Nine players from Northern Manitoba – including five who've played for the midget AAA Norman Northstars in Thompson – were named to the final roster of Manitoba's male team for the National Aboriginal Hockey Championship (NAHC) being held in Saskatoon.
Jameson Scott, Andrew Antsanen, SamMcKay, Bruce Highway, Eddie Bayer, Comacho Lathlin, Robert Briem and Ian Bunn were named to the team, which has 23 players in all.
Three of the players named to the team were members of the Northstars throughout the 2011-12 season, including Scott, from Cross Lake, Bayer, from Wabowden, and Highway, from Thompson.
Bayer led the team in goals in the regular season, with 23, and was also the leading scorer with 45 points, his 22 assists tying for the team lead. Scott scored 16 goals and eight assists in 37 games in his first year with the team, while Highway, a defenceman, had one goal and 22 assists in 42 games. Bayer led the team in the playoffs with two goals and six assists in six games, while Scott tied for the team lead in goals with three. Highway had one goal and one assist.
Lathlin started the season as a Northstar, but left the team after 19 games, during which he scored three goals and six assists from his position on the blueline.
Briem was a member of the Northstars in the 2010-11 season, scoring 18 goals and 16 assists in 38 games in the regular season, an average of 0.9 points per game. He had one goal and one assist in the playoffs.
McKay was a member of the Keystone Junior Hockey League's Norway House North Stars, finishing fifth in team scoring with 24 goals and 15 assists in 33 regular season games, and seven goals and 10 assists in 12 playoff contests.
Antsanen, of the Northlands Denesuline nation, played for the Notre Dame Hounds AAA in Saksatchewan while Ian Bunn of Opaskwayak Cree Nation was a member of the OCN Blues midget AA squad.
Briem, Bayer and Lathlin were all members of Manitoba's NAHC entry in 2011 as well.
The 2012 NAHC will be played from May 6-12.