Acadia’s Heelis named CIS men’s hockey player of the year

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Photo credit Josh Schaefer

SASKATOON (CIS) – Liam Heelis, a third-year forward fromAcadia University, was named the CIS player of the year inmen’s hockey, Wednesday night.

The Georgetown, Ont., native became the second Axemen player inthree seasons and the fourth in program history to claim theSenator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy. He follows in the footsteps offorwards Andrew Clark (2012), Kevin Baker (2006) and Duane Dennis(1994).

Other winners announced during the SaskTel All-CanadianPresentation at TCU Place in Saskatoon were McGill rearguard RyanMcKiernan, who was named CIS defenceman of the year; Calgarynetminder Jacob DeSerres, selected as the country’s bestgoaltender; Queen’s goalie Kevin Bailie, who received theClare Drake Award as rookie of the year; UNB forward ChrisCulligan, who claimed the R.W. Pugh Award as the nation’smost sportsmanlike player; Queen’s head coach Brett Gibson,who captured the Father George Kehoe Memorial Award; and Albertadefenceman Ben Lindemulder, who merited the Dr. Randy Gregg Awardrecognizing his excellence in hockey, academics and communityinvolvement.

The PotashCorp University Cup presented by Co-op gets under wayon Thursday at the Credit Union Centre and culminates Sunday at1:30 p.m. Local Time (3:30 p.m. Eastern) with the gold-medal final,live on Sportsnet.

Sportsnet also has live coverage of the last two contests of thepreliminary round, Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., on Sportsnet 360.All seven games from the six-team tournament will also be webcastlive on www.CIS-SIC.tv.

SENATOR JOSEPH A. SULLIVAN TROPHY (player of the year):Liam Heelis, Acadia

Heelis is the third straight AUS player – and sixth in thepast seven years – to win the Sullivan Trophy. Saint Mary’sforward Lucas Bloodoff was the recipient last season.

The six-foot-one, 195-pound sniper exploded in his thirduniversity season as he won the AUS scoring title with 42 points,including a CIS-leading 24 goals, in only 26 league games, asignificant improvement from his 10-12-22 mark as a sophomore ayear ago. A terrific special teams player, he tied for the CIS leadwith four short-handed markers and was second in the Atlanticconference with seven power play goals. He also potted threegame-winners and ranked second in the Maritimes with 117 shots.

Thanks in large part to his stellar play, the Axemen took secondplace in the ultra-competitive AUS conference with a 21-4-3 recordand were ranked in the top five nationally for most of theseason.

A former OHL player with Owen Sound and Peterborough, Heelis hasnow accumulated 86 career points in 81 regular season games withthe Axemen. Last December, the arts major played an integral partas a team of AUS standouts claimed gold for Canada at the FISUWinter Universiade in Trentino, Italy.

“We are extremely proud of Liam’s accomplishments,not only on the ice this year, but as a leader in the community atAcadia,” said Axemen head coach Darren Burns. “Hisdetermination, leadership and commitment as a person showed everyday in practice and in games, enabling him to be a very dominantplayer for our team this year. I would be hard pressed to say thatI have witnessed a player improve as much as Liam has in the AUS.His outstanding season was no doubt instrumental in ourteam’s success.”

The other finalists for the Sullivan Trophy were forwards ZachHarnden of Western and Derek Hulak of Saskatchewan.

DEFENCEMAN OF THE YEAR: Ryan McKiernan,McGill

McKiernan, who hails from White Plains, NY, brings thedefenceman-of-the-year trophy back to McGill for the third time inthe five-year existence of the award. Former Redmen standoutMarc-André Dorion was the inaugural recipient in 2010 andmerited the honour again in 2012.

McKiernan, a 24-year-old finance senior, led the Redmen inpoints, was 14th in the national scoring race and led all CISrearguards with 34 points – including 13 goals – six points betterthan the next closest defender. The six-foot, 193-pound alternatecaptain tallied four power-play goals, one shorthanded effort and agame-winner while collecting only 11 minor penalties. He eitherscored or assisted on 26.7 per cent of his team’s goals inleague play.

A three-time Academic All-Canadian who is also fluent in French,McKiernan was also a key cog on a squad that had the fourth-bestdefensive record in the OUA league and 10th best in the nation witha 2.52 goals-against average.

“Ryan is a charismatic, mature and confident young man whois an outstanding student,” said Kelly Nobes, head coach ofthe Redmen. “Despite being from another country, he hasadopted the bilingual culture of Quebec with open arms, has learnedFrench and communicates well with his teammates. On the ice, he hasplayed a major role along our blue line since joining the Redmenand has been a major contributor to our success. A key component onour power-play and penalty-killing units, Ryan also excels ineven-strength situations. He is a physically strong defenceman,skates well, possesses a great shot and plays with a controlledmean streak.”

UPEI’s Reginaldo Traccitto and Alberta’s JordanRowley were also in the running for the award.

GOALTENDER OF THE YEAR: Jacob DeSerres,Calgary

DeSerres follows in the footsteps of former teammate DustinButler and becomes the fifth-straight Canada West puck stopper towin the CIS goaltender of the year award since it was firstpresented in 2010.

DeSerres, a third-year arts student, played 17 conference gamesfor the Dinos, allowing just 35 goals for a 2.15 goals-againstaverage. He finished the year with a sparkling 13-2-2 record, a.914 save percentage and a trio of shutouts. The Calgarynative’s 13 wins were the second-highest by a goaltender inthe Canada West regular season, while his goals-against average andsave percentage both ranked third.

The six-foot-two, 190-pound goalie, who backstopped Saint Johnto the 2011 Memorial Cup title, was the Canada West-WHL Graduate ofthe Month for November 2013 when he went 5-0-1 with a 0.67goals-against average and three shutouts.

“Jake is very deserving of this award,” said Calgaryhead coach Mark Howell. “He has been consistent from start tofinish this year, has played tremendous hockey and helped us wingames. He has been a leader and one of the best goaltenders in theleague, and it’s fitting that he receives thisrecognition.”

The other nominees for top-goalie honours were Evan Mosher ofAcadia and Kevin Bailie of Queen’s.

CLARE DRAKE AWARD (rookie of the year): Kevin Bailie,Queen’s

Bailie, a six-foot-three arts & science student fromBelleville, Ont., was vital to the Gaels resurgence this season. Heis the first Queen’s player to receive the Clare Drake Awardsince its inception in 1986.

After spending five seasons in the Ontario Hockey League and oneyear with the Summerside Western Capitals in the Maritime JuniorHockey League, where he was named top goaltender at the RBC Cup,Bailie found his way to Queen’s ready to take over thestarter’s role after the graduation of all-Canadian netminderRiley Whitlock.

The rookie was dominant from the start and posted a goals againstaverage of 1.98 and a save percentage of .934 in 20 league games,which were good for third and second, respectively, among CISgoalies. He also collected a pair of shutouts among his 11wins.

Bailie lifted his team to a 17-6-5 regular season and afourth-place finish in the tight OUA East division race. Thanks inlarge part to his efforts, the Gaels improved by seven wins overlast year and allowed an OUA-low 57 goals, 10 fewer than any otherteam. The team also broke into the CIS Top 10 for the first time in30 years and tied the program record for wins in a season.

“Kevin is a true professional in every essence of theword. His preparation and focus are as high as any player I haveever coached,” said Queen’s coach Brett Gibson.“It was extremely comforting going into every game knowing hewas back there for us and that just motivated every other player onthe ice in each game to play their best.”

Forwards Philippe Maillet of UNB and Christopher Collins ofCalgary were also nominated for the Clare Drake Award.

R.W. PUGH AWARD (most sportsmanlike player): ChrisCulligan, UNB

A two-time winner of the AUS most sportsmanlike player andrecipient of the Don Wells Trophy, Culligan is the first UNBVarsity Red to win the distinction at the CIS level.

A second-year team captain, the Howie Centre, N.S., native tiedfor 10th in the country with 17 goals and ranked 11th with 40points in his fifth and final campaign with the V-Reds, whilereceiving only 16 penalty minutes in 28 games. His +21 rating wasalso the second best in the Atlantic conference

UNB’s third all-time leading scorer with 171 career pointsin 133 regular season contest, the two-time University Cup championcaptained Canada to gold at the Winter Universiade last December inItaly, where a team of AUS all-stars wore the Maple Leaf. Culliganjoined the V-Reds in 2009-10 after a five-year QMJHL career withCape Breton.

“Chris has been a terrific leader and sportsman during hisfive years at UNB,” said Varsity Reds head coach GardinerMacDougall. “He is the ultimate competitor and plays the gamethe right way on a consistent basis. He helped lead our team to aseventh straight first-place finish in the AUS and had acareer-best season in helping achieve this feat.”

Forwards Steven Reese of Western and Sean Ringrose of Albertawere also up for the Pugh Award.

FATHER GEORGE KEHOE MEMORIAL AWARD (coach of the year):Brett Gibson, Queen’s

A two-time OUA East coach of the year, Gibson from Gananoque,Ont., is the first Queen’s bench boss to receive the KehoeAward.

In his ninth season behind the bench, Gibson guided the Gaels toa fourth-place finish in the tough OUA East division with a 17-6-5mark. Remarkably, the team’s first regulation loss came 18games into the schedule, in the 2014 calendar year. Thanks to a12-0-5 start, Queen’s got back into the national Top 10rankings for the first time since the 1982-83 campaign, reaching ashigh as No.7.

Gibson’s squad allowed an OUA-low 57 goals in league play,only three more than nationally top-ranked Alberta, and posted 17wins to tie the program record for a single season. The team wasalso tops in the country in save percentage (.934) and fewestshorthanded situations (91), while it allowed the third fewestpower-play goals in CIS on the year.

“Successful teams are led by great coaches and ourmen’s hockey program has benefited tremendously fromBrett’s vision, energy and expertise,” said Leslie DalCin, Queen’s director of athletics and recreation. “Wehad a fantastic season in 2013-14, which is a testament toBrett’s leadership and ability to combine the talents of hisoutstanding group of student-athletes, assistant coaches andsupport staff to pursue a common goal. We can also point to many“wins” off the ice as well through Brett’sefforts to support his athletes in their academic success andthrough initiatives that build community leadership and alumniengagement.”

Acadia’s Darren Burns and Calgary’s Mark Howell werealso in the running for coach-of-the-year honours.

DR. RANDY GREGG AWARD (hockey, academics & communityservice): Ben Lindemulder, Alberta

The Dr. Randy Gregg Award is going to a member of his almamater, the University of Alberta Golden Bears, for the eighth timein program history.

Lindemulder is in his fifth and final season of CIS eligibility,his fourth with the Bears after he spent one campaign playing forNorthern Michigan University in the NCAA. The Edmonton product iswidely regarded as one of the best skaters in CIS hockey and mayhave a North American pro hockey career waiting for him after hisuniversity days are over, as he impressed during the EdmontonOilers rookie camp last summer.

In 27 league games this season, the senior defenceman tied hiscareer high with 13 points, including nine assists, while alsofinishing with a career best +19 rating. He is in his second seasonas an assistant captain and has been a key factor in Albertaleading CIS in fewest goals against (54) and finishing second inpenalty killing efficiency (90.4%).

A three-time CIS Academic All-Canadian, Lindemulder is agraduate student currently working on obtaining his Masters degree,after earning a Bachelor’s degree with distinction in 2012.He is also heavily involved in the community, where he has taughtbalance classes for senior citizens at the Bow River SeniorCitizens Lodge and weight training classes for junior high studentsat Edmonton Christmas School during the 2013-14 school year. He hasalso volunteered his time to help run the Golden Bears hockeyalumni annual peewee tournament, and served an instructor for theEdmonton Oilers during their 2013 summer hockey school.

“Ben is a very dedicated student-athlete,” saidBears bench boss Ian Herbers. “Not only is he an assistantcaptain on our team and a leader on the ice in all situations, buthe leads by example off the ice by excelling academically and inhelping those in the community. He represents the finest qualitiesof the Golden Bears hockey program.”

Brock’s Matt Abercrombie and StFX’s MurdockMacLellan were also nominated for the Dr. Gregg Award.

ALL-CANADIANTEAMS

The all-Canadian teams were also announced on Wednesday.

Joining Heelis, McKiernan and DeSerres on the first squad wereAlberta defenceman Jordan Rowley and forwards Derek Hulak ofSaskatchewan and Zach Harnden of Western.

Hulak, who finished first in Canada West and second in the CISscoring race in league play with a 13-35-48 mark, was also afirst-team all-Canadian back in 2011-12. Harnden, the CIS rookie ofthe year in ’11-12, was ninth in the nation with an 18-23-41dossier.

In addition to Culligan, the second dream unit for the season iscomprised of Acadia goalie Evan Mosher, UPEI’s ReginaldoTraccitto and Guelph’s Kenneth Peroff on the blue line, aswell as forwards Jamie Wise of Ryerson and Sean Ringrose ofAlberta.

Joining Bailie on the CIS all-rookie squad were UNB’sJordan Murray and Calgary’s Dryden Dow on defence, as well asUNB’s Philippe Maillet, Calgary’s Christopher Collinsand Ryerson’s Domenic Alberga on offence.

2013-2014 CISMEN’S HOCKEY AWARDS & ALL-CANADIANS

Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy (player of theyear): Liam Heelis, Acadia
Defenceman of the year: Ryan McKiernan, McGill
Goaltender of the year: Jacob DeSerres,Calgary
Clare Drake Award (rookie of the year): KevinBailie, Queen’s
R.W. Pugh Award (most sportsmanlike player): ChrisCulligan, UNB
Father George Kehoe Memorial Award (coach of theyear): Brett Gibson, Queen’s
Dr. Randy Gregg Award (hockey, academics & communityservice): Ben Lindemulder, Alberta

FirstTeam

Pos. – Athlete – University – Year -Hometown – Faculty

G JacobDeSerres Calgary 3 Calgary,Alta. Arts
D Ryan McKiernan McGill 4 White Plains,NY Finance
D Jordan Rowley Alberta 3 Edmonton,Alta. Business
F Liam Heelis Acadia 3 Georgetown,Ont. Arts
F Derek Hulak Saskatchewan 4 Saskatoon,Sask. Business
F Zach Harnden Western 3 Thunder Bay,Ont. Business

SecondTeam

G EvanMosher Acadia 3 Conception Bay South,Nfld. Arts
D Reginaldo Traccitto UPEI 4 Oakville,Ont. Arts
D KennethPeroff Guelph 4 Astorville,Ont. Geography
F Chris Culligan UNB 5 HowieCentre, N.S. Rec. in Sports Science
F Jamie Wise Ryerson 2 Stouffville,Ont. Arts
F Sean Ringrose Alberta 5 Edmonton,Alta. PE & Recreation

All-RookieTeam

G KevinBailie Queen’s 1 Belleville,Ont. Arts & Science
D Jordan Murray UNB 1 Riverview,N.B. Kinesiology
D Drydn Dow Calgary 1 Calgary,Alta. Arts
F PhilippeMaillet UNB 1 Terrebonne,Que. UGND
F Christopher Collins Calgary 1 Calgary,Alta. Arts
F Domenic Alberga Ryerson 1 Maple,Ont. Public Admin.

About Canadian Interuniversity Sport

Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body ofuniversity sport in Canada. Every year, 11,000 student-athletes and700 coaches from 55 universities and four regional associations viefor 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS alsoprovides high performance international opportunities for Canadianstudent-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well asnumerous world university championships. For further information,visit www.cis-sic.ca or followus on:

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CIS_SIC
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