(LETHBRIDGE, AB) – U SPORTS – UNB Reds defenceman Randy Gazzola was among the major award winners at the U SPORTS men’s hockey gala, in Lethbridge, Alberta, on Wednesday night.
Gazzola, a fifth-year blueliner, was named winner of the prestigious Dr. Randy Gregg Award for Student-Athlete Community Service.
Other award winners were, Alberta forward Luke Philp, who was honoured with the Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy as U SPORTS men’s hockey Player of the Year, Moncton goalie Etienne Montpetit, who captured the Clare Drake Award as Rookie of the Year, Ottawa forward Brendan Jacome, who was named the winner of the R.W. Pugh Fair Play Award as most sportsmanlike player, Alberta blueliner Jason Fram and Saskatchewan netminder Taran Kozun took home Defenceman of the Year and Goaltender of the Year respectively, while Ottawa coach Patrick Grandmaitre won the Father George Kehoe Memorial Award as Fox 40 Coach of the Year.
Gazzola, named U SPORTS most sportsmanlike player last season, amassed 20 points in 24 games during the regular season, and had a plus/minus rating of +26.
Off the ice, Gazzola is a four-time Academic All-Canadian, and is on pace to repeat the accomplishment for a fifth time this season. He completed his undergraduate studies in just three years, and is currently enrolled 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.
Gazzola makes regular visits to local elementary schools with members of the UNB men's hockey team, and volunteers for UNB's ‘Read with the Reds.’ He is also involved with the Just 4 Ice youth development program.
He has represented his team on UNB's athletes' council and as a member of the Reds Phillips Sports Leadership Academy. He also volunteers his time as a youth hockey coach at the AAA Peewee level.
Gazzola is the third Reds player to take home the Gregg Award, and first since Kyle Bailey in 2012. Colin Sinclair also won the award.
“Randy has been a genuine difference-maker for our program during the past five years, for his high performance level on the ice and in the classroom, his team-first leadership among his teammates, and his numerous community endeavours,” said UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall. “He’s a true student-athlete, who’ll be a five-time Academic All-Canadian, with a master’s degree in business, and will be appearing in his fifth national championship tournament.”
Gazzola was nominated in the category with Canada West nominee Riley Kieser, from Alberta, and the OUA’s Slater Doggett, from Queen’s.
Also at Wednesday’s awards gala, UNB’s Chris Clapperton was named a 1st Team All-Canadian, and Reds freshman forward Matthew Boucher was named to the 2018-19 U SPORTS All-Rookie Team.