Derek Ryan is treated like royalty in Sweden. At least in Örebro, the country’s sixth largest city.
“Point King” the Shadle Park High School graduate is called after winning the regular-season scoring championship in the top-tier Swedish Hockey League and leading Örebro into the playoffs for the first time in the team’s history.
Ryan, 28, who has traveled afar since cutting his hockey teeth with the Spokane Chiefs 12 years ago, augmented 15 goals with a league-high 45 assists in 55 games to lead the SHL with 60 points as Örebro finished sixth in the 12-team league.
“Our ice hockey team in Örebro, Sweden, has one outstanding player, Derek Ryan,” wrote Lars Elmqvist in alerting The Spokesman-Review to Ryan’s big year.
In his first season in Örebro after spending the last three in Austria, Ryan has what might best be called Gonzaga-like charisma in Örebro, whose sports-extra newspaper did a two-page feature splash on him heading into the playoffs.
Starting with a one-game debut with the Chiefs back in 2003, Ryan has played in 608 games, from three-game stints as a minor league pro and on Team USA, to four years at the University of Alberta, scoring 252 goals and accumulating 644 points an armload of awards and honors.
Now he’s trying to give his current home a championship feeling.
Jacob Wiley, a 6-6 sophomore at Lewis-Clark State from Newport, led a contingent of six area athletes named to All-Frontier Conference basketball teams.
Wiley was named to the men’s first team and shared the Frontier Conference Newcomer of the Year award. After transferring from Montana, Wiley averaged 14.5 points and 7.4 rebounds, both second on the Warriors; his 60.6 percent shooting from the field ranks sixth nationally; and his 58 blocked shots are ninth in the NAIA Division I ranks.
Brady Bagby, a 6-3 senior at L-C State from West Valley and Community Colleges of Spokane, received honorable mention after leading the Warriors in scoring (14.6 points) and steals (36). His 74 3-pointers are 26th nationally.
L-C State also placed Erick Diouf, a 6-8 sophomore from Senegal, on the men’s second team, and the Warriors’ Gavin Kauffman from Sweet Home, Oregon, shared Sixth Man of the Year.
Four area women honored include Erin Legel, a 5-foot-5 junior guard at Great Falls from Coeur d’Alene High School, and Tanis Fuller, a 5-10 senior at L-C State from Lewiston, both first-team repeaters
Legel led Great Falls in scoring (17.5), assists (4.8) and minutes played and was fourth in rebounding (4.7). Fuller led the Warriors in scoring (16.1) and rebounding (5.9) and ranked 18th nationally with a 49.8 shooting percentage.
On the second team are Kalee Junkermier, a 5-10 senior at Carroll from Mead, who was third on the Saints with a 12.0 scoring average and shot a team-leading 42 percent on 3-pointers (65 of 154), and Caelyn Orlandi, a 5-9 sophomore at L-C State from Coeur d’Alene High, who averaged 13.1 points and a team-leading 3.07 assists. Her 84-percent free throw accuracy ranks eighth nationally.
Letter of intent
Lipscomb University track & cross country – Lauren Dunnell, Shadle Park, fifth in State 3A 3,200 and sixth in State 3A cross country in 2014.
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