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Safar takes out second straight D-man honour
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - Submitted by Bernard McNamara

CBR Brave defender Jan Safar has been named the AIHL’s Defenceman of the Year for a second straight season.

Despite an off-season team change, which saw him move from the Newcastle North Stars to the CBR Brave, Safar continued his dominance from the blue line, leading all defenceman in scoring with 33 points (7 goals 26 assist) in just 18 games.

“He’s been massive for us all year,” CBR Brave Captain Jordan Gavin said. “Having a guy of Jan’s calibre and experience in the dressing room was huge. He’s a proven winner and he plays with an intensity and drive every time he steps on the ice.”

Safar’s addition proved invaluable for the Brave this year, he logged big minutes on a nightly basis as one of the Braves top pairing defenceman, as well as quarterbacking the teams power play unit.

Safar’s most significant contribution came in 2016 AIHL Final series, when he scored the overtime winning goal against the Melbourne Ice in the first semi-final, propelling the Brave into their first ever Goodall Cup final.

“He went from villain to hero in the overtime period,” Gavin said. “He was serving a penalty and when it expired he popped out on the halfway line. When he got the puck we were just screaming shoot it, he only had one place to put it and he buried it. It was very emotional on the bench”

In just two seasons in the AIHL, Safar has established himself as one of the most offensively gifted defenders the league has ever seen.

His speed through the neutral zone and crisp passing, means he creates time and space for his team mates as well being a goal scoring threat every time he touches the puck.

In 46 AIHL career games, Safar has recorded a staggering 89 points (18 goal, 71 assists), at a rate of just under two points per game, a dizzying statistic which would make most forwards envious.

 
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STANDINGS
TEAM GP W L D OW OL TP
Ice 28 19 3 0 3 3 66
Thunder 28 16 7 0 4 1 57
North Stars 29 16 7 0 1 5 55
Brave 29 15 10 0 2 2 51
Mustangs 28 11 15 0 2 0 37
Bears 28 5 15 0 5 3 28
Ice Dogs 28 7 19 0 1 1 24
Adrenaline 28 5 18 0 1 4 21
SCORING LEADERS GOALIE LEADERS
PLAYER GP G A PTS
C McLaughlin (NNS) 29 36 26 62
B Breault (PT) 28 26 26 52
W Darge (AA) 28 20 32 52
G Wudrick (CB) 21 21 30 51
M Dorr (PT) 28 20 31 51
M Guertin (CB) 20 18 31 49
C Kubara (CB) 28 16 33 49
J Baclig (MI) 28 24 24 48
SCORING LEADERS GOALIE LEADERS
GOALIE GP W GAA SV%
T Davenport (MI) 22 18 2.08 .917
D Davis (NNS) 27 16 2.41 .908
T Heemskerk (PT) 27 20 2.45 .927
A Kimlin (SB) 23 8 3.08 .909
F Carson (MM) 17 7 3.14 .888
J Pine-Murphy (MI) 7 4 3.53 .887
C Slauenwhite (MM) 12 5 3.79 .880
A Tetreault (CB) 9 4 3.93 .876
THE PRODUCTION LINE
Thomas Heemskerk
THOMAS HEEMSKERK
10 wins, 2.65 GAA and 0.930 SV% through 14 AIHL games.
Player Profile »
Michael Dorr
MICHAEL DORR
7 goals and 13 assists in 14 AIHL games played.
Player Profile »
Ben Breault
BEN BREAULT
13 goals and 10 assists in first 14 AIHL games.
Player Profile »
EMERGING STARS
Julian Fodor
JULIAN FODOR
15 year old Queensland forward. 20 goals, 8 assists in 15 senior games.
Matthew de Beer
MATTHEW DE BEER
18 year old forward for Brisbane Blitz. 2 goals, 2 assists in 5 AJIHL games.
Byron Tschuma
BYRON TSCHUMA
17 year old forward for Melbourne Whalers. 10 goals, 3 assists in 10 AJIHL games.
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