CIS women’s hockey: Calgary’s Gavrilova named player of the year

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Mar 11, 2015

Photo credit David Moll

CALGARY (CIS) – Iya Gavrilova, a fourth-year centre from the University of Calgary, was named the CIS player of the year in women’s hockey, Wednesday night.

Gavrilova, a three-time Olympian from Krasnoyarsk, Russia, became only the second Dino to claim the Brodrick Trophy, joining current teammate and Canadian hockey legend Hayley Wickenheiser, who was honoured in 2010-11.

Other CIS award winners announced at the Sun Life Financial All-Canadian Banquet held at the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary were Manitoba forward Alanna Sharman, who was named the rookie of the year; Toronto goaltender Nicole Kesteris, who became a back-to-back recipient of the Marion Hilliard Award celebrating excellence in athletics, academics and community involvement; as well as Western’s Chris Higgins, who was voted the TIMEX coach of the year.

The CIS championship, hosted by the University of Calgary, gets underway on Thursday at the Markin MacPhail Centre and culminates on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Mountain Time (8:30 p.m. Eastern) with the gold-medal final, live on Sportsnet 360 and Sportsnet ONE. Saturday’s semifinals are also televised live on Sportsnet ONE (3 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. Mountain) and all 12 games from the eight-team competition will be webcast on www.CIS-SIC.tv.

BRODRICK TROPHY (player of the year): Iya Gavrilova, Calgary

Gavrilova returned to the Dinos this year after spending last season preparing for and competing in the 2014 Sochi Olympics and promptly led the nation with 21 goals in just 23 league games, including six game-winners, tops in Canada West and one shy of the country’s lead. The U of C captain finished second in the conference and third in CIS scoring with 37 points, while her plus-35 rating was the best in Canada West.

The arts student missed the Dinos’ last five games of the regular season to captain Russia’s entry at the Winter Universiade in Granada, Spain. There, she was third in the tournament with four goals and 12 points in just four games while leading her home country to a first-ever FISU gold medal with a 3-0 win over Canada in the championship game.

“Iya’s return to the Dinos was a key factor in the success of our team this season,” said head coach Danielle Goyette. “It’s easy to notice all the work she has done during the off season, it paid off and it showed on ice. She’s a player that has great work ethic, always trying to find a way to improve on and off the ice. As captain, her leadership skills are an integral part to the Dinos women’s hockey program.”

The other finalists were forwards Alex Normore of St. Francis Xavier, Ariane Barker of Montreal and Lisa Stathopulos of York.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Alanna Sharman, Manitoba

Sharman, a 19-year-old freshman from Teulon, Man., is only the second Manitoba to be named CIS rookie of the year, joining rearguard Caitlin MacDonald, who was honoured in 2010.

The 5-foot-8 forward took CIS by storm in her university debut, winning the national scoring race with 40 points (17-23-40) in 28 league games and becoming only the third rookie in the 18-year history of the conference to top Canada West in scoring. She also ranked second in the country in assists (23), third in goals (17) and power play markers (7) and fourth in game-winning goals (5), while finishing second in Canada West with a plus-32 rating.

Sharman, who had 15 more points than any other rookie in Canada West, ended the regular season with a nine-game point streak and had 12 multi-point performances over the 28-game schedule, including a five-point outing (3-2-5) against Regina on Jan. 17.

“Alanna has had one of the most memorable rookie seasons in recent CIS history. Winning both the Canada West and CIS scoring titles as a first year player is a feat that few players ever achieve, let alone a freshman directly out of AAA midget hockey,” said head coach Jon Rempel. “Her scoring exploits this season are a direct result of her hard work, practice habits, humility and love of the game. She makes people around her better, including her teammates and her coaching staff and our program is extremely fortunate to have her.”

The other nominees were Moncton forward Katryne Villeneuve as well as goaltenders Katherine Purchase of Concordia and Stephanie Sluys of Waterloo.

TIMEX COACH OF THE YEAR: Chris Higgins, Western

After sharing the OUA award with co-head coach Dave Barrett, Higgins became the first Western bench boss to be named CIS coach of the year.

In his fifth campaign at the helm, Higgins has transformed the Mustangs program, leading the team to their best season in history with a 20-1-3 record, good for first place in the OUA. Suffering only one regulation time loss all season, Western was especially good on defence, finishing third in the country in goals against per game (1.30) and fourth in penalty killing efficiency (89.2%). The Mustangs also recorded their best-ever placement in the national rankings, reaching No. 3 on Dec. 2 and holding that position for the rest of the season.

“Chris has built our women’s hockey program to a new level and has completely transformed our program since he became head coach in 2010,” said Thérèse Quigley, director of Sport and Recreation Services. “In his five seasons as head coach he has made a significant impact at Western and in CIS women’s hockey as a whole. His knowledge of the game, his ability to inspire and mentor young talented student-athletes is incredible.”

St. Francis Xavier’s Ben Berthiaume, Concordia’s Les Lawton and Manitoba’s Jon Rempel were also in running.

MARION HILLIARD AWARD (hockey, academics & community service): Nicole Kesteris, Toronto

Kesteris, who hails from Aurora, Ont., became the first multiple winner of the Marion Hilliard Award, named in honour of the late physician played hockey for the University of Toronto in the 1920s. Before Kesteris, three U of T players had received the honour, including Sue McCutcheon (2005), Jenny McRae (2003) and Bridget Bates (1999).

On the ice, Kesteris enjoyed another successful campaign and earned her second OUA all-star nod in her five-year career. Her 14 regular season wins were the second most among OUA goaltenders, while her 1.44 goals against average and .944 save percentage both ranked third in the conference.

Away from the rink, Kesteris spearheaded the Varsity Blues initiative to provide families living in the Ronald McDonald House dinner for one night. She led the group in planning the meal, supplying the food, preparing it and serving as well. The Ronald McDonald House provides families with children receiving long-term hospital care a home away from home, and is affiliated with the Hospital for Sick Children and Mount Sinai Hospital.

She also arranged a volunteer gift drive for Yellow Brick House, a home for abused women and children, and a gift drive delivering baskets of basic needs to the Children’s Aid Society. In addition to these initiatives, she donates time to the Toronto Latvian Centre and is a volunteer hockey coach, all while maintain a 3.0 GPA in human geography.

“Nicole is a true role model in every facet of the game,” said head coach Vicky Sunohara. “She not only leads us on the ice, but she donates so much of her time to helping others, while also maintaining an impressive academic standing at the University of Toronto. She is an outstanding individual. We are so happy that she is receiving this recognition for the second straight year.”

Dalhousie forward Sarah MacNeil, Ottawa goaltender Stéphanie Mercier and Regina rearguard Triston Riemer were also nominated.

ALL-CANADIAN TEAMS

The all-Canadian teams were also announced on Wednesday.

Joining player of the year Iya Gavrilova on the first unit were conference MVPs Ariane Barker of Montreal (16-16-32 in 17 GP) and Lisa Stathopulos of York (17-15-32 in 24 GP) on offence, Sarah Casorso of UBC (8-13-21 / +6 in 23 GP) and Kristen Barbara of York (7-13-20 in 24 GP) on defence, as well as Western goaltender Kelly Campbell (16-4 / 1.23 / .954).

Casorso (2014 first team), Campbell (2013 first) and Barbara (2012 all-rookie) had previously merited all-Canadian recognition.

The second CIS dream team for this season is comprised of AUS MVP Alex Normore from StFX (10-20-32 in 21 GP), fellow forwards Gabrielle Davidson of McGill (19-2-39 in 20 GP) and Jessica Kampjes of Alberta (13-12-25 in 22 GP), rearguards Katelyn Gosling of Western (4-11-15 in 20 GP) and Kelsie Moffat of McGill (3-14-17 in 20 GP), as well as Alberta goalie Lindsey Post (20-7 / 1.18 / .940).

A former CIS rookie of the year, Normore accomplished a rare feat by earning her fifth all-Canadian selection in as many campaigns with the X-Women, including a pair of first-team nods (2014, 2012) and a trio of second-team mentions.

Gosling (2013 first team), Post (2014 second), Davidson (2013 all-rookie) and Kampjes (2013 all-rookie) had also been honoured by CIS in the past.

In addition to Alanna Sharman, the 2014-15 all-rookie unit is made up of netminder Katherine Purchase of Concordia (5-6 / 1.07 / .959), defenders Zosia Davis of Nipissing (3-8-11 in 21 GP) and Erica Rieder of Manitoba (4-7-11 / +11 in 27 GP), as well as forwards Katryne Villeneuve of Moncton (14-10-24 in 24 GP) and Kaley Tienhaara of Nipissing (7-13-20 in 24 GP).

2014-2015 CIS WOMEN’S HOCKEY AWARDS & ALL-CANADIANS

Brodrick Trophy (player of the year): Iya Gavrilova, Calgary
Rookie of the year: Alanna Sharman, Manitoba
TIMEX Coach of the year: Chris Higgins, Western
Marion Hilliard Award (hockey, academics & community service): Nicole Kesteris, Toronto

First Team

Pos. – Athlete – University – Year – Hometown – Academic Program

G Kelly Campbell Western 4 St. Thomas, Ont. Man. & Org. Studies
D Sarah Casorso UBC 5 Kelowna, B.C. Arts
D Kristen Barbara York 4 Mount Hope, Ont. Sociology
F Iya Gavrilova Calgary 4 Krasnoyarsk, Russia Arts
F Ariane Barker Montreal 4 Napierville, Que. Communication s
F Lisa Stathopulos York 5 Toronto, Ont. Kin. & Health Sciences

Second Team

G Lindsey Post Alberta 3 Chelsea, Que. Phys. Ed. & Recreation
D Kelsie Moffatt McGill 4 Pickering, Ont. Physical & Health Ed.
D Katelyn Gosling Western 4 London, Ont. Social Sciences
F Gabrielle Davidson McGill 3 Pointe Claire, Que. Finance
F Alexa Normore StFX 5 Bedford, N.S. Human Kinetics
F Jessica Kampjes Alberta 3 Sturgeon County, Alta. Native Studies

All-Rookie Team

G Katherine Purchase Concordia 1 Halifax, N.S. Accounting
D Zosia Davis Nipissing 1 Cobden, Ont. Biology
D Erica Rieder Manitoba 1 Regina, Sask. University 1
F Alanna Sharman Manitoba 1 Teulon, Man. Business
F Katryne Villeneuve Moncton 1 Casselman, Ont. Sport Management
F Kaley Tienhaara Nipissing 1 Thunder Bay, Ont. Physical & Health Ed.

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