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Bowman led Rice all season, took home MIHL MVP award

By: Mike Moore | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published April 11, 2016

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BIRMINGHAM — He chose his words carefully, making sure not to overstate a point he was trying to make.

But the sheer magnitude of it said enough.

Birmingham Brother Rice hockey coach Lou Schmidt Jr. referred to senior forward Nick Bowman as “maybe the best player in the state.”

Bowman was, at the very least, the Most Valuable Player in the Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League.

“Not really surprised,” Schmdit said of Bowman earning the award in the state’s top conference. “He was one of those kids we counted on to have the type of year he did. Honestly, he probably exceeded the expectations we had. The sky is the limit for him right now.”

“I was actually shocked when I found out,” Bowman, a Rochester resident, said. “I thought there was someone else who would get it. To be honest, I think the fact we lost early in the playoffs hurt me. But looking back, the way I played against some of the teams in the division, I kind of understand.”

In 28 games this winter, Bowman led Rice with 28 goals and 53 points. His 25 assists were second on the team, one behind Mitch Shults’ 26.

“Nick was one of those guys that always had a lot of skill. I think it started to come out in spurts last year,” Schmidt said. “This year, he took his game to a whole new level.”

Bowman’s 1.89 points-per-game average led the Warriors, while his seven game-winning goals were tied for the most in the entire MIHL.

“He was very driven this year,” Schmidt added. “In every aspect, he rose his game. His leadership, his intensity, everything. He played his best hockey in the biggest games.”

Bowman admitted there was a drastic change from his junior year to this winter, and credited most of that due to a junior camp he attended in the offseason.

“I think I realized how much work it would take to get to the next level,” Bowman said. “From that point on, I approached my training differently. I prepared for games differently.”

It certainly paid off.

Bowman is currently playing with the Wichita Falls Wildcats in the North American Hockey League’s South Division.

“My dream is to play college hockey,” he added. “Right now, I’m working toward that.”

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