By Jai Rakic – ISN

Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League held their awards ceremony Thursday night and it was no surprise that this year’s regular season and playoff champions –  the Victoria Cougars – collected most of the hardware.

Cougars star Steven Axford and Ty Jones from the Saanich Braves shared the honour of receiving the Doug Morton Trophy for leading scorer in the VIJHL regular season. Ty Jones also received the Jamie Benn trophy being labelled as the VIJHL’s Most Valuable Player.

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Steven Axford (left) and Ty Jones (right) shared the Doug Morton trophy as League Scoring Champions. Jones was also named League MVP (Photos by Christian J. stewart – ISN) 


Garnering ‘Goaltender of the Year’ honours was Evan Roch. The 19-year-old netminder was stellar, finishing the regular season with a 14-2-0-0 record. During the playoffs, Roch won four games while posting a 0.58 goals against average and a .976 save percentage. It is the fourth time a Cougars goaltender has won the Ray’s Sports Centre Trophy.

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Evan Roch, here playing in the 2012 All-Star Classic, was named Goaltender of the Year (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

Claiming ‘Coach of the Year’ honours was Mark Van Helvoirt. This award is the first of its kind for the VIJHL. Van Helvoirt, along with his assistants Suneil Karod and Thomas Kala and goaltending coach Bill Morrison, led Victoria to a 36-5-0-1 record – a franchise best. And for the first time in team history, Victoria finished No. 1 amongst all Junior B teams across British Columbia. The Cougars were also recognized as being the least penalized team in the league.


Rookie of the year was awarded to Jack Palmer from the Saanich Braves.  Palmer had a steller rookie campaign, finishing in 5th place in League scoring with 24 goals and 29 assists for 53 points.

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Saanich’s Jack Palmer took home Rookie of the Year Honours (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

Taking home ‘Top Forward’ honours was Brody Coulter. This award is the first of its kind for the VIJHL. An offensive juggernaut, the 19-year-old finished second in Cougar team scoring with 27 goals and 41 assists for 68 points. Coulter, who also finished third in league scoring, potted six game winning goals.

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Victoria’s Brody Coulter was named Top Forward for 2011-2012 (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)


The full list of 2011-2012 award winners includes:

VIJHL Coach of the year

Mark van Helvoirt – Victoria Cougars

VIJHL Most sportsman like player

Trevor Yee – Peninsula Panthers

Unsung Hero Trophy

Kyle Yamasaki – Oceanside Generals

Rookie of the year

Jack Palmer – Saanich Braves

Regular season leading scorer

Ty Jones – Saanich Braves and Steven Axford – Victoria Cougars

Playoff Champions

Victoria Cougars

Regular Season Champions

Victoria Cougars

Least Penalized Team

Victoria Cougars

Broadcaster of the year

Warren Andrews – Campbell River Storm

Regular season top goaltender

Evan Roch – Victoria Cougars

Regular season top defenseman

Jake Bryan – Peninsula Panthers

Regular season top forward

Brody Coulter – Victoria Cougars

Regular season most valuable player

Ty Jones – Saanich Braves