Bennett, Gazzola Earn AUS Awards

UNB forward Kris Bennett, seen in action during the regular season, has been named Atlantic University Sport's Rookie of the Year, for 2017-18. (Kyle Lamkin/for UNB Athletics)
UNB forward Kris Bennett, seen in action during the regular season, has been named Atlantic University Sport's Rookie of the Year, for 2017-18. (Kyle Lamkin/for UNB Athletics)

(HALIFAX, NS) A pair of Varsity Reds have been named as Atlantic University Sport major award winners.

Three members of UNB's men's hockey team have also been named as All-Stars, while two players were named to the AUS All-Rookie Team.


ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (A.J. MacAdam Trophy): Kris Bennett, UNB Varsity Reds

The Atlantic conference rookie of the year and recipient of the A.J. MacAdam Trophy for the 2017-18 season is UNB forward Kris Bennett.    

In just his first year with the Varsity Reds program, Bennett finished second in the conference in goal scoring with 18 goals in the regular season. 

In 30 games played, the Brampton, Ont. native finished fifth overall in points, adding 20 assists this season. He finished with a plus-minus rating of +15.

Prior to joining the UNB squad, Bennett played five seasons with the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit between 2012-13 and 2016-17. 

He amassed 114 points for the Spirit in 185 games played between 2014-15 and 2016-17.

Bennett now becomes the Atlantic conference nominee for the U SPORTS rookie of the year award. The national award has been won by UNB players twice before. Bennett looks to join the ranked of former UNB standouts Kevin Young, who earned the honour in 2003-04, and Ryan Lindsay, who won in 1997-98.

The last AUS player to receive the honour was former St FX standout Jason Bast following the 2010-11 season.

MOST SPORTSMANLIKE PLAYER (Don Wells Trophy): Randy Gazzola, UNB Varsity Reds 

In his fourth season with the UNB Varsity Reds, defenceman Randy Gazzola has been chosen as the Atlantic University Sport most sportsmanlike player and recipient of the Don Wells Trophy.

A first-year MBA student from Thorold, Ont., Gazzola finished the regular season with 24 points. He scored six goals and 18 assists and finished with a plus-minus rating of +13. In 30 games played this regular season, he amassed just eight penalty minutes.

In his four AUS regular seasons, he has played 110 games, tallied 85 points and taken just 52 career regular season penalty minutes. 

Gazzola was also named to the AUS second team all-star squad today for the second time in his career. 

In his inaugural season with UNB in 2014-15, he was named an AUS second team all-star and earned a place on the AUS all-rookie team. 

Along with award, Gazzola is also this recipient of the 2017-18 Godfrey Award for student-athlete community service.

Gazzola is the fourth Varsity Reds player to be named the conference’s most sportsmanlike player and the first since 2013-14 and 2012-13 when former UNB standout Chris Culligan took home the honour in back-to-back seasons. 

He now becomes the Atlantic conference nominee for the U SPORTS R. W. Pugh Award. UNB’s Culligan is the most recent AUS player to earn the national honour. He won following the 2013-14 season. 

STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD (The Godfrey Award): Randy Gazzola, UNB Varsity Reds 

UNB’s Randy Gazzola is the 2017-18 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.

The fourth-year defenceman was also named the most sportsmanlike player this season and earned a spot on the AUS second team all-star squad.

Off the ice, Gazzola is a three-time academic all-Canadian, on pace to repeat the accomplishment for a fourth time this season. He completed his undergraduate studies in just three years and currently boasts a 3.8 GPA in UNB’s MBA program.

Despite the heavy demands of being a student and a varsity athlete, he also makes contributions to the university community and the greater Fredericton community, volunteering in a number of capacities. Among the initiatives he lends his time to are UNB’s Read with the Reds program with local elementary schools, UNB’s athletes’ council and the Just 4 Ice youth development program.

Gazzola has been a member of the Varsity Reds Phillips Sports Leadership Academy for the past two years. He also volunteers his time as a youth hockey coach at the AAA Peewee level.

He becomes the fourth player from the Varsity Reds to take home the Godfrey Award and the first since 2011-12 when former UNB standout Kyle Bailey earned the honour. 

Gazzola now becomes the AUS nominee for the Dr. Randy Gregg Award. UNB’s Bailey is the most recent player from the Varsity Reds to earn the national honour. He won in 2011-12.

St FX’s Nathan Chiarlitti is the most recent player from the Atlantic conference to earn the honour. He was awarded the Dr. Randy Gregg Award in 2015-16.


MOST VALUABLE PLAYER (Kelly Trophy): Chase Marchand, StFX X-Men

The Atlantic University Sport men's hockey most valuable player is Chase Marchand of the U SPORTS no. 3-ranked StFX X-Men. 

Marchand, a second-year goaltender from Halifax, N.S., is just the second goalie to ever be named AUS MVP. St. Thomas Tommies goaltender Johnny Lorenzo first earned league top honours following the 1995-96 season.

Playing in 22 games for the X-Men this season, Marchand led the conference with a save percentage of .924 and a win percentage of .762. His goals against average of 2.38 was the second best in AUS.


The Atlantic conference has claimed nine of the past 14 national player of the year awards. UNB’s Philippe Maillet earned the honour last season.  


COACH OF THE YEAR (Bob Boucher Trophy): Brad Peddle, StFX X-Men

In his 13th season as head coach, Brad Peddle has been selected by his peers as the 2017-18 AUS coach of the year for the second time in his career.

Peddle guided the two-time defending AUS champion and U SPORTS no. 3-ranked StFX X-Men to a 22-4-4 regular season record and a second-place finish in the Atlantic conference standings with 48 points.

An AUS coach has claimed this award in five of the past eight seasons.



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: Chase Marchand, StFX (2nd year – Halifax, N.S.)
Defence: Jagger Dirk, StFX (4th year – Penticton, B.C.)

Defence: Ryan MacKinnon, UPEI (3rd year – Summerside, P.E.I.) 
Forward: Hunter Garlent, Saint Mary’s (2nd year – Thorold, Ont.)

Forward: Stephen Harper, Acadia (2nd year – Burlington, Ont.)
Forward: Michael Clarke, StFX (3rd year – London, Ont.) 

Second Team All-Stars:

Goaltender: Corbin Boes, Dalhousie (4th year – Saskatoon, Sask.)
Defence: Randy Gazzola, UNB (4th year – Thorold, Ont.)

Defence: Cole MacDonald, StFX (2nd year – Wetaskiwin, Alta.)
Forward: Boston Leier, Acadia (4th year – Saskatoon, Sask.)

Forward: Chris Clapperton, UNB (3rd year – Cap d’Espoir, Que.)
Forward: Kris Bennett, UNB (1st year – Brampton, Ont.)


All-Rookie Team:

Goaltender: Rylan Parenteau, UNB (Saskatoon, Sask.)

Defence: Dylan Di Perna, Saint Mary’s (Nobleton, Ont.)

Defence: Santino Centorame, StFX (Mississauga, Ont.)
Forward: Kris Bennett (Brampton, Ont.)
Forward: Kameron Kielly (Stratford, P.E.I.)
Forward: Jake Coughler, Saint Mary’s (St. Catharines, Ont.)