Sarah Bujold, a third-year forward from the StFX X-Women, was named the U SPORTS Player of the Year in women’s hockey, Wednesday night.
Bujold, a Human Kinetics student from Riverview, N.B., became the second StFX player to receive the honour, after Brayden Ferguson won the award in the 2007-08 season. This also marks the second time the award was claimed by an AUS player, with StFX being the home of both.
Other U SPORTS award winners announced at the All-Canadian Banquet were McGill goaltender Tricia Deguire, Rookie of the Year; Mount Royal forward Sarah Weninger, Marion Hilliard Award (Student-Athlete Community Service); as well as Saint Mary’s bench boss Chris Larade, who was named Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
The 2017 U SPORTS Women’s Hockey Championship, hosted by Queen’s University, gets under way Thursday at the Strathcona Paper Centre in Napanee, Ont., and will run until Sunday with the gold medal game at 7 p.m. ET. All games of the competition will be streamed on OUA.TV.
BRODRICK TROPHY (Player of the Year): Sarah Bujold, StFX
A Human Kinetics student from Riverview, N.B., Bujold led the conference and the nation in both points (43) and goals scored this season (24).
The third-year forward was the Atlantic University Sport most valuable player and a First Team All-Star, leading the X-Women to a third-place finish in the regular season, with a 16-8-0 record.
Her plus-29 was the second highest in the country while she led all of Canada in game-winning goals, with five. Bujold also ranked second in U SPORTS Women’s Hockey in hat-tricks, with three in 24 games played.
“Sarah has had a phenomenal year and has developed immensely as a player and person,” said StFX head coach David Synishin. “She is not only one of our top players, she is also one of our hardest workers. She leads by example in her off-ice training as well as her play on the ice. She has truly earned being recognized as the top player in U SPORTS Women’s Hockey.”
The other nominees were forwards Mélodie Daoust of McGill, Lauryn Keen of Manitoba, and Krystin Lawrence of Windsor.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Tricia Deguire, McGill
McGill rookie Tricia Deguire, a 5-foot-7 goaltender from Sherbrooke, Que., started in 18 of McGill's 20 games and ranked second among RSEQ leaders for minutes played (1,026). A 19-year-old Physical Education freshman, Deguire posted a stellar 14-3 record with one shutout, leading the Quebec conference in wins, save percentage (.930) and goals-against average (1.75). Deguire enters the national tournament with a 4-1 playoff record, two shutouts, a stingy 0.97 goals-against average and a .958 save percentage.
“Tricia's just so calm and steady on the back end,” said McGill head coach Peter Smith. "She makes the key saves, plays with a lot of confidence and is real good at handling the puck and stopping it behind the net. She's strong and confident and that's inspirational for both her teammates and her coaches.”
The other nominees were forwards Annie Berg of Brock, Sydnee Baker of UPEI, and Kennedy Ganser of Alberta.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Chris Larade, Saint Mary’s
Saint Mary's head coach Chris Larade is the U SPORTS Women’s Hockey Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season, in his sixth year with the Huskies program.
Larade and the 2015-16 Huskies squad won the AUS championship title—their first since 2010. The team went on to capture a bronze medal at the national championship.
This season, Saint Mary's finished first in the regular season standings with an 18-3-3 record and earned a bye through to the Subway AUS Women's Hockey semifinal round.
Larade's past coaching experiences include three years as head coach of the Metro Boston Pizza Female Midget AAA program of the NSFMHL, where the team captured three provincial and league titles and two Atlantic silver medals, and where he was twice named coach of the year.
He was an assistant coach for Team Nova Scotia at the 2011 Canada Winter Games, which were held in Halifax. He has also been heavily involved with Hockey Nova Scotia's High Performance Program at the U18 and U16 levels, winning five Atlantic Challenge Cups.
Larade is the second Saint Mary's coach to earn U SPORTS Coach of the Year honours, joining former Huskies bench boss Lisa MacDonald, who won the award in the 2002-03 seasons.
“Saint Mary's University congratulates Coach Larade on receiving this prestigious award for the second year running,” said Saint Mary’s athletic director Kevin Downie.
Coach Larade is a low maintenance, high integrity professional who epitomizes our university’s Latin motto ‘Age Quod Agis,’ meaning ‘Do what you are doing.’ We are very proud that Coach Larade has been recognized by U SPORTS and his peers for not only doing what he does but doing it for all of the right reasons.
The other nominees were Julie Chu of Concordia, Rachel Flanagan of Guelph, and Jon Rempel of Manitoba.
MARION HILLIARD AWARD (Student-Athlete Community Service): Sarah Weninger, Mount Royal
Veteran forward Sarah Weninger is the Marion Hilliard Award winner for Student-Athlete Community Service. Weninger finished tied for Mount Royal's scoring title this season, registering nine goals and 13 points in 25 games.
Off the ice, Weninger is involved in several volunteer initiatives, including Hockey Alberta's Hockey Education Reaching Out Society (HEROS) program, which uses the game of hockey to teach life skills and empower Canada's marginalized youth. In addition to her involvement with HEROS, Weninger also attended Hockey Alberta's Future Leaders Camp, which helps prepare coaches to play an active role in Hockey Alberta programs and within their communities. Academically, Weninger has achieved a combined GPA of 3.66 over her last two academic semesters and is on pace to be an Academic All-Canadian this season.
“Sarah is extremely committed to try and better those around her, whether it is in the hockey community, or life in general,” said Mount Royal head coach Scott Rivett. “Her relationship with HEROS is truly remarkable. Sarah has brought other players from our team out to work with them and many are continuing to build their own relationships with these kids on a weekly basis and are having a true impact in their lives. We raised over $3,000 and created an evening for these kids that most have never experienced and it was in large part to all the work that Sarah has put in.”
The other nominees were forward Kristi Riseley of Toronto, defenceman Beatrice Harrietha of Saint Mary’s, and forward Vickie Lemire of Ottawa.