HUNTERSVILLE, NC – The Southern Professional Hockey League on Wednesday announced its 2012-2013 All-Rookie Team as selected by a vote of SPHL coaches, general managers and media representatives.
2012-2013 SPHL All-Rookie Team
F - Matt Gingera, Columbus Cottonmouths
F - Derek Elliott, Fayetteville FireAntz
F - Todd Hosmer, Mississippi RiverKings
D - Mike Kavanagh, Fayetteville FireAntz
D - Kirk Byczynski, Louisiana IceGators
G - Ross MacKinnon, Pensacola Ice Flyers
Matt Gingera of the Columbus Cottonmouths led all rookies in points (50), while his 28 goals and nine game-winning goals were both second-most among all SPHL players. Gingera played his collegiate hockey at Sacred Heart University (CT) where he led the Pioneers in scoring his senior season, earning 2011-12 Third-Team All Conference honors.
Derek Elliott of the Fayetteville FireAntz led all SPHL players with a +25 rating, topped rookies with two shorthanded goals (tied) and was second in points (42), assists (25) and shots on goal (129). Before turning pro, Elliott played the previous four seasons with Mercyhurst College (PA).
Todd Hosmer of the Mississippi RiverKings finished fourth in rookie scoring with 34 points while playing just 41 games due to injury. He was third in shots on goal with 126 while his 15 goals were fourth-best among first-year players. After three seasons as SUNY-Potsdam, Hosmer played his senior season at SUNY-Morrisville where he lead the team in scoring.
Mike Kavanagh of the Fayetteville FireAntz led rookie defensemen with a +22 rating, good for third-best among all SPHL players. He led all first-year players in assists with 27 and was sixth in rookie points with 31. HIs solid play earned him a pair of call-ups to the ECHL, where he played six games with Cincinnati and Orlando. Kavanagh spent the previous two seasons skating for Curry College (MA).
Kirk Byczynski of the Louisiana IceGators tied for the league-lead in goals by a defensemen (12) and led all blueliners with seven power-play goals and 13 power-play assists. His 34 points was third-best among defensemen. Byczynski previously played with his brother and current IceGators’ teammate, Clark, for the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Yorkton Terriers.
Ross MacKinnon of the Pensacola Ice Flyers led rookie netminders with a 2.06 goals against average and .935 save percentage, was second with two shutouts and fourth with 14 wins, despite playing only 19 games before going up to the ECHL on January 9. MacKinnon spent the previous four seasons stopping pucks for Neumann University (PA).
The league will announce its First-Team All-SPHL and Second-Team All-SPHL rosters on Thursday.