V-Reds take home AUS MVP, Rookie and Coach of the Year

V-Reds take home AUS MVP, Rookie and Coach of the Year

(HALIFAX, N.S.) - Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2014-15 AUS men's hockey major award winners and all-stars as selected by the conference's eight head coaches following regular season play.

Second-year forward Philippe Maillet of Lachenaie, Que. has been named the Atlantic University Sport most valuable player.

Other AUS major award winners announced today were UNB's Randy Gazzola of Thorold, Ont., who was named rookie of the year; Saint Mary's Ben Duffy of Lower Sackville, N.S., who was selected as the most sportsmanlike player; StFX'sRob Slaney of Portugal Cove, N.L., who earned the Godfrey award for student-athlete community service; and UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall, who was named the AUS coach of the year for the fourth time in his career.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER (Kelly Trophy): Philippe Maillet, UNB

The Atlantic University Sport men's hockey most valuable player is Philippe Maillet of the UNB Varsity Reds.

Maillet, a second-year forward from Lachenaie, Que., led the AUS in points this season with 39 in 28 games played. Also named a first team all-star today, he posted 14 goals, 25 assists and had a plus/minus rating of +17 this season.

Maillet took home AUS rookie of the year honours last season and was named to both the AUS and CIS all-rookie teams.

He becomes the fourth UNB player to claim the Kelly Trophy, joining former Varsity Reds standouts Hunter Tremblay (2009-10), Rob Hennigar (2007-08) and Dax MacLean (1997-98).

In two seasons of university hockey, Maillet, a former player with the QMJHL's Victoriaville Tigres, has now accumulated 80 career points in 54 regular season games played.

He also posted a goal and an assist in UNB's crucial Game 5 win over StFX in the Subway AUS Men's Hockey Championship semi-final series this postseason.

In Game 1 of the best-of-three final series versus the Acadia Axemen, Maillet scored four goals as UNB downed Acadia 8-2. Game 2 will be played tonight in Wolfville.

"Phil has had an outstanding season for our hockey club and has combined his elite offensive prowess with his passion to win to be a key difference-maker in the success of our team," said UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall. "He has been a consistent offensive producer for our team including an AUS best 17-game scoring streak which made a significant difference in his AUS scoring title and in helping our team to our eighth consecutive AUS pennant. A true 'all-star' student-athlete, Phil was also an academic all-Canadian last season."

Maillet will now represent the conference as the AUS nominee for the CIS's Senator Joseph A. Sullivan trophy as the nation's top player.

The Atlantic conference has claimed eight of the past 11 CIS player of the year awards, with Acadia's Liam Heelis as the most recent recipient last season.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (A.J. MacAdam Trophy): Randy Gazzola, UNB

The Atlantic conference rookie of the year and recipient of the A.J. MacAdam Trophy for 2014-15 is UNB Varsity Reds defenceman Randy Gazzola.

In just his first year with the UNB program, the 6-foot-3 kinesiology student from Thorold, Ont. racked up 24 points and boasted the second highest plus/minus rating in the conference with +21.

The rookie played in all 28 games for the Varsity Reds this season and posted 69 shots.

"Randy has had an exceptional first season here at UNB combining elite offensive skill with an excellent defensive game to become one of the top overall D-men in the AUS," said Varsity Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall. "He has top quality leadership values, a 'minute muncher' who can play top-quality minutes and has excellent on-ice and off-ice habits including being en route to becoming an academic all-Canadian as well."

Gazzola, who played two seasons with the QMJHL's Val D'or Foreurs and a season with the Halifax Mooseheads before joining the Varsity Reds, becomes the 10thUNB player to be named the conference's top rookie. He is also the second consecutive winner from UNB, with current MVP Philippe Maillet taking home the honours last season.

Gazzola will now look to become the third UNB player to be selected as the CIS rookie of the year later this month. Former Varsity Reds Kevin Young and Ryan Lindsay took home the national honour in 2003-04 and 1997-98 respectively.

The most recent player from the Atlantic conference to earn the award was StFX's Jason Bast in 2010-11.

COACH OF THE YEAR (Bob Boucher Trophy): Gardiner MacDougall, UNB

In his 15th season as head coach, Gardiner MacDougall has been selected by his peers as the 2014-15 AUS coach of the year for the fourth time in his career.

MacDougall guided the CIS No. 2-ranked Varsity Reds to a 22-4-2 regular season record this year and a first-place finish in the Atlantic conference standings with 46 points. This is the eighth consecutive year UNB has finished first in the regular season standings.

To date, MacDougall boasts an impressive 362-148-18 career record, including regular season, AUS playoff and CIS championship action.

"Coach MacDougall consistently produces impressive results in the ultra-competitive Atlantic University Sport conference," said UNB athletic director John Richard. "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."

MacDougall is the fourth coach from the UNB Varsity Reds to earn AUS coach of the year honours and this is his fourth time earning the award.

He now becomes the Atlantic conference nominee for the Father George Kehoe Memorial Award as the CIS coach of the year. An AUS coach has claimed this award in three of the past five seasons. Trevor Stienburg of the Saint Mary's Huskies earned the accolade in 2012-13, Moncton's Serge Bourgeois in 2011-12 and MacDougall in 2009-10.

MOST SPORTSMANLIKE PLAYER (Don Wells Trophy): Ben Duffy, Saint Mary's

Saint Mary's forward Ben Duffy been chosen as the Atlantic University Sport most sportsmanlike player and recipient of the Don Wells Trophy in his first year in the conference.

A first-year commerce student from Lower Sackville, N.S., Duffy finished tied for third overall in the AUS in goals this season with 15 and tied for third in game-winning goals with three.

Duffy tallied 33 total points this regular season and posted four power play goals. Playing in 26 of the Huskies' 28 regular season games along with eight games this postseason, he accumulated only two penalty minutes.  

"I am thrilled that Ben was recognized for such a prestigious award," said Huskies head coach Trevor Stienburg. "Ben plays the game with an incredible amount of skill, but more importantly he is a true ambassador of the game and what university sport represents."

Duffy is the fifth Saint Mary's player to receive this award and the first since former Huskies' standout Cam Fergus claimed the award in three consecutive seasons from 2008-09 to 2010-11.

Duffy now becomes the Atlantic conference nominee for the CIS's R. W. Pugh Award. Dan Rudisuela is the most recent student-athlete to claim the honour for Saint Mary's. He earned the accolade following the 2007-08 season. Former UNB standout Chris Culligan earned the national honour last season.

STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD (The Godfrey Award): Rob Slaney, StFX

StFX's Rob Slaney is the 2014-15 Atlantic conference recipient of the Godfrey Award and is the AUS nominee for the prestigious Dr. Randy Gregg Award.

The Godfrey Award, named after Dr. Bill Godfrey, is given annually to the player who best represents the spirit of intercollegiate hockey by his leadership both on and off the ice and by his conduct throughout the season.

Captain of the StFX squad, Slaney is a fifth-year human kinetics student from Portugal Cove, N.L. He played in 26 of StFX's 28 regular season games this year, posting 20 points for the X-Men.

Successful in the classroom as well as on the ice, Slaney was an academic all-Canadian last season and has been accepted to medical school, which he will begin in the fall.

Finding the time in his already demanding schedule, Slaney is heavily involved in the Antigonish community. He volunteers with Fit 4 Life and Fit 4 Tots – service learning programs which promote healthy lifestyles to elementary school children and children ages 3 and 4.

He has participated in StFX's Leadership Academy for the past three years and been named 'Leader of Distinction' for his success in the program.

Slaney volunteers as a tutor for numerous students and teammates in math, biomechanics and organic chemistry. He is a volunteer coach for the Peewee AAA Bulldogs and an emergency room volunteer at St. Martha's Hospital.

Other initiatives he lends his time to include Coady on Ice, the Canadian Association for Community Living fundraiser for individuals with special needs and the StFX chapter of Best Buddies Canada.

This is the second consecutive year a member of the X-Men squad has been honoured with the Godfrey Award. Former StFX standout Murdoch MacLellan earned the accolade last season.

"We are extremely pleased to see Rob win this award," said StFX head coach Brad Peddle. "He is a very deserving recipient as he excels on the ice, in the classroom, and in the community. As X-Men team captain he is a great leader, and his competitiveness and work ethic both at the rink and in class sets a great example to teammates. He is a tremendous student-athlete, and a very popular player not only in our locker room but also within the StFX and Antigonish communities."

Slaney now becomes the AUS nominee for the Dr. Randy Gregg Award for the most outstanding CIS student-athlete. X-Men head coach Brad Peddle is the most recent StFX winner of the national award. He took home the honours as a player in 1998-99.

UPEI's Jordan Knox is the most recent recipient of the Dr. Randy Gregg Award from the Atlantic conference, claiming it in 2012-13.

FIRST AND SECOND TEAM ALL-STARS AND ALL-ROOKIE TEAM

The Atlantic University Sport first and second team all-stars were also announced today, along with this year's all-rookie team.

First Team All-Stars:
Goaltender - Anthony Peters, Saint Mary's (4th year – Blyth, Ont.)
Defence - Jordan Murray, UNB (2nd year – Moncton, N.B.)
Defence - Reginaldo Traccitto, UPEI (5th year – Oakville, Ont.)
Forwards - Philippe Maillet, UNB (2nd year – Lachenaie, Que.)
Forwards - Brett Thompson, Acadia (3rd year – Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.)
Forwards - Allain Saulnier, Moncton (2nd year – Cap-Pelé, N.B.) 

Second Team All-Stars:
Goaltender - Drew Owsley, StFX (3rd year – Lethbridge, Alta.)
Defence - Randy Gazzola, UNB (1st year – Thorold, Ont.)
Defence - Nathan Chiarlitti, StFX (2nd year – Maple, Ont.)
Forwards - Mike Cazzola, Acadia (3rd year – Guelph, Ont.)
Forwards - Stephen Johnston, Saint Mary's (4th year – Guelph, Ont.)
Forwards - Michael Kirkpatrick, StFX (4th year – North Sydney, N.S.) 

All-Rookie Team:
Goaltender - Corbin Boes, Dalhousie (Saskatoon, Sask.)
Defence - Randy Gazzola, UNB (Thorold, Ont.)
Defence - Jagger Dirk, StFX (Penticton, B.C.)
Forwards - Zachary Franko, Acadia (Winnipeg, Man.)
Forwards - Cameron Brace, UNB (Toronto, Ont.)
Forwards - Remy Giftopoulos, Acadia (Ancaster, Ont.)

The 2015 Subway Atlantic University Sport men's hockey finals best-of-three series began Monday night in Fredericton. The schedule is as follows:

Championship Series (Best 2-of-3): UNB (1) vs. Acadia (2)

Game 1: Monday, March 2 - Acadia 2 at UNB 8 (FINAL)

Game 2: Wednesday, March 4 – UNB at Acadia, 7 p.m.

Game 3: Friday, March 6 – Acadia at UNB, 7 p.m. (*if necessary)

All games of the AUS championship series will be webcast at www.AUStv.ca.

Both Acadia and UNB will advance to the CIS's 2015 University Cup, along with the host StFX X-Men. The championships will be held at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, March 12-15. 

 

With files from Atlantic University Sport