A Look At: Stars’ Carson Brookshaw – by C. Scott Holland

In the space of a year things have changed drastically for St. Thomas Stars’ forward Carson Brookshaw. A native of Thorndale , Ont. Brookshaw has embraced new roles with St. Thomas as well as living there.

One of the bright aspects for the 5′ 10″ sharpshooter has been sitting atop the team’s scoring with linemate Matt McJannet.

In 32 games played this season he has amassed 24 goals and 26 assists for 50 points along with 6 powerplay and 6 game-winning markers.  His 6 game-winners is third in the entire GOJHL.

With just 2 penalty minutes on the season Brookshaw will be a favourite to win the Ability and Sportsmanship Award at the Western Conference banquet.  His low penalty minute ratio does not equate to Brookshaw being a periphery player.  He battles for the puck vigorously in all three zones and is no stranger to the dirty areas of the ice.

Regarding his new responsibilities and scoring prowess, he says, “It’s a different job, but there’s good chemistry with McJannet – he helps me and there’s some magic between the two of us. It definitely helps paying together. Sometimes we are switched up though but when the two of us are on the same line we know where the other is.”

Living in St Thomas this season has certainly aided Brookshaw. “I’m always around the rink. With one extra practice it’s great being around the hometown boys. We hang out quite a bit and do many things together.”

(The Stars are going with 3 practices a week instead of the customary two.)

The 17 year-old is going to high school part-time but isn’t turning his back on an education. “My parents are pushing me to stay with school,” he admits and considers his future, “I’d like to get a CIS or NCAA scholarship and get a good education.”

His dedication to his education is apparent as he added, “I just wrote my SATs last week.”

Adjusting to a new coaching staff and his new role with the club has been rather easy for the 180 lbs. forward. “For myself it hasn’t been too bad. I had to do it in minor midget and there’s not much differences in the two systems (Ron Horvat’s vs Darren Kelly’s). We (the Stars) are working well together.”

Brookshaw has realized that along with the adjustments the Stars have made many improvements and strides under head coach Darren Kelly. “We had a really bad powerplay at the start of the season but now it’s one of the league’s top ones. We’re using many of the same systems as before but everybody has bought in to coach Kelly’s systems. Everyone works harder than before on getting the puck and getting wins.”

Reflecting on the first half of the season and what lies ahead Brookshaw said, “It’s a younger league and for the Stars it’s mostly about every player stepping up and accepting their roles. Our second half is going to be tougher than our first half, but hopefully we (the Stars) can play well and make a good run.”

Among his added responsibilities this season is that of being named an assistant captain. He said, “I’m talkative so I try to lead on the bench and in the dressing room and on the bus. I prefer to just lead by example and work my butt off.”

The 180 lbs. vet is among the West’s career leaders with 13 powerplay tallies. Despite having never played in the annual Prospects game, he is thrilled to get the opportunity to do so in this his final year of eligibility for that contest.

“I’m excited to get the honour,” Brookshaw said.

With the Christmas break coming up, Carson is looking forward to the time off and celebrating with family and friends during the holidays. But he’ll also do a bit of extra celebrating since his birthday is on December 31st. In the meantime, Carson and the rest of the GOJHL will have plenty of time to rest, heal, reflect and look ahead to what the New Year brings.

On behalf of myself and everyone in the GOJHL we wish all our readers and fans a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year! Plus remember – don’t drink and drive – we need you here and alive in 2016.

(photo credit – Colleen Wiendels Photography – Strathroy Rockets facebook)

C. Scott Holland is an accomplished author, a former Western Jr. B Hockey League statistician and is recognized as the West Conference’s and GOJHL’s historian. A lifelong resident of Leamington Scott was a journalist for the now defunct Leamington Post for 26 years and currently writes for the Southpoint Sun. Among the books he has authored are: 75 Years: A History of the Leamington and Erie Shores Golf Course; A Century In The Making – History of Heinz Canada 1909-2009; Leamington Flyers 1992/93-2011/12 Platinum Anniversary Special Program; the Western Jr. B Record Book 2003/04 and 2005/05 editions; as well as updates of both the West Conference and GOJHL Record Books. He was been a member of he Leamington Jr. Flyers hockey club for the last 27 years and served many years as a board member, statistician, press box announcer, and scorekeeper among other duties. He has been named the West Conference Volunteer of Year and a Windsor-Essex Sportsperson of Year award. He resides in Leamington with his wife Susan. He can be reached at: cttocsh1@yahoo.ca

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