March 29, 2012 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL)
CHARLOTTE, NC - The Southern Professional Hockey League on Thursday announced that Kiefer Smiley of the Mississippi Surge and Jordan Chong of the Pensacola Ice Flyers have been selected as SBK Co-Rookies of the Year in a vote of SPHL coaches and media representatives. This is the first time in league history there was a tie in balloting for a post-season award winner.
Kiefer Smiley of the Mississippi Surge led the SPHL with a 2.49 goals against average, while his 19 wins were second-most in the league. Among all goaltenders, Smiley finished tied for second with two shutouts and tied for third in save percentage (.907), while his minutes played (1858:21) were fourth-best. Smiley spent the last two years stopping pucks for the Trail Smoke Eaters of the BCHL where he won 36 games.
Jordan Chong of the Pensacola Ice Flyers tied for the lead in assists by a rookie (33, with Brayden Metz), was second in both points (54) and power play goals (9), while his 21 goals ranked third among first-year players. Chong played his collegiate hockey at St. Scholastica (MN), where he led the team in scoring his senior season.
SPHL Rookie of the Year Award Winners
2011-12 - Kiefer Smiley, Mississippi Surge and Jordan Chong, Pensacola Ice Flyers
2010-11 - Chris Wilson, Pensacola Ice Flyers
2009-10 - Jesse Biduke, Fayetteville FireAntz
2008-09 - Michael Richard, Twin City Cyclones
2007-08 - Taylor Hustead, Twin City Cyclones
2006-07 - Tim Velemirovich, Fayetteville FireAntz
2005-06 - Rob Sich, Florida Seals
2004-05 - Chad Collins, Fayetteville FireAntz
The SPHL will announce its Goaltender of the Year on Monday.