VanDusen, Limback, Plowman garner honors for 2017-18 season

News File Photo Owen Limback, left, Kyle VanDusen, center and Colby Plowman celebrate a goal by VanDusen against Traverse City West earlier this season. All three players were honored by the state last weekend as VanDusen earned first team all-state honors in Division 3, Limback earned second team all-state honors and Plowman earned an honorable mention.

Before the season, Alpena High hockey coach Chris Limback took some of his veteran players past the school’s Athletic Wall of Fame.

As the players looked at the plaques of Alpena’s great hockey stars of the past, one thing became apparent; it’s been awhile since an Alpena hockey player earned all-state honors.

The wait is over now for the Wildcats after three Alpena players were honored when the all-state selections were announced for the 2017-18 season last weekend.

Junior forward Kyle VanDusen earned first team all-state honors in Division 3, junior defenseman Owen Limback earned second team honors and junior forward Colby Plowman was selected as an honorable mention.

“They noticed it’s been a while since that happened and I told them I think we have enough talent to have someone do it,” Limback said. “That’s the point I was trying to make to the kids.”

Alpena earned honors from the state for the first time since 2014 when goaltender Jesse Boilore earned an honorable mention.

VanDusen had a stellar season for the Wildcats and led Alpena in points and goals (35 goals and 26 assists for 61 points). With an average of 2.25 points per game, VanDusen was a consistent scoring threat for Alpena and helped the Wildcats reach the pre-regional final as well as a 17-7-3 finish.

VanDusen is Alpena’s first first team all-stater since forward Jarret Krajniak and defenseman Jason Souva were selected in 2008.

“Kyle had a dream season. He was electric every time he touched the ice,” Chris Limback said. “Some of his goals were incredible. During the season, I used to lean over my assistant coaches and joke, ‘It’s all in the coaching.’ There’s no coaching in it, just pure skill. He’s just a gifted player.”

Limback was a steady presence on the blue line for the Wildcats and finished the season with 21 points (six goals, 15 assists). He was often paired with freshman Mitch Agius as Alpena’s top defensive pairing and was an important part of Alpena’s power-play.

“He was steady on the point and he and Nate (Cosbitt) logged so much ice time for us,” Limback said. “He (Owen) was really able to help Mitch grow and I thought he did a great job.”

Plowman was VanDusen’s partner on Alpena’s top line and finished the season with 17 goals and 26 assists.

“Colby was a tireless worker. He’s a great wingman who works well with Kyle,” Limback said.

In addition to individual honors, Alpena earned a team academic award with a cumulative 3.55 GPA as a team and senior forwards Lars MacArthur and Cody Sumerix earned academic all-state honors.

MacArthur finished the season with 23 points (13 goals, 10 assists) and Sumerix had 15 points (six goals, nine assists). Limback praised both of them for their leadership during the season and said their leadership opened up opportunities for the entire team.

“They did everything for us and they were a big reason why those three (VanDusen, Limback and Plowman) were able to do what they did,” Limback said.