Cottonmouths Lead SPHL All-Rookie Team Selections

April 1, 2015 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) News Release

HUNTERSVILLE, NC - The Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) on Wednesday announced its 2014-2015 All-Rookie Team, as selected by a vote of SPHL coaches, general managers and media representatives.

F - Bryce Williamson, Columbus Cottonmouths

F - Shawn Bates, Columbus Cottonmouths

F - Linden Bahm, Mississippi RiverKings

D - Robbie Donahoe, Knoxville Ice Bears

D - Louis Belisle, Columbus Cottonmouths

G - Kevin Murdock, Fayetteville FireAntz

Columbus' Bryce Williamson finished third in goals (26) and sixth in points (53) among all SPHL players, in addition to leading all rookies with 27 assists and 11 power-play assists. Williamson also finished second among first-year players with six power-play and three game-winning goals. Williamson (Seba Beach, AB) played four seasons at Bowling Green State University, where he was the team's second-leading scorer his senior season and a 2013-14 WCHA Scholar-Athlete recipient.

Columbus' Shawn Bates led the SPHL with three shorthanded goals and finished second among rookies in points (43), goals (23) and assists (20). Bates also led all first-year players with a +14 rating, was second in shots and third in power-play assists. Before turning pro, Bates (Vermilion, AB) played parts of four seasons at Merrimack College.

Mississippi's Linden Bahm led all SPHL rookies with five game-winning goals, was second in assists (20) and third in points (35) and power-play goals (five). Bahm also finished fifth among first-year players with 15 goals. Bahm (Ottawa, ON) played collegiately at Carleton University, where he was assistant captain as a senior.

Knoxville's Robbie Donahoe was among the league-leaders in scoring by a defenseman, recording five goals and 17 assists. Donahoe, one of just three Ice Bears to play all 56 games, finished third among rookies with five power-play assists and third among all blue-liners with three power-play goals. Named team captain as a senior, Donahoe (Canton, MA) played four seasons at Middlebury College, where he was also a member of the school's golf team and earned all-conference honors his senior season.

Columbus' Louis Belisle led all blue-liners in goals (16) shorthanded goals (two) and game-winning goals (two), while finishing second in points by a defenseman (33, fifth among all rookies). Belisle was also fourth among all first-year players with a +10 rating. Belisle (Repentigny, QC) played collegiately at Middlebury College, where he was a teammate of fellow All-Rookie honoree Robbie Donahoe and named first-team All-American as a senior by the AHCA (American Hockey Coaches Association).

Fayetteville's Kevin Murdock went 15-11-6 with one shutout and led all SPHL goaltenders with a .931 save percentage this season. Murdock was also second in saves despite playing 14 fewer games than the league leader while his 2.69 goals against average was sixth-best in the SPHL. Murdock also finished with a .905 shootout percentage, stopping 19 of 21 shooters he faced. Murdock (Bradenton, FL) played three seasons at Lake Superior State University before turning pro.

The league will announce its First and Second-Team All-SPHL rosters on Thursday.


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