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Wilderness player secures D-I scholarship

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The Superior International Junior Hockey League has announced that Pizza Hut Player of the Year/SIJHL Most Valuable Player Mike Dietrich has committed to attend NCAA Division I American International College on scholarship in the fall.

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A two-year star in the SIJHL, Dietrich captained the Minnesota Wilderness to both a Bill Salonen Cup title and a Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canada Jr. A championship this past season as well as a semifinal berth at the 2013 RBC Cup in Summerside, P.E.I. where they fell in overtime to the eventual national champion Brooks Bandits.

In 2011-12, Dietrich also helped lead the Wisconsin Wilderness to another SIJHL crown.

In his MVP campaign this past season the captain of one of the highest-ranked teams in the Canadian Junior Hockey League had a year to remember.

He led the Wilderness to a tremendous regular season recording 51 wins in 56 games, the last 41 without a loss in regulation time while personally earning the league's scoring title, with 28 goals and 77 points in 46 games along with Pizza Hut Player of the Year honors.

In the SIJHL playoffs the 21-year-old native of South Hampton, N.J., shone again pacing all skaters in playoff scoring with 15 points in 10 outings and earning Sportop playoff MVP laurels in the process.

He then captained his side to a Dudley-Hewitt Cup title in North Bay winning just the second DHC championship for the SIJHL in their history.

At the RBC Cup, Dietrich was a double award recipient, being chosen as the Most Sportsmanlike Player while also being honored with RBC Cup Legacy Scholarship accolades.

In his two full years in the SIJHL Dietrich amassed 146 points on 64 goals and 82 assists in 101 games.

He also tacked on 29 points in 24 playoff games leading the Wilderness to consecutive league championships.

"As our captain, Mike excelled in every area we asked of him both on and off the ice," stated former Wilderness Coach Rod Aldoff.

"He is truly deserving of his D-I scholarship and it bodes well for the future of the SIJHL and the Wilderness, who are returning to Wisconsin to play out of the Ice House in Spooner," said Aldoff, who was recently named the new head coach of the Southern Professional Hockey League's Pensacola Ice Flyers.

SIJHL President/Commissioner Ron Whitehead also commended Dietrich on his scholarship.

"Mike Dietrich is a highly skilled player who has richly earned his NCAA division one scholarship," he said. "We wish him all the best and hope he achieves the same success, on the ice and academically, as other league alumni at the collegiate level have done."

In committing to AIC, Dietrich will join a Yellow Jackets program that is based out of Springfield, Mass., and competes in the 12-school Atlantic Hockey conference.

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