention and All-OAA by leading Oxford in scoring. He finished with 18 goals and 23 assists for 41 points.
MATT ZUELCH, Rochester Stoney Creek sr. F: Stoney Creek may have struggled in league play this season, but not in the postseason, as Zuelch helped led his team to its second regional title in three years. This season Zuelch finished with 15 goals and 18 assists for 33 points and earned All-State Second Team in Division 2 along with OAA-Red Division and All-County Honorable Mention status.
DREW GALASSO, Lake Orion sr. G: The talented Galasso was more like a one-year wonder this past winter, playing his first and only high school season and emerging as one of the state’s top netminders in the process. An All-County First Team and All-State First Team honoree, Galasso was the backstop of a defense that shared the OAA Red Division title with Clarkston. His numbers were sterling, a 12-6-2 record and a top-10 ranking most of the season, 994 minutes, 38 goals allowed with 450 saves, a .924 save percentage and a 1.79 goals-against-average.
TAYLOR ZUKE, Rochester Stoney Creek sr. D: One of three Cougars to earn some type of All-State honors this season, Zuke garnered All-State Second Team acclaim this season in Division 2 to go along with All-OAA Red Division and All-County Honorable Mention accolades. Zuke finished the season with six goals and 18 assists all while helping the Cougars to a 3-1 postseason record.
STEVEN CARTER, Auburn Hills Avondale sr. F: An all-league golfer who helped Avondale reach the Division 2 state finals as a junior, Carter also showcased some offensive prowess out on the ice during his four seasons of varsity play for the Yellowjackets. The All-OAA White Division honoree haunted opposing goalkeepers for 27 goals and 15 assists for 42 points this season, ranking in the top five combined between the two OAA divisions.
SHANE STOCKWELL, Lake Orion sr. C: Another talented four-year varsity veteran, Stockwell was one of the leading goal scorers for the Dragons the past three years. This season he collected 16 goals and 17 assists for 33 points and earned All-OAA Red Division honors.
NICK HOCKER, Oxford sr. F: The Wildcats scored 106 goals this season, second most in the area, and Hocker was one of those high scoring threats. Hocker scored 13 goals with 20 assists for 33 points and earned All-OAA Red Division accolades after earning All-White honors as a junior.
DEAN COUWLIER, Oxford sr. D: One of three Wildcats that earned all-league honors this season Couwlier is a repeat performer on the All-Area squad as well. Anchoring his back line, contributed 11 goals and four assists for 15 points this season all while helping Oxford keep opponents to under four goals a game. An injury sidelined this four-year player for seven games this season.
MATT BOWERY, Rochester United sr. D: With United fielding a very young team that featured several sophomores and a freshman, Bowery was a steady influence on a this group which matured leaps and bounds over the course of the season. A 6-foot-3 physical specimen Bowery was an anchor on a back line while he was able to contribute four goals and 12 assists on the offensive end. He earned All-OAA Red Division honors.
Matt was a captain for RU this past season,” said coach Craig Staskowski. “He anchored the power-play, played penalty kill, and every other important situation. Matt was a very valuable part of our team this past season.”
JACK VIAZANKO, Clarkston soph. G: Viazanko took over the No. 1 spot between the pipes part-way through his freshman season and logged the most minutes at the goaltender position for the Wolves this season as a sophomore. Starting 15 games, Viazanko logged 731 minutes and posted one shutout with 38 goals allowed, 345 saves, a 2.65 goals-against-average and a .901 save percentage.
DYLAN ROSEN, Lake Orion sr. D: By a sizeable margin, the Dragons yielded the fewest goals as a team I the area this season and strong goaltending and defense was the reason. Rosen was a shut-down defenseman who caused havoc for opposing forwards. The All-OAA Red Division honoree finished the season with six goals and nine assists all while helping the Dragons post a 15-7-3 overall record and just 46 goals allowed, a new school record, to go along with four shutouts.
BRETT ST. CYR, Troy sr. F: Troy’s grand turnaround season was highlighted by that fact that they tallied an area best 132 goals this season after struggling to score whatsoever last season. St. Cyr was one of those threats in his fourth season as a varsity performer. This season St. Cyr scored 19 goals with 15 assists for 34 points and earned All-OAA White Division honors.
“Brett is the first member of the varsity hockey team at Troy to play four years,” said Zimmerman. “He fought injuries during his last three years, but he still played at a very high level. He is a quiet leader who teammates look up to and respect. He provided great leadership off the ice.”
KODY EDDY, Ortonville Brandon-Flint Kearsley-Holly Unified sr. F: One of the top snipers in the Flint Metro League, Eddy earned All-FML First Team honors this winter despite being listed at only 5-foot-10 and 135 pounds. He finished the season with 10 goals and seven assists.
“Kody was one of our toughest players,” said coach Steve Youchsz. “He scored a lot of big goals when we needed them most. Worked hard every shift and was very physical. He played big! One of his best qualities is his mentoring of our younger players.”
NATHAN GURZELL, Troy Athens jr. C: While the Red Hawks have ventured through back-to-back rebuilding campaigns with young teams, this junior was a bright spot on the ice. One of the area’s top goal scorers, Gurzell rang up 26 goals and nine assists and earned All-OAA White Division status.
ADAM BRUDERICK, Clarkston sr. F: This senior three-sport athlete is a state qualifier in both cross country and track and field and out on the ice he was a steadying force as one of just a few seniors on a team dominated by sophomores and juniors. Bruderick rang up eight goals and 12 assists this winter and also was honored as All-OAA Red Division squad.
ADAM JOHNS, Clarkston jr. D: Another veteran underclassmen in the Wolves’ lineup, Johns was a stay-at-home defenseman, rarely pushing up too far into the attack. Although he contributed two goals and 11 assists, Johns often drew the assignment of checking the opposing team’s top offensive player when on the ice.
MAXX GRANT, Rochester Stoney Creek sr. G: Grant was Mr. Clutch the second half of the season, which allowed him to gain a reputation as being one of the top goaltenders in the area. This season Grant earned All-State Honorable Mention status in Division 2 for a team that reached the Elite Eight. He posted 311 saves, a 3.34 goals-against-average, .845 save percentage and yielded only 57 goals this season.
COACH OF THE YEAR
KARL DAIEK Auburn Hills Avondale: In his second season at the helm, Daiek helped the Yellowjackets have one fine turnaround campaign. Avondale finished 17-9-0 overall, including 7-4-1 in the OAA White Division and in second place behind champion Berkley-Ferndale Unified. The 17 wins is a new school record. Avondale, which had finished under the five-hundred mark the past several years, outscored the opposition 105-89 and reached the Division 3 regional semifinals before falling to state powerhouse Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood.
2011 ALL-AREA TEAM: http://northoaklandsports.com/2011/04/05/2011-all-area-boys-hockey-state-semifinalist-lake-orion-leads-talented-cast-on-the-ice/
2012 ALL-NORTH OAKLAND AREA BOYS HOCKEY TEAM
James Nahikian Troy Senior
Nick Balavich Lake Orion Senior
Nolan Chapman Oxford Senior
Adam Larkin Clarkston Junior
Matt Zuelch Rochester Stoney Creek Senior
Drew Galasso Lake Orion Senior
Taylor Zuke Rochester Stoney Creek Senior
Steven Carter Auburn Hills Avondale Senior
Shane Stockwell Lake Orion Senior
Matt Bowery Rochester United Senior
Nick Hocker Oxford Senior
Dean Couwlier Oxford Senior
Jack Viazanko Clarkston Sophomore
Dylan Rosen Lake Orion Senior
Brett St. Cyr Troy Senior
Nathan Gurzell Troy Athens Junior
Kody Eddy Brandon-Kearsley-Holly Senior
Adam Bruderick Clarkston Senior
Adam Johns Clarkston Junior
Maxx Grant Rochester Stoney Creek Junior
COACH OF THE YEAR
Karl Daiek Auburn Hills Avondale Second Season
Auburn Hills Avondale: Justin Przyatoski, sr. F; Blake Blomberg, sr. C; Matt Andrus, sr. F; Joe Spurlin, sr. D; Craig Zimmerman, sr. D; Luke Senkowski, fr. G; Clarkston: Eric Matynowski, soph. D; Jacob LaPorte, soph. F; Zach Gootee, jr. F; Josh Stowers, sr. F; Garrett Polish, soph. F; Chase Wiedemann, soph. F; Lake Orion: Justin McElvey, sr. D; Ryan Szydlowski, fr. F; Brad Bogus, sr. F; Dave Otto, sr. D; Ortonville Brandon-Flint Kearsley-Holly Unified: Brandon Csutoras, sr. F; Jordan Orth, sr. C; Bret Loviska, sr. F; James Gleason, sr. D; Jon Riley, sr. F; Cam Fox, sr. D; Mitch Hollingshead, sr. D; Oxford: Stephan Fritz, jr. F; Brennen Orr, jr. D; Connor Novack, jr. F; Alex Schlueter, soph. D; Cody Wright, soph. F; Adam Pardonoff, sr. G; Pontiac Notre Dame Prep: BJ Pagnucco, sr. D; Geoff Zinn, sr. F; Rochester United: Anthony Facca, sr. F; Marshall Bowery, fr. F; Brody Blair, soph. G; Cam Renny, sr. F; Brent Boudreaux, jr. F; Evan Asuncion, soph. F; Rochester Stoney Creek: Dom Zuelch, sr. D; Drew Stanbury, sr. D; Brian Gill, sr. F; Cameron O’Shea, sr. F; Mitch Harvey, sr. D; Josh Niederhauser, fr. F; Troy: Joel Brodzinski, jr. D; Nick Kondolean, sr. D; Trevor Temple, soph. F; Stan Urbon, sr. D; Edmund Qlao, jr. F; Dimitri Balcoff, sr. F; Alex Franchi, sr. G; Troy Athens: Matt Perkins, sr. F.
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