Tyler Dittmer graciously accepted the honour bestowed on him by the Canada West conference on Thursday even though the prize he really wanted was out of his reach.
The 25-year-old University of Manitoba Bisons forward from Brandon was named to the Canada West men’s hockey second all-star team, joining Calgary Dinos forward Brock Nixon of Russell.
Dittmer, a former member of the Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings, tied for third place in Canada West with 15 goals and was sixth in the conference in scoring with 28 points in 26 games this season.
The fifth-year senior wrapped up his CIS career with five goals and nine points in five playoff games. He was Canada West’s male athlete of the week last week, notching seven points in two games to lead the Bisons past the Regina Cougars in the conference quarter-finals but were stopped in the semifinals by the Saskatchewan Huskies.
"Obviously (making the second all-star team is) an honour, being my last year and all, but again I definitely would trade it to still be playing right now," said Dittmer, whose team was ranked seventh in the CIS going into the semifinal, while the Huskies were sixth. "With four of us being nominated and getting on the all-star team, it shows that we had a strong year as a team, but coming up short still sucks."
Bisons Blair Macaulay —who also won his second straight MVP award — and Dane Crowley were first-team all-stars, while teammate Jeremy Schappert was a second-teamer with Dittmer.
Dittmer will spend the next few days weighing his options. He said he’s been in contact with a few professional hockey teams, but added it’s tough saying goodbye to the Bisons.
"I thought the organization as a whole made huge strides this year," he said. "Some games, when we played our best, we could easily beat any team in the country and I know the team’s just going to keep getting better every year. I wish I could be part of it for when they do make it to nationals and win it, but I hope they can do it soon."
Nixon was also in his fifth and final season. The Dinos captain scored nine times in 28 games this season and was tied for 11th in Canada West scoring with 25 points.
On Wednesday, Bisons forward Nellie Minshull of Pierson was named a second-team all-star in Canada West women’s hockey for the second straight season. In her fifth year with the Bisons, Minshull tied for fifth in conference scoring with 27 points, including 10 goals, in 28 games.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 1, 2013