PEORIA — Peoria Rivermen center Ben Blasko capped off his historic season with another league honor on Tuesday.
Blasko was named SPHL Rookie of the Year.
"It was exciting to watch Ben develop throughout the season," Rivermen head coach Jean-Guy Trudel said. "He got better and better, did everything we asked him to do and emerged as an elite player in the league."
The slick center-winger notched a league-high 68 points in 55 games to become the first Rivermen player to win a league scoring title since Michel Mongeau in the old IHL in 1989-90.
The Kingston, Ont., native played the last three seasons at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology before signing with the Rivermen in the fall.
Blasko rocked the SPHL as he notched 19 goals, and had a league-high 49 assists. He compiled a league-best +40 rating, one short of the SPHL single-season record.
Blasko led the 40-7-9 Rivermen with six game-winning goals. He also had an 18-game pointscoring streak, the longest in the SPHL in five years.
He produced points in 27 of his final 32 games this season.
Blasko was named to the SPHL All-Rookie Team and the SPHL First Team last week.
RIVER READINGS: The Rivermen veteran trio of Mike Gurtler, Ben Oskroba and Alec Hagaman will join head coach Jean-Guy Trudel for a podcast that will air live on the Journal Star's facebook page at 2 p.m. Wednesday. ... Fayetteville's Travis Jeke was named SPHL Defenseman of the Year on Monday.
Dave Eminian covers the Rivermen for the Journal Star, and writes the Cleve In The Eve sports column for pjstar.com. Reach him at 686-3206 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @icetimecleve.