By Mike Stackhouse
RBC PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Justin Ball, Melfort Mustangs
1998 F Justin Ball (Saskatoon SK) paced all players by firing 12-goals and 6-assists in just 7-games played during the month of December, extending his point scoring streak to 33 games in the process. Ball’s highlight game was on December 14th when he burned the Humboldt Broncos for four goals. He followed it up with two more against the Broncos one night later. In all, Ball had goals in six of the seven games he played in December and put up multiple-point games in six of the seven games he played as well. The SJHL scoring leader sits atop the scoring parade with 65-points and also leads the league in goals with 39 through 36-games played. Runner-up: Chantz Petruic, Yorkton.
SASKTEL GOALTENDER OF THE MONTH: Patrick Pugliese, Nipawin Hawks
1999 G Patrick Pugliese (Pasadena CA USA) filled in admirably for an ailing Declan Hobbs and went 3-0-and-1 in four starts during the month of December, putting up a 1.70-GAA and .941-SPCT. Perhaps his most impressive performance came on the road December 16th when he stopped 39-of-41 shots against the Battlefords North Stars in what ended up being an overtime loss. In his three previous starts, he made 28-saves and allowed just one goal to defeat Yorkton and then blocked 26-of-28 in a win over Kindersley, and then 19-of-21 in downing La Ronge. Pugliese is 10-1-and-1 overall with a 1.85-GAA and .935-SPCT in his first as an SJHLer. Runner-up: Joel Grzybowski, Battlefords North Stars.
DEFENSEMAN OF THE MONTH: Antonio DiPaolo, La Ronge Ice Wolves
1999 D Antonio DiPaolo (Saskatoon SK) is leaned on heavily by the La Ronge Ice Wolves and he delivered a stellar month of December by scoring 2-goals and 5-assists in 6-games played. DiPaolo began the month by getting points in four straight games, including back to back 1-goal, 1-assist efforts against the Battlefords North Stars on December 6th-7th. DiPaolo has been, exceptionally, hot for over a month with 3-goals and 10-assists in his last 11-games, dating back to November 23rd. Overall, he has 7-goals and 19-assists in 33-games played on the year. Runner-up: Blake Kleiner, Kindersley.
DIRECTWEST ROOKIE OF THE MONTH: Luke Spadafora, Melville Millionaires
2000 F Luke Spadafora (Calgary AB) emerged as a top line player during the month of December, scoring 3-goals and 5-assists in 6-games played. Spadafora had a three game goal scoring streak and also found the scoresheet in five of the six games he played. On December 30th, he helped his team win their first game back from the Christmas break by collecting three assists in a win over Yorkton. Spadafora has 6-goals and 9-assists in 18-games with Melville after compiling 3-goals and 11-assists in 17-games with Humboldt prior to a midseason trade. Runner-up: Riley Kohonick, Notre Dame.