SIJHL Doles Out 2021-22 Season Awards

Thunder Bay, ON
April 5, 2022

Recently, the SIJHL acknowledged it’s major award winners for the 2021-22 season.  In case you missed it, here’s a recap:

Coach of the Year: Matt Valley, Kam River Fighting Walleye

The SIJHL’s Coach of the Year for the 2021-22 season is Kam River Fighting Walleye‘s Matt Valley.


In the first full season in franchise history as a rookie Head Coach, Matt guided the Fighting Walleye to a 35-7-2 record and a .818 point percentage, first place in the standings and top seed heading into the SIJHL playoffs.


Red Lake’s Geoff Walker was the runner-up for Coach of the Year and Wiscsonsin’s Doug Lein also received votes.

The Walleye’s 7-3-0 finish in the the last ten games also had them as the leagues hottest team entering theplayoffs.

Congratulations Matt on being the 2021-22 SIJHL Coach of the Year!

The runner-up for SIJHL Coach of the Year was Geoff Walker of the Red Lake Miners.  Also receiving votes was Doug Lein from the Wisconsin Lumberjacks.  Congratulations to all.

Most Valuable Player: Maxime Collette, Dryden GM Ice Dogs

Red Lake’s Jordan Baranesky was the runner-up for SIJHL MVP.


The Most Valuable Player for the 2021-22 SIJHL regular season is Dryden GM Ice Dogs forward #9 Maxime Collette.
Max led the league with 81 points and 45 goals. His 36 assists were tied for second in league scoring. His 4 hat tricks on the season were also most in the league.
The smooth skating forward established himself early as a top offensive threat. The analytics also showed him as generating the most expected goals in the league, proving his exceptional results were not as a result of luck.
Congratulations, Max on being the SIJHL Most-Valuable Player of the year!
Runner-Up for this award was Red Lake Miners’ Jordan Baranesky.  Congratulations also to Jordan for a strong season.

Top Goaltender: Austin Madge, Kam River Fighting Walleye

The Top Goaltender for the 2021-22 SIJHL regular season is the Kam River Fighting Walleye‘s Austin Madge.
Austin led the league in wins (20), save percentage (.931) and finished tied for the lead in shutouts (3).
His 1,436 minutes played were second amongst league goaltenders and managed 788 saves on 846 shots faced, both third-most totals in the league.
Austin has leveraged his standout season into an opportunity to play ACHA Division 1 hockey with University of Oregon next season.
Congratulations, Austin on your accomplishments this season, and best of luck in the playoffs and beyond.
Honorable mention also goes to Red Lake’s Kiev Kineshanko, Thunder Bay’s Jordan Smith and Wisconsin’s Kyler Lowden who also received votes to top goalie honours.

Top Defenseman: Zach Fortin, Kam River Fighting Walleye

The Top Defensemen in the SIJHL for the 21-22 season is Kam River Fighting Walleye #26 Zach Fortin.
Zach led all SIJHL rearguards in points (44) and goals (12) and was second amongst defensemen in assists with 32 (Jake McCall, Wisconsin had 35) and was an absolute workhorse on both ends of the ice.
In his final season of junior eligibility, Zach spent time in the QMJHL and the NOJHL before returning to his hometown this summer to join the Walleye.
Congratulations Zach on your impressive season!
Also, congratulations to Wisconsin Lumberjacks’ rearguard Jake McCall who also received votes for the SIJHL Top-Defenseman award.

Top Forward: Ryan Hunter, Red Lake Miners

The Top Forward for the 2021-22 SIJHL season is Ryan Hunter of the Red Lake Miners.
Ryan put up an impressive 61 points during the regular season (25 goals, 36 assists), good for fourth in SIJHL scoring. Perhaps even more notable, his 27 games played was fewest amongst any of the top-25 point-getters in the league.
A trusted two-way player, Ryan also recorded three hat tricks this season (December 11 and February 19 vs. Wisconsin, and February 16 vs. Thunder Bay).
Congratulations, Ryan on your selection as the SIJHL’s Top Forward for the 21-22 season!
Honorable mention also goes to Dryden’s Max Collette and Thunder Bay’s Hunter Foreshew who also garnered votes for this award.

Most Improved Player: Tyler Earl, Dryden GM Ice Dogs

The Most-Improved Player for the SIJHL in the 2021-22 season is Dryden GM Ice Dogs #19 Tyler Earl.
After recording one goal and 1 assist in his first 11 games, Tyler quickly found his stride and finished the season with 12 goals and 17 assists in 45 games played. He is one of nine Ice Dogs players to record over 20 points in the season, and the only rookie first-year player to accomplish this.
A versatile player, Tyler has seen time on power play and penalty kill this season, but has generated most of his offence at even strength.
A native of Brandon, MB, Tyler hopes to help the Ice Dogs make a deep playoff run.
Congratulations, Tyler on being the SIJHL’s Most Improved Player for 2021-22!
Honorable mention for the award goes to Fort Frances Lakers’ Brady Wicklund, Kam River’s Ethan Lang and Wisconsin’s Jacob Rezac who also received votes for most improved player.

Rookie of the Year: Brock Weimer, Wisconsin Lumberjacks

The SIJHL’s Top Rookie for the 21-22 season is Brock Weimer from the Wisconsin Lumberjacks.
Finishing 3rd overall in league scoring (28G, 34A, 62PTS, 37GP), Brock was a consistent contributor for the Lumberjacks all season long.
Congratulations Brock on this achievement!
Honorable mention also to Thunder Bay’s William Demkiw and Red Lake’s Noah Kramps who were also finalists for this award.

Top Defensive Forward: Hunter Foreshew, Thunder Bay North Stars

The top defensive forward for the 21-22 SIJHL season is Thunder Bay North Stars forward and team captain Hunter Foreshew.
Standing out on both sides of the ice, Hunter finished atop the North Stars’ scoring (seventh in league) recording 23G, 30A, 53P in 41 games this season.
His defensive play, however earned the respect of his peers across the league chewing up valuable minutes on the penalty kill, blocking shots and being tasked to preserve narrow leads late in games.
Congratulations Hunter on a successful season thus far and best of luck in the playoffs!
Congratulations also to Ryan Howe of the Red Lake Miners, Kam River’s Carson Gorst and Wisconsin’s Sal Poggiali who also received votes for this award.

Scholastic Achievement, Salvatore Poggiali, Wisconsin Lumberjacks

The SIJHL’s Scholastic Athlete of the Year is Wisconsin Lumberjacks forward Salvatore Pogialli.
Sal demonstrated excellence on both fronts registering 21G, 35A for 56PTS in 43 GP on the ice In the classroom, he maintained a 4.0 GPA in the college-level courses he is taking, after graduating high-school with a 4.2 weighted GPA and achieving a score of 32 on his ACT.
Congratulations on this achievement, Sal. We wish you continued success!
Congratulations also to Kam River’s Christian Veneruzzo, Thunder Bay’s Hunter Foreshew, and Red Lake’s Mathieu Belanger who also received votes for this award.