Thorndale area native played five years in the GOJHL
By Pat Payton
LONDON – London Nationals’ coach Pat Powers gave Carson Brookshaw very high praise during the recent GOJHL Sutherland Cup semi-finals.
“Every time Carson steps on the ice, he’s the exact same player,” Powers said following a 2-1 overtime win over Listowel Cyclones in Game 5 of the series.
“He works hard, he takes a hit to make a play, he blocks shots, he drives to the net. He does a lot of the little things really well. You know you’re going to get a consistent effort and sacrifice out of him every night.”
An outstanding Junior ‘B’ career came to an end for Brookshaw when the Nats were eliminated by the Cyclones in Game 6 in Listowel. But the 20-year-old Thorndale area native has many highlights he can fondly reflect back on over the past five years.
The scrappy forward was one of Nationals’ top point-getters in their long playoff run this season, picking up seven goals and 18 points in 20 post-season games. Three of his goals came on powerplays and he also had two game winners.
Brookshaw also finished his Junior career as a member of two league championship teams in London. From an individual standpoint, his biggest honour came with St. Thomas Stars following the 2015-16 season when he was named OHA Jr. ‘B’ player-of-the-year. That season, he was also selected Western Conference MVP.
During the 2017-18 regular season, Brookshaw had 14 goals and 41 points in 37 games with the Nats. Add his 18 playoff points, and he finished the year with 59 points in 57 games.
“I just play my game,” the 5 ft., 10 inch, 180 lb. winger said after the Game 5 victory over Listowel. “Throughout the season, I contributed just a little better than a point a game and I wanted to continue that in the playoffs.
“We concentrate on defence, too. Tonight, my line was sent out to shut down Listowel’s top line. Our best offence is playing defence first.”
After reaching the Sutherland Cup final last year, and losing to Elmira Sugar Kings, Brookshaw agreed that it created motivation for many of the veteran Nationals to want to win it all this season.
“It’s definitely an incentive for a lot of guys,” he said. “For many of us, it’s our last kick at the can, especially for guys like (Brenden) Trottier and (Derek) Di Iorio who were in the Sutherland Cup finals the last two years. They definitely want it more than anyone in the room.
“For me, winning it all would be a sweet way to finish it, with a ring and a trophy.”
Brookshaw is currently attending the University of Western Ontario. As far as playing for the Mustangs varsity men’s team next season, he said that decision will likely be made this summer.
“I haven’t made any set plans; I’m going to wait until the off-season before I make any decisions. Every guy on our team wants to play at a higher level. I know some of the guys on the Western team, but it’s really a decision for the summer.”
Junior hockey notebook:
–Carson Brookshaw finished his Jr. ‘B’ career with 227 points in 268 games, including playoffs.
–After weekend action in the Sutherland Cup final, Listowel held a commanding 3-0 series lead on Caledonia Corvairs.
–The Jr. ‘B’ Lincolns ‘Golf Day’ is Saturday, May 26 at St. Marys Golf and Country Club. The tournament format is again a four-person Texas Scramble. The entry fee is $150 per player.
For those wishing to enter a team, contact club president Brandon Boyd at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following dinner, former Lincs goalie Matt Dalton will be the guest speaker. The 31-year-old Clinton native now plays professional hockey in South Korea.
–In Stratford, Phil Westman is the new Director of Hockey Operations with the Warriors, replacing Paul Jennings. Westman, from Milverton, is a former Stratford coach.