(HALIFAX, N.S.) – Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2016-17 AUS women’s hockey all-stars and major award winners as selected by the conference’s seven head coaches.
Third-year StFX forward Sarah Bujold was named the Atlantic University Sport most valuable player.
Other AUS major award winners announced today were UPEI’s Sydnee Baker from Chatham, Ont., who was named rookie of the year; Saint Mary’s Nicole Blanche of Dunville, N.L. who was named the league’s top defensive player; St. Thomas’s Becky Conner of East St. Paul, Man., who was selected as the most sportsmanlike player; Saint Mary’s Beatrice Harrietha from Guelph, Ont., who earned the student-athlete community service award; and Saint Mary’s Huskies head coach Chris Larade who was named the AUS coach of the year for the second consecutive season.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Sarah Bujold, StFX X-Women
The Atlantic University Sport women’s hockey most valuable player is third-year forward Sarah Bujold of the StFX X-Women.
A human kinetics student from Riverview, N.B., Bujold led the conference and the country in both points (43) and goals scored this season (24).
She also led U Sports in hat tricks with 10 in 24 games played.
Bujold led the X-Women to a third-place finish in the regular season, with a 16-8-0 record.
Her plus-minus rating of +30 was the second highest in the country. She led the conference in game-winning goals, with five, and in empty net goals, with three.
Bujold is the third player from the StFX X-Women to win the conference MVP award. Former StFX standout Brayden Ferguson won the honour following the 2007-08 season and recent X-Women alumna Alexa Normore earned the award four consecutive times from 2011-12 to 2014-15.
Bujold now becomes the AUS nominee for the Brodrick Trophy as U Sports player of the year. StFX’s Ferguson is the only Atlantic conference player to earn the national honour.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Sydnee Baker, UPEI Panthers
Sydnee Baker, a first-year forward from Chatham, Ont., is the AUS women’s hockey rookie of the year.
Baker, also named to the AUS all-rookie team today, played in all 24 regular season games this year for the Panthers.
The five-foot-10 arts student led the Panthers squad in goals scored with 10 on the season, and in total points with 16.
Baker and the UPEI squad finished fourth in the AUS regular season standings with a 14-9-1 record.
Despite being eliminated in the quarter-final round of the Subway AUS Women’s Hockey Playoffs, she led UPEI in postseason goals with two in two games played.
Baker is the very first player from the UPEI Panthers to be named the conference’s top rookie.
She now looks to become the fourth AUS player to be selected as the U Sports (formerly CIS) rookie of the year.
StFX’s Normore (2010-11) and former Saint Mary’s players Courtney Taylor (2002-03) and Lindsay Schriver (2004-05) are the only AUS players to have won the national award.
MOST SPORTSMANLIKE PLAYER: Becky Conner, St. Thomas Tommies
This season’s Atlantic University Sport most sportsmanlike player is Becky Conner of the St. Thomas Tommies.
This award recognizes an individual who maintains the standards of fair play and treats those around her with respect at all times.
Conner, a third-year arts student from East St. Paul, Man., appeared in all 24 regular season games this year for the Tommies.
The five-foot-four forward finished the season with five goals and 11 assists for 16 points. Through the entirety of the regular season, she took just two penalty minutes.
Conner becomes just the second St. Thomas player to be recognized with this award and the first since former Tommies standout Kayla Blackmore earned the honour in 2010-11.
TOP DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Nicole Blanche, Saint Mary’s Huskies
Saint Mary’s Huskies forward Nicole Blanche has been awarded the inaugural Atlantic University Sport Top Defensive Player award.
This new award will be given annually to a skater who consistently excels in defensive aspects of the game and displays strong play in all areas of the ice individually and as part of their team’s defensive tactics.
A fourth-year commerce student from Dunville, N.L., Blanche and the Huskies squad finished first in the AUS regular season standings with an 18-3-3 record. Saint Mary’s league-leading defence boasted the lowest goals against average in the conference at just 1.71 per game.
Blanche was selected as the winner of this award based upon criteria such as face-offs, blocked shots, fore-checking, rush-zone defending, penalty killing, and shutting down the opposition’s top players.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Chris Larade, Saint Mary’s Huskies
Saint Mary’s head coach Chris Larade has been selected by his peers as the 2016-17 AUS coach of the year in his sixth season with the Huskies program.
This is his second consecutive year earning the honour. Last season, he also earned the national award as CIS (now U Sports) coach of the year.
Larade and the 2015-16 Huskies squad won the AUS championship title—their first since 2010. They then went on to capture a bronze medal at the national championship.
This season, Saint Mary’s finished first in the regular season standings with an 18-3-3 record and earned a bye through to the Subway AUS Women’s Hockey Playoffs semi-final round.
Larade’s past coaching experiences include three years as head coach of the Metro Boston Pizza Female Midget AAA program of the NSFMHL, where the team captured three provincial and league titles and two Atlantic silver medals, and where he was twice named coach of the year.
He was an assistant coach for Team Nova Scotia at the 2011 Canada Winter Games, which were held in Halifax. He has also been heavily involved with Hockey Nova Scotia’s High Performance Program at the U18 and U16 levels, winning five Atlantic Challenge Cups.
Larade is the second Saint Mary’s coach to earn AUS coach of the year honours. Former Huskies coach Lisa MacDonald won the award in both the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons.
Larade will look to become the first-ever Atlantic conference coach to earn back-to-back national coach of the year honours.
In addition to his win last season, Moncton’s Rheal Bordage (2006-07), Dalhousie’s Lesley Jordan (2005-06), and Saint Mary’s MacDonald (2002-03) are the only other Atlantic conference coaches to earn the national award.
STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Beatrice Harrietha, Saint Mary’s
Beatrice Harrietha of the Saint Mary’s Huskies has been selected as the AUS student-athlete community service award recipient.
This award honours the individual who best combines academics, athletics and community involvement.
Harrietha, a third-year science student from Guelph, Ont., played in 22 games for the Huskies this season and finished with seven assists.
In the classroom, she is a perennial U Sports academic all-Canadian. She is also extensively involved in the community, volunteering her time with an array of initatives.
Among the causes Harrietha lends her time to are the Ronald McDonald House, the Out of the Cold homeless shelter and SAMHI (the Student-Athlete Mental Health Initiative).
She also volunteers for the Move for Inclusion student-athlete run initiative which meets weekly to host an ‘open gym’ style play session for children of all abilities.
Harrietha volunteers for Saint Mary’s English as a second language program as a conversation partner, meeting with a partner once a week to help them practice their English.
She is a mentor for the Here for Peers program and meets with first-year student-athletes to offer support and advice on the challenges of balancing university academics and varsity athletics.
Harrietha is also the president of the athletic council and is responsible for leading a team of 22 student-athletes which carries out fundraising events and other community initiatives.
She is the third player from the Huskies to receive this award since its inception in 2002-03, joining Joyce Spruyt (2006-07) and Kori Cheverie (2007-08 and 2008-09).
Harrietha will now represent the conference as the AUS nominee for the U Sports Marion Hilliard Award. The last AUS student-athlete to take home the CIS honour was St. Thomas’s Kayla Blackmore following the 2012-13 season.
FIRST AND SECOND TEAM ALL-STARS AND ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
This year’s Atlantic University Sport first and second team all-stars, along with the all-rookie team members are as follows:
First Team All-Stars:
Goaltender: Marie-Soleil Deschênes, UPEI (5th year – Île-Perrot, Que.)
Defence: Hannah Askin, Saint Mary’s (3rd year – Waterloo, Ont.)
Defence: Eliza Snider, St. Thomas (5th year – Fort Saskatchewan, Sack.)
Forward: Sarah Bujold, StFX (3rd year – Riverview, N.B.)
Forward: Breanna Lanceleve, Saint Mary’s (4th year – Middle Sackville, N.S.)
Forward: Lisa MacLean, Dalhousie (4th year – Inverness, N.S)
Second Team All-Stars:
Goaltender: Rebecca Clark, Saint Mary’s (2nd year – Keswick, Ont.)
Defence: Jessie McCann, St. Thomas (2nd year – Grand Bay, N.B.)
Defence: Emma Martin, UPEI (4th year – Winsloe, P.E.I.)
Forward: Kelty Apperson, St. Thomas (5th year – New Hamburg, Ont.)
Forward: Daley Oddy, StFX (4th year – Cranbrooke, B.C.)
Forward: Caitlyn Manning, Saint Mary’s (4th year – Cambridge, Ont.)
Goaltender: Fabiana Petricca, Dalhousie (Woodbridge, Ont.)
Defence: Lindsey Donovan, StFX (Mirimachi, N.B.)
Defence: Alexandra Woods, St. Thomas (Courtice, Ont.)
Forward: Siobhan Birch, Saint Mary’s (Mississauga, Ont.)
Forward: Sydnee Baker, UPEI (Chatham, Ont.)
Forward: Lauren Legault, St. Thomas (Winnipeg, Man.)
The 2017 Subway AUS Women’s Hockey Playoffs semi-final series are set to begin this Thursday and Friday night, respectively. The two best-of-three playoff series will see the Saint Mary’s Huskies face off against the Moncton Aigles Bleues, while the St. Thomas Tommies take on the StFX X-Women. The schedule is as follows:
Semifinal Series #1 (Best 2-of-3): Saint Mary’s (1) vs. Moncton (5)
Game 1: Thursday, Feb. 23 – Moncton at Saint Mary’s, 7 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, Feb. 25 – Saint Mary’s at Moncton, 7 p.m.
Game 3: Monday, Feb. 27 – Moncton at Saint Mary’s, 7 p.m.*
Semifinal Series #2 (Best 2-of-3): St. Thomas (2) vs. StFX (3)
Game 1: Friday, Feb. 24 – StFX at St. Thomas, 7 p.m.
Game 2: Sunday, Feb. 26 – St. Thomas at StFX, 7 p.m.
Game 3: Tuesday, Feb. 28 – StFX at St. Thomas, 7 p.m.*
The winners of each series will advance to the Subway AUS Women’s Hockey Championship best-of-three final series.
All matches of the AUS championship semifinals will be webcast at www.AUStv.ca.
The 2017 U Sports Women’s Hockey Championship is being hosted by Queen’s University at the Strathcona Paper Centre in Napanee, Ont., March 16-19. The Atlantic conference receives two berths at the national championship. These will be awarded to the AUS champion and runner up.