All-star team has local flavour

Jeff Savage scored four goals and added an assist to help pace the B•Macs Bantam “AA” rep team to a 7-1 exhibition win over the Northwestern “AAA” PeeWee all-star squad here Sunday.
Ross Anderson, Scott Witherspoon, and Steve Niskala also scored in the win. Mike Bylawski, assisted by A.J. Tucker, replied for the PeeWees.
But the final score was of little significance for the PeeWees, comprised of players from across Northwestern Ontario, who used the game as a tune-up for a best-of-three showdown this weekend against a Thunder Bay team.
The winner of that series moves on to the all-Ontario PeeWee championship in Sault Ste. Marie.
The PeeWee team is led by four coaches, including the local duo of Bill and Gib Tucker, who also coach the Fort Frances KC PeeWees rep team during the regular season.
Bill is in his first season coaching the “AAA” team while Gib is in his third.
The all-star team also consists of five KC players–goalie Dustin Tkachyk and forwards Nathan Miller, A.J. Tucker, Kris Esselink, and Don Kellar.
Tucker, in his second season with the all-star squad, is one of three assistant captains. The rest of the local players are in their first season with the team.
Still, the coaching staff said the tune-up here was a good way to get the players on the ice together for the first time in a game situation. And despite the lopsided score, they saw quite a few positives come out of it.
“They showed a good work ethic and they played the body well,” co-coach Bill Tucker said afterwards. “For the first game, they played well.
“I’m still getting to know the players myself.”
“I think they played [well],” echoed Gib Tucker. “They were a little soft on the puck but they played aggressive [against an older team].”
Bill Tucker said Miller and Kellar give the team a “grinding” style that is good in the corners, Esselink brings a good mixture of speed and size, while A.J. Tucker has the ability to score goals.