HALIFAX (CIS) – Guillaume Asselin, a third-year right-winger from the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières, was named the CIS player of the year in men’s hockey, Wednesday night.
Asselin, a business administration student from Quebec City, became only the third Patriotes standout to merit the Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy since the award was first presented back in 1970. Forward Alexandre Tremblay and goaltender Luc Bélanger had been honoured in 2003 and 1999, respectively.
Other CIS award winners announced during the All-Canadian Gala held at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel were UNB rearguard Jordan Murray, who was named the defenceman of the year; Saskatchewan netminder Jordan Cooke, selected as the best goaltender; Carleton forward Brett Welychka, who received the Clare Drake Award as rookie of the year; Calgary forward Elgin Pearce, who claimed the R.W. Pugh Award for the second straight season; St. Francis Xavier bench boss Brad Peddle, who captured the Father George Kehoe Memorial Award as the TIMEX coach of the year; as well as StFX defenceman Nathan Chiarlitti, who merited the Dr. Randy Gregg Award recognizing his excellence in hockey, academics and community involvement.
The University Cup championship, hosted by Saint Mary’s University, gets under way 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 and TVA Sports 2. Saturday’s semifinals are also live on Sportsnet 360 and TVA Sports (12 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 streamed on www.CIS-SIC.tv.
SENATOR JOSEPH A. SULLIVAN TROPHY (player of the year): Guillaume Asselin, UQTR
Asselin was nothing short of sensational in his third season with UQTR as he led the country in goals (27), points (47) and game-winning goals (6) – three of them in overtime – in 28 league games. His MVP campaign included a 14-game point streak and a remarkable stretch of 10 goals in five contests from Jan. 16 to Feb. 6 that saw him notch back-to-back hat-tricks. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound forward also led his team in shots on net (113) and ended conference play with a superb +23 rating.
Thanks in large part to their first-line right-winger, the Patriotes topped CIS in scoring for the second straight season with a whopping 5.00 goals per game on their way to posting the best record in the country (24-3-1). Their power play was the third most potent in the nation, clicking at a 29.9 per cent rate.
Asselin joined the Pats in January of 2014 following an 11-game stint with the East Coast Hockey League’s Greenville Road Warriors and has since averaged over 1.5 points per contest in each of his three campaigns with the team, including 23 points (10-13-23) in 12 league games in 2013-14 and 34 points (8-26-34) in 25 outings a year ago. He collected his 100th career point with UQTR in his 63rd conference game on Feb. 6, reaching the plateau in style with a six-point performance. Last December, he was part of a team of CIS all-stars selected for a two-game series against Canada’s national junior team prospects in Toronto.
At the CHL level, Asselin played two seasons with the Montreal Juniors before starring for three years with Chicoutimi, averaging over a point a game in each of his three seasons with the Saguenéens.
“Guillaume is fully deserving of this honour,” said head coach Marc-Étienne Hubert. “He is a passionate individual who invested a lot of efforts this year both on and off the ice, and his hard work has paid off. His consistency was a big part of his success this season.”
The other nominees were forward Eric Locke of StFX and goaltender Jordon Cooke of Saskatchewan.
DEFENCEMAN OF THE YEAR: Jordan Murray, UNB
Murray is the first UNB rearguard to win the CIS award since its inception in 2010. Saint Mary’s Andrew Hotham was the only previous recipient from the AUS conference, in 2011.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound native of Riverview, N.B., played in 27 of 28 conference games in his third season with the Varsity Reds and was the highest-scoring defenceman in the AUS with a 5-23-28 dossier. As reliable in his own end, Murray posted a +24 rating and helped the V-Reds finish first in the Atlantic and second in the country with 2.18 goals allowed per game.
Thanks to his all-around strong play, Murray was voted to the first all-Canadian team for the second straight year and became a three-time AUS all-star. Last December, he was on the CIS all-star squad that split a two-game series against Canada’s national junior team hopefuls in Toronto. He joined UNB in the fall of 2013 after a three-year career in the QMJHL, including two seasons with Acadie-Bathurst and one with Drummondville.
“Jordan is a dynamic part of our team and has had a tremendous season,” said head coach Gardiner MacDougall. “He has shown continued improvement in all parts of his game and has been our most consistent player.”
The other nominees were Samuel Labrecque of McGill and Jordan Rowley of Alberta.
GOALTENDER OF THE YEAR: Jordon Cooke, Saskatchewan
Cooke is the first Saskatchewan goaltender to be honoured at the national level but became the sixth winner from the Canada West conference in the seven-year history of the award, the lone exception being Saint Mary’s Anthony Peters a year ago.
In only his second season with the Huskies, the Leduc, Alta. native etched his name in the record books as he set a new program benchmark with 19 wins in conference play. Starting 24 of the team’s 28 league games, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound arts and science student led Canada West in both wins and save percentage (.921), while his 2.52 goals against average ranked third in the conference. His stellar play in front of the net helped Saskatchewan finish atop the league standings for the first time since 1999-2000 with a 22-6-0 mark.
In addition to the top goalie award, Cooke was also named the Canada West’s most outstanding player, the first netminder to do so since 1993-94. Last December, he represented CIS in the two-game exhibition series versus Canada’s national team prospects in Toronto.
“Jordon’s strong play early on in the year really gave our young team the confidence it needed to believe that it could be successful,” said head coach Dave Adolph. “Setting a new program wins record with 19 proves that Jordon can really play. Every night he gave us a chance to win and our team would find a way.”
The other nominees were Corbin Boes of Dalhousie and Kevin Bailie of Queen’s.
CLARE DRAKE AWARD (rookie of the year): Brett Welychka, Carleton
Welychka is the second Raven in four years to win the Clare Drake Award, joining 2013 recipient Mitch Porowski.
As a two-time Memorial Cup participant with the London Knights and former Belleville Bulls captain, it did not take long for Welychka to adapt to the pace of CIS hockey. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound forward took the OUA by storm in an outstanding freshman campaign that saw him finish second in CIS scoring with 46 points, including a CIS-leading 32 assists in 27 league games. He began his university career with a six-game point streak and continued his torrid scoring pace throughout the season with 15 multi-point performances, along with two game-winning goals.
The arts student from London, Ont., was the focal point of a prolific Ravens offence that ranked third in the OUA and fifth in the nation with 4.11 goals per contest. In addition to winning the Clare Drake Award, Welychka was named an OUA East first-team all-star in his university debut.
“Brett has made an immediate impact on our program and he has brought a very mature approach to his game in how he prepares and practices each week,” said head coach Marty Johnston. “He plays a 200-foot game and the coaching staff counts on him to be a dominant player each night. He is very deserving of this award.”
The other nominees were forwards Phil Gadoury of Dalhousie and Kohl Bauml of Saskatchewan.
R.W. PUGH AWARD (most sportsmanlike player): Elgin Pearce, Calgary
Pearce is the first back-to-back winner of the R.W. Pugh Award since Lakehead’s Joel Scherban in 2003 and 2004. Former Dinos star Paul Geddes is the only other player to merit the honour in consecutive years, taking home the first two awards presented in 1986 and 1987.
Pearce, a third-year student in the Faculty of Arts from Port Coquitlam, B.C., was Calgary’s leading goal scorer with 11 during the regular season and was tied for the team points lead with 27, good for 12th in the Canada West conference. Playing in all 28 league games, the 6-foot, 175-pound earned only 14 penalty minutes. As a team, the Dinos were one of the most disciplined squads in the country in conference play with only 306 minutes in the box, ranking 29th out of 35 CIS programs.
For his Canada West career, Pearce has registered 30 goals and 33 assists in 66 regular season contests, while at the same time compiling just 24 penalty minutes. He joined the Dinos in 2013 after a four-year WHL career with Kootenay and Medicine Hat.
“Elgin has been a consistent offensive performer the last two years for us,” said head coach Mark Howell.“He works hard at everything he does. He is in peak physical condition, he works hard in the classroom, and on the ice he is competitive, but disciplined. He respects the game, his teammates, coaches, staff, and the opposition. It’s fitting he should get this award for the second year in a row.”
The other nominees were forwards Ben Duffy of Saint Mary’s and Michael McNamee of Carleton.
FATHER GEORGE KEHOE MEMORIAL AWARD (TIMEX coach of the year): Brad Peddle, StFX
Peddle, in his 11th season as X-Men head coach, becomes the first StFX bench boss to win the Father Kehoe Award, which has been presented annually since 1971. The native of St. John’s was only the third X-Men coach to be honoured by his peers at the AUS level, and the first since 1977.
Peddle guided the X-Men to second place in the always competitive AUS conference this year with an 18-6-4 record this year. This marked the team’s best regular season performance and first-round playoff bye since 2003-04. His team was ranked nationally in 17 of 19 Top 10 polls this season, peaking at No. 3 following their upset sweep of UNB in the best-of-three Atlantic final.
Peddle has led the blue and white to 11 consecutive AUS playoff appearances and four CIS championship berths (2016, 2015, 2011, 2007). In 369 regular season, playoff and University Cup championship games, he has a career record of 187-181-1. A former X-Men captain, he played defence with the team from 1995 to 1999, meriting all-Canadian status once and receiving the prestigious Dr. Randy Gregg Award, both in 1998-99. After playing professionally for five years, he made his coaching debut with the Halifax Jr. Mooseheads and Antigonish Jr. A Bulldogs prior to rejoining the StFX program. In 2013, he helped Canada capture gold as an assistant coach at the World University Games in Italy.
“Brad’s growth and development as a hockey coach over the past decade has been phenomenal,” said director of athletics and recreation Leo MacPherson. “He will be the first to give credit to others, but it has been his leadership and resourcefulness that has the X-Men hockey program thriving. His success is built on a platform of caring for his players, and a desire to support them on their quest to become leaders and champions.”
The other nominees were Chris Dennis of York and Bert Gilling of Mount Royal.
DR. RANDY GREGG AWARD (hockey, academics & community service): Nathan Chiarlitti, StFX
Chiarlitti, a former member of the Sarnia Sting and Owen Sound Attack in the OHL, became only the second StFX player to earn the Dr. Randy Gregg Award since it was first presented in 1991. He joins his current head coach Brad Peddle, who claimed the honour in 1999.
In his third-year of eligibility, the assistant captain from Maple, Ont., is a tremendous leader on and off the ice for the X-Men. An AUS second-team all-star for the second consecutive season, Chiarlitti played in all 28 games during the regular season, averaging over 30 minutes per contest, leading the team’s defencemen in scoring with three goals and 12 assists, and finishing with a plus/minus rating of +14.
Academically, the fourth-year Dean’s List student achieved CIS academic all-Canadian status in each of the past two years, finishing amongst the top five students in his honors humans kinetics program. He recently completed the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and hopes to attend medical school in the future.
Chiarlitti is heavily involved in the community, volunteering his time with an array of organizations and causes. He was awarded the Leader of Distinction award by the StFX Leadership Academy, which he has been involved with for the past three years. He is a volunteer coach for the Antigonish Minor Hockey Mentorship Program, and founded and maintains the Hockey Program of X-Cellence, a peer tutoring program for both the X-Men and X-Women varsity teams. He is also president of the Coady Society, volunteers with the StFX human kinetics community service learning program Fit 4 Life and Fit 4 Tots, participates in StFX’s Best Buddies program, has lent his time to L’Arche Horizons, and has also done extensive volunteer work in medical research including thyroid oncology research at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, work with Caisis, the online cancer data management system, as well as data collection for CAPL (Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy).
“Nathan has been our captain all season and is a tremendous leader in our group,” said head coach Brad Peddle. “He is highly respected in our dressing room, while being able to maintain strong personal relationships with his teammates. He is our most reliable player on the ice in every situation. When it comes to the values associated with this award and the complete person it exemplifies, I can sincerely say Nathan fits the description more than anyone I have ever had in our program. His willingness to go above and beyond to help others is quite remarkable.”
The other nominees were defenceman Mike Moffat of Waterloo and goaltender Dylan Tait of Lethbridge.
The all-Canadian teams were also announced on Wednesday.
Joining major award winners Guillaume Asselin of UQTR, Jordan Murray of UNB and Jordon Cooke of Saskatchewan on the first squad were defenceman Samuel Labrecque of McGill (16-28-44 in 28 GP) and forwards Eric Locke of StFX (14-21-35 in 28 GP) and Tyler Fiddler of Mount Royal (12-23-35 in 26 GP).
Murray was the only returnee from last year’s first-team selection.
The second CIS dream team is comprised of goaltender Kevin Bailie of Queen’s, rearguards Jordan Rowley of Alberta and Matthew Pufahl of Acadia, as well as forwards Colin Behenna of Waterloo, Colin DePape of Manitoba and Alex Saulnier of Moncton.
Rowley was a member of the first CIS unit in 2014, when Bailie was selected as the national rookie of the year.
Joining CIS top freshman Brett Welychka of Carleton on the 2015-16 all-rookie squad were netminder Sébastien Auger of UQTR, defencemen Dominic Talbot-Tassi of McGill and Adam Henry of Manitoba, along with forwards Kohl Bauml of Saskatchewan and Phil Gadoury of Dalhousie.
2015-2016 CIS MEN’S HOCKEY AWARDS & ALL-CANADIANS
Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy (player of the year): Guillaume Asselin, UQTR
Defenceman of the year: Jordan Murray, UNB
Goaltender of the year: Jordon Cooke, Saskatchewan
Clare Drake Award (rookie of the year): Brett Welychka, Carleton
R.W. Pugh Award (most sportsmanlike player): Elgin Pearce, Calgary
Father George Kehoe Memorial Award (TIMEX coach of the year): Brad Peddle, StFX
Dr. Randy Gregg Award (hockey, academics & community service): Nathan Chiarlitti, StFX
Pos. Athlete University Year Hometown Academic Program
G Jordon Cooke Saskatchewan 2 Leduc, Alta. Arts & Science
D Samuel Labrecque McGill 5 Granby, Que. Arts
D Jordan Murray UNB 3 Riverview, N.B. Kinesiology
F Guillaume Asselin UQTR 3 Quebec City, Que. Business Admin.
F Eric Locke StFX 2 Toronto, Ont. Human Kinetics
F Tyler Fiddler Mount Royal 5 Prince Albert, Sask. Business Admin.
G Kevin Bailie Queen’s 3 Belleville, Ont. Arts & Science
D Jordan Rowley Alberta 5 Edmonton, Alta. Business
D Matthew Pufahl Acadia 2 Saskatoon, Sask. Community Develop.
F Colin Behenna Waterloo 4 Waterloo, Ont. Math & Business
F Jordan DePape Manitoba 3 Winnipeg, Man. Arts
F Alex Saulnier Moncton 3 Cap-Pelé, N.B. MBA
G Sébastien Auger UQTR 1 St-Augustin-de-Demaures, Que. Pers. Certificat
D Dominic Talbot-Tassi McGill 1 Mascouche, Que. Engineering
D Adam Henry Manitoba 1 Winnipeg, Man. University 1
F Brett Welychka Carleton 1 London, Ont. Arts
F Kohl Bauml Saskatchewan 1 Saskatoon, Sask. Business
F Phil Gadoury Dalhousie 1 Montreal, Que. Commerce