The 2017 U SPORTS men’s hockey awards gala will be live-streamed at:
(FREDERICTON, NB) On the eve of the Cavendish Farms Coupe U Cup, U SPORTS Canada will honour its award winners for the 2016-17 season, and an all-star cast will preside over the evening.
The U SPORTS men’s hockey awards gala will be held on Wednesday, March 15, at the Richard J. Currie Center, on the campus of the University of New Brunswick, host of the 2017 and 2018 Cavendish Farms Coupe U Cup.
The Currie Center is a state of the art multi-purpose facility. Last March, it played host to the 2016 Canadian university women’s basketball championship.
The U SPORTS awards gala will be presented by The UNB Associated Alumni.
“We are proud to be a sponsor of this national event which will showcase outstanding players and coaches from all over Canada,” said Margaret Grant-McGivney, the Executive Director of the UNB Associated Alumni. “UNB has a long and proud tradition of hockey with a dedicated and enthusiastic alumni following. We look forward to supporting our student athletes and welcoming our alumni and friends to the awards gala and an exciting weekend of competition.”
The awards gala will feature trophy presentations, music, a Master of Ceremonies recognized as one of Canada’s favourite hockey broadcasters, and a former Varsity Red as guest speaker.
Gene Chiarello’s journey may be a familiar one for Varsity Reds fans.
Following his third season with the Varsity Reds, in 2003, the then 24-year-old goaltender was diagnosed with a tumour on the stem of his brain.
Chemotherapy and surgeries worked, but it was a long and painful fight.
While Chiarello’s days of playing competitive hockey came to an end, his role in the game of life continued. He graduated from UNB in 2005, but returned in 2007 to attend Law School.
He’s been practicing law, in London, Ontario, for the past six years.
Chiarello will return once again for the 2017 Cavendish Farms Coupe U Cup, and will be the guest speaker at the U SPORTS Canada Awards Gala, on Wednesday, March 15th.
“I’m deeply honoured to be asked to participate in the Coupe U Cup weekend,” said Chiarello. “It’s a privilege to be given the opportunity to share my story, in the hopes of providing inspiration and guidance to some of Canada’s best student-athletes, at the outset of this celebrated week of hockey.”
Chiarello says he’ll draw on his experience during his battle with the brain tumour, but it won’t be the focus.
“I’ll focus on the importance of not resting on our past accomplishments, and always striving to improve,” said Chiarello. “I think that message is especially important for young athletes, in particular hockey players, as they transition from their athletic careers into real life.”
U SPORTS best will also be honoured.
First and second All-Canadians teams will be named.
Awards to be presented include the Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy, for player of the year, the Clare Drake Award, for rookie of the year, the U SPORTS defenceman and goaltender of the year awards, the Father George Kehoe Memorial Award, for coach of the year, the R.W. Pugh Award, for most sportsmanlike player, and the Randy Gregg Award, recognizing hockey, academics and community service.
Entertainment will be provided by Jonathan Roy.
A rising star on the Canadian music scene, Roy began life in a hockey family.
The son of Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy, Jonathan was an aspiring goalie himself, until his father convinced him hockey wasn’t in his future.
His debut single, “Daniella Denmark,” soared into the Canadian radio top 10, in 2016.
His second single, “You’re My Ace,” was well received in Canada and there are plans to release it in the United States.
Roy will perform a selection of his music, and is likely to sprinkle a few anecdotes about life in a hockey family between songs.
Tara Slone, the co-host of Rogers Hometown Hockey, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.
A Juno-nominated singer, actress and broadcaster, Slone joined Hometown Hockey for its inaugural season, in 2014.
She works alongside Ron MacLean, delivering a live national broadcast every Sunday from a different community.
In November of 2015, Slone and the Hometown Hockey crew broadcast their program from Fredericton.
Before broadcasting, Slone fronted the Juno-nominated rock group ‘Joydrop,’ and was a finalist on the CBS hit series ‘Rockstar: INXS’, in 2005.
“On a night where we’ll celebrate U SPORTS hockey, this is an all-star line-up,” said John Richard, the Director of Athletics at the University of New Brunswick. “Tara, Jonathan and Gene will bring a special presence to the awards gala and create lasting memories for all those involved.”
The U SPORTS Canada men’s hockey awards gala will take place on Wednesday, March 15, 2017, at 7:30pm, at the Richard J. Currie Center.
Tickets cost $30.00 and can be purchased in person from the Aitken Centre box office, or on-line at www.vreds.ca/tickets
Tickets for the awards gala are available until March 9.
The box office is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 11:00am until 4:00pm, and Tuesday and Thursday, from 11:00am until 5:00pm.
For more information, you can call the Aitken Centre box office, at 453-5054.