An Ontario Hockey League grad was the Southern Professional Hockey League’s most valuable player in 2010-11, the SPHL’s seventh season of existence. Matt Auffrey led the first year Augusta RiverHawks to a second overall finish and a trip to the President’s Cup finals. Augusta bowed out to the Mississippi Surge in three games (best of five series).
Matt Auffrey played two seasons in the Ontario Hockey League, 2005-06 and 2006-07. His first season was spent in a Kitchener Rangers uniform after coming across the border from the University of Wisconsin. In his second year in the OHL, Auffrey played with Kitchener, the Brampton Battalion and Kingston Frontenacs. he scored a respectable 24 goals in his first season and 27 in his second.
Matt came to the OHL already an NHL prospect of the Anaheim Ducks. Auffrey was taken in the sixth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, 172nd overall. Since leaving the Ontario Hockey League, Matt has played in the AHL, ECHL, IHL and SPHL.
With Augusta in 2010-11, Matt was the team captain and led in offense. His 49 assists was the second most in the league and his 70 points ranked third. In the playoffs, he was fifth in scoring. His efforts were good enough to be selected the SPHL’s MVP as well as being a member of the First All-Star Team.
In Augusta’s second season in the SPHL, they currently sit in first place overall in the nine team league. Chugging along at a point per game pace, Auffrey has a lot of help in the offensive department this year with four players ahead of him in team scoring.
The SPHL has grown in stature since 2004-05 and would seem to be a healthy hockey league. Some interesting rulebook differences to be found in the SPHL include 3 on 3 overtimes and no limitations on stick blade curves.