HALIFAX (CIS) – UNB rearguard Jordan Murray was named the CIS Defenceman of the Year and a First Team All-Canadian at the All-Canadian Gala held at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel.
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.
Guillaume Asselin, a third-year right-winger from the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières, was named the CIS Player of the Year.
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.
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.
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
For more information on the 2016 CIS University Cup, please click here.
With files from Canadian Interuniversity Sport.
Photo courtesy Mona Ghiz.