Championship website: www.universitycup.ca
University of Windsor centre Spencer Pommells was named the CIS player of the year. A native of Grande Prairie, Alta., Pommells became the first Lancer to claim the Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy and only the third Windsor player to capture a CIS major award in men’s hockey. Forwards Chris Gignac (1999) and Ken Minello (1989) had previously merited the R.W. Pugh Award presented annually to the most sportsmanlike player.
Other CIS award winners announced during the All-Canadian Gala held at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel were Alberta rearguard Jesse Craige, who was named the defenceman of the year; Saint Mary’s netminder Anthony Peters, selected as the best goaltender; Queen’s defenceman Spencer Abraham, who received the Clare Drake Award as rookie of the year; Calgary forward Elgin Pearce, who claimed the R.W. Pugh Award; UNB’s Gardiner MacDougall, who captured the Father George Kehoe Memorial Award as the TIMEX coach of the year; as well as Concordia forward Olivier Hinse, who merited the Dr. Randy Gregg Award recognizing his excellence in hockey, academics and community involvement.
The University Cup championship, hosted by St. Francis Xavier University, gets underway on Thursday at Scotiabank Centre and culminates Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Atlantic Time (5:30 p.m. Eastern) with the gold-medal final, live on Sportsnet 360. Saturday’s semifinals are also live on Sportsnet 360 (noon & 4 p.m. Atlantic), while the quarter-finals and the bronze-medal match are set to air on Eastlink TV. All eight games from the eight-team tournament will be webcast on www.CIS-SIC.tv.
SENATOR JOSEPH A. SULLIVAN TROPHY (player of the year): Spencer Pommells, Windsor
Pommells established himself as one of the premier players in CIS this season. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound forward had an explosive campaign as he racked up 50 points in 27 league games, including 16 goals and a CIS-leading 34 assists, to win the national scoring race by eight points and the OUA crown by 11. Of his team-leading 16 goals, five were game-winners, leaving him one short of the nation’s lead.
Pommells, who appeared in every game this season, helped lead the Lancers to a first-place overall finish in the very tough OUA conference with a 22-4-1 record and a top-10 ranking nationally for 17 straight weeks. In addition to winning the Sullivan Trophy, he was named a first-team all-Canadian and an OUA West Division first-team all-star.
A former standout with the AJHL’s St. Albert Steel, the Liberal Studies student has now accumulated 140 career points in 108 regular season contests with the Lancers, including 43 goals and 97 assists.
“We are very proud of Spencer’s accomplishments and his many contributions to our Lancer hockey program,” said head coach Kevin Hamlin. “From the time he arrived in Windsor four years ago, Spencer has worked extremely hard and has developed into one of the premier players in CIS. His tremendous play this year has been a big part of our team’s success.”
The other finalists were forwards Philippe Maillet of UNB and T.J. Foster of Alberta.
DEFENCEMAN OF THE YEAR: Jesse Craige, Alberta
Craige, a fifth-year senior with the Golden Bears, is the first defenceman from a Canada West institution to win the national honour since it was first handed out in 2009-10. A native of Edmonton, the physical education and recreation student was also nominated for the award in 2013 and his selection this season marks the third consecutive year a U of A rearguard was up for the trophy, including his partner Jordan Rowley a year ago.
Craige, who played with Lethbridge and Chilliwack in the Western Hockey League, finished second among Canada West defencemen this season – and first on the team – with 19 points (5-14-19) in 26 league games, while maintaining a superb plus-26 rating. In February, during a break in the Canada West schedule, the 5-foot-10, 160-pound rearguard was named an alternate captain with the Canadian team at the Winter Universiade in Spain, where he tallied five points in six contests, including a two-goal effort against Russia, to help the Red and White claim the bronze medal.
“Jesse has proven himself to be a leader on and off the ice during his time as a Golden Bear. He plays the game with heart and character and those attributes have helped make him one of the top players in Canada West hockey,” said head coach Ian Herbers. “He has great offensive instincts and competes and battles all over the ice. An offensively gifted defenceman, Jesse is a scoring threat on every shift. Besides his on-ice skill and success, he has been a mentor for our younger players and has led the way and showed them how to be a Golden Bear.”
UNB’S Jordan Murray and Windsor’s Kenny Bradford were also nominated.
GOALTENDER OF THE YEAR: Anthony Peters, Saint Mary’s
Peters, a fourth-year commerce student from Blyth, Ont., puts an end to a five-year domination by Canada West netminders since the CIS award was first presented in 2009-10.
Named the Huskies team MVP each of the past three campaigns, Peters posted a 16-7 in league play this season and finished with a 2.30 goals against average and a .926 save percentage, the best in the nation among goaltenders with 20 or more starts. The eighth most-utilized goalie in the country with just under 1,400 minutes of ice time, he was a major factor in Saint Mary’s third-place finish in the ultra-competitive AUS conference.
A former member of the CIS all-rookie team, Peters’ selection to the first all-Canadian squad this season is the first of his career. In 2013, he led the Huskies to an appearance in the University Cup final and was the number-one goalie at the Winter Universiade in Italy, where he went 4-0 to help Canada capture the gold medal.
Head coach Trevor Stienburg honoured his star goaltender following the Huskies last home game by saying, “Anthony Peters is without a doubt the best goalie in CIS and the best to ever wear a Huskies jersey.”
The other nominees were Kris Lazaruk of Calgary and Parker Van Buskirk of Windsor.
CLARE DRAKE AWARD (rookie of the year): Spencer Abraham, Queen’s
Abraham, a 5-foot-10 arts and science student from Campbellville, Ont., quarterbacked the Gaels offence from the blueline all season. He is the second straight Queen’s player – and the second in school history – to receive the Clare Drake Award, following in the footsteps goaltender Kevin Bailie.
After spending four campaigns in the Ontario Hockey League, which included a conference finals appearance with the Erie Otters last season, Abraham quickly found a home with the Gaels as he started off his CIS career with a six-game point streak and never looked back. He finished as the team’s leading scorer with 28 points (5-23-28) in 25 league games, which tied for the CIS lead amongst defenceman. His 23 assists ranked second in the country among rearguards, one of his two game-winning goals secured a victory over cross-town rival RMC in the annual Carr-Harris Cup, and he was also the anchor of a defensive unit that ranked sixth in the 19-team OUA conference with 2.79 goals allowed per contest.
“Spencer came in from day one and showed maturity beyond his years,” said head coach Brett Gibson. “He played in all situations, against the other team’s top players every night and it still did not slow down his offensive production. His future in this game and league is very bright.”
UNB defenceman Randy Gazzola and Alberta forward Stephane Legault were also nominated.
R.W. PUGH AWARD (most sportsmanlike player): Elgin Pearce, Calgary
Pearce, a second-year forward from Port Coquitlam, B.C., is the first Dino to claim the R.W. Pugh Award since Paul Geddes won it back-to-back in 1986 and 1987.
The 6-foot, 175-pound sophomore had a breakout year during his first full season with the Dinos as he dressed in all 28 league games and led the team in goals (17) and points (31), while spending only eight minutes in the penalty box. The highlight of his regular season came on Nov. 20 against the nationally top-ranked Alberta Golden Bears when he registered a hat trick and finished with a plus-5 rating to lead the Dinos to a 5-3 win.
Pearce, who was part of Team Canada’s bronze medal win at the 2015 Winter Universiade in Spain, joined the Dinos midway through the 2013-14 season, following a five-year career in the Western Hockey League with Kootenay and Medicine Hat.
“When Elgin came to us last year he was a very good player, but this year he had had an entirely different focus,” said head coach Mark Howell. “He had a great summer and came in very determined to have a solid year. From the middle of October on, he became one of our most dynamic forwards by competing really hard, playing physical and going to the hard areas – all while being very disciplined.”
Forwards Ben Duffy of Saint Mary’s and Marc-Olivier Mimar of UQTR were also up for the award.
FATHER GEORGE KEHOE MEMORIAL AWARD (TIMEX coach of the year): Gardiner MacDougall, UNB
In his 15th season behind the UNB bench, MacDougall had previously won the Father Kehoe Award in 2010 and was also the AUS nominee in 2004. The native of Bedeque, P.E.I., who will coach in his 10th University Cup championship later this week, has guided the Varsity Reds to four national titles and a pair of silver medals in nine previous tournament appearances.
This season, the resident of New Maryland, N.B., led the V-Reds to their eighth consecutive first-place finish in the AUS conference and the No. 2 spot in the national rankings thanks to a superb 22-4-2 record. His team, which includes his son Taylor, led the league in both goals scored (118) and goals allowed (61) over the 28-game schedule.
MacDougall is the all-time AUS and UNB leader in wins and the third winningest coach at the University Cup. He has twice helped Canada capture gold at the Winter Universiade, first as an assistant coach in 2007 and again as head coach in 2013 in Trentino, Italy.
“Coach MacDougall consistently produces impressive results in the ultra-competitive AUS conference,” said John Richard, Director of Athletics. “Despite turning over more than half of our student-athletes from last year’s roster, he and his coaching staff once again found a way to capture the regular season pennant for the eighth straight year.”
Windsor’s Kevin Hamlin and Mount Royal’s Bert Gilling were also in the running.
DR. RANDY GREGG AWARD (hockey, academics & community service): Olivier Hinse, Concordia
The Dr. Randy Gregg Award is going to a member of the Concordia Stingers for the first time in program history. It is only the second time a player from a Quebec-based university is the recipient, the first being McGill’s Mathieu Darche in 2000.
On the ice, Hinse, a third-year centre from Sherbrooke, Que., is one of the most prolific scorers in the country, tying for the OUA lead and finishing second in CIS with 18 goals in 26 league games. Four of those markers came shorthanded, the most by any player in the nation, and he also added 13 assists to finish 10th in OUA scoring with 31 points. He was named an assistant captain for the 2012-13 season, becoming the youngest player in school history to earn an A on his sweater, and was named the Stingers captain for the 2014-15 campaign.
When he’s not on the ice, Hinse is a leader in both the community and the classroom. He maintains a 3.17 GPA in Child Studies and has been actively involved in several community initiatives including volunteering as an assistant coach for a local junior AAA hockey team, coaching at Stingers hockey schools, participating in the Stingers community skating party, taking part in the Centraide Walk and helping at L’Abri en Ville unloading crates of fruit that are sold to help fund the integration of mentally challenged adults into the community. He also works part-time during the season, approximately 20 hours a week.
“He just brings so much to the program,” said head coach Kevin Figsby. “He’s worked the hardest on and off the ice, and he is extremely devoted to the Stingers. If the players on our team follow his example, use him as their role model – we will have an exceptional run the next couple years.”
Forwards Robert Slaney of St. Francis Xavier and Jordan DePape of Manitoba were also nominated.
The all-Canadian teams were also announced on Wednesday.
Joining major award winners Spencer Pommells, Jesse Craige and Anthony Peters on the first squad were conference MVPs Philippe Maillet of UNB (14-25-39 in 28 GP) and T.J. Foster of Alberta (18-24-42 in 28 GP) on offence, as well as UNB’s Jordan Murray on defence (8-15-23 / +19 in 26 GP).
Craige was a second-team member back in 2013, while Peters (2012), Maillet (2014) and Murray (2014) had previously merited CIS all-rookie recognition.
The second CIS dream team for this season is comprised of Calgary goalie Kris Lazaruk (9-4 / 1.67 / .938), rearguards Kenny Bradford of Windsor (8-20-28 in 27 GP) and Reginaldo Traccitto of UPEI (11-15-26 in 28 GP), as well as forwards Cédric McNicoll of McGill (11-23-34 in 25 GP), Cody Cartier of Mount Royal (14-25-39 in 28 GP) and Brett Thompson of Acadia (19-19-38 in 28 GP).
Traccitto was named to the second unit for the second straight year.
Joining Spencer Abraham on the 2014-15 CIS all-rookie squad were UBC netminder Eric Williams (7-7 / 2.27 / .923), UNB defenceman Randy Gazzola (2-22-24 / +21 in 28 GP) and forwards Zachary Franko of Acadia (12-18-30 in 28 GP), Darcy Greenaway of Queen’s (16-10-26 in 25 GP) and Stephane Legault of Alberta (6-15-21 in 28 GP).
2014-2015 CIS MEN’S HOCKEY AWARDS & ALL-CANADIANS
Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy (player of the year): Spencer Pommells, Windsor
Defenceman of the year: Jesse Craige, Alberta
Goaltender of the year: Anthony Peters, Saint Mary’s
Clare Drake Award (rookie of the year): Spencer Abraham, Queen’s
R.W. Pugh Award (most sportsmanlike player): Elgin Pearce, Calgary
Father George Kehoe Memorial Award (TIMEX coach of the year): Gardiner MacDougall, UNB
Dr. Randy Gregg Award (hockey, academics & community service): Olivier Hinse, Concordia
|G||Anthony Peters||Saint Mary’s||4||Blyth, ON||Commerce|
|D||Jesse Craige||Alberta||5||Edmonton, AB||Phys. Ed. & Recreation|
|D||Jordan Murray||UNB||2||Riverview, NB||Kinesiology|
|F||Spencer Pommells||Windsor||4||Grande Prairie, AB||Libertal Studies|
|F||Philippe Maillet||UNB||2||Terrebonne, QC||UGND|
|F||T.J. Foster||Alberta||2||Slave Lake, AB||Business|
|G||Kris Lazaruk||Calgary||4||Edmonton, AB||Arts|
|D||Kenny Bradford||Windsor||3||St. Catharines, ON||Liberal Studies|
|D||Reginaldo Traccitto||UPEI||3||Oakville, ON||Arts|
|F||Cédric McNicoll||McGill||5||Boucherville, QC||Accounting|
|F||Cody Cartier||Mount Royal||3||Sylvan Lake, AB||Business|
|F||Brett Thompson||Acadia||3||Sault Ste. Marie, ON||Recreation Management|
|G||Eric Williams||UBC||1||Langley, BC||Arts|
|D||Spencer Abraham||Queen’s||1||Campbellville, ON||Arts & Science|
|D||Randy Gazzola||UNB||1||Thorold, ON||Rec. & Sports Studies|
|F||Zach Franko||Acadia||1||Winnipeg, MB||Business Admin.|
|F||Darcy Grennawya||Queen’s||1||Odessa, ON||Arts & Science|
|F||Stephane Legault||Alberta||1||Edmonton, AB||Native Studies|