FREDERICTON (U SPORTS) – Philippe Maillet, a fourth-year forward from the UNB Varsity Reds, was named the U SPORTS Player of the Year in men’s hockey, Wednesday night.
Maillet, a Business Administration student from Terrebonne, Québec, becomes the first UNB player to be named Player of the Year since Hunter Tremblay in the 2009-2010 season, and the fourth in the program’s history.
Other U SPORTS award winners announced during the All-Canadian Gala were UNB’s Jordan Murray, Defenceman of the Year; Saskatchewan’s Jordon Cooke, Goaltender of the Year; Concordia forward Anthony De Luca, Clare Drake Award (Rookie of the Year); Calgary forward Elgin Pearce, R.W. Pugh Award (Most Sportsmanlike Player); Saskatchewan’s Dave Adolph, Father George Kehoe Memorial Award (Coach of the Year); and Ryerson forward Aaron Armstrong, Dr. Randy Gregg Award (Student-Athlete Community Service).
The 2017 U SPORTS Cavendish Farms University Cup, hosted by UNB, gets underway Thursday, March 16th at the Aitken University Centre. The action closes on Sunday, March 12 with the gold medal final, live on Sportsnet 360 (1 p.m. AT). Saturday’s semifinals are also live on Sportsnet 360 (12 p.m. AT & 4 p.m. AT), while the quarter-finals and the bronze medal match are set to air on USPORTS.LIVE.
SENATOR JOSEPH A. SULLIVAN TROPHY (Player of the Year): Philippe Maillet, UNB
A fourth-year forward from Terrebonne, Que., Maillet led the nation in points with 55 on the season. His 32 assists and 23 goals were the second and third-most, respectively, notched by any U SPORTS player.
He led the country in power play goals with 14 and his plus-minus rating of plus-34 was the best in U SPORTS.
Maillet is a two-time MVP of Atlantic University Sport (2014-15 and 2016-17). In 2013-14, he was named AUS Rookie of the Year.
He’s been an AUS First Team All-Star three consecutive seasons, and was a First Team U SPORTS All-Star in 2014-15. In 2013-14, Maillet was a member of the AUS All-Rookie Team and an AUS Second Team All-Star.
In his four-year career with UNB, Maillet has amassed 166 points in 101 games.
Prior to joining the Varsity Reds, he spent four seasons in the QMJHL from 2009-10 to 2012-13 with the Victoriaville Tigres where he recorded 240 points in 252 games.
“Phil has had an exceptional season for our hockey club,” said UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall. A three-year team scoring leader, he has raised his game to a new level by setting career highs in goals, assists and points while leading our team to a 25-2-3 record. He has a great deal of passion for the game and this has helped him elevate his fitness level, work ethic and team leadership to new levels. He leads by example each day, and has the special ability to make plays on a consistent basis.”
The other nominees were forward Elgin Pearce of Calgary and defenceman Martin Lefebvre of UQTR.
DEFENCEMAN OF THE YEAR: Jordan Murray, UNB
A fourth-year blueliner from Riverview, N.B., Murray led all Atlantic University Sport and U SPORTS defencemen with 40 points during the 2016-17 season, scoring 14 goals and adding 26 assists.
Murray has been an Atlantic University Sport First Team All-Star three consecutive seasons. In 2013-14, he was an AUS Second Team All-Star and a member of the AUS All-Rookie Team.
In 2016, Murray was named the U SPORTS Defenceman of the Year, the first Varsity Red to earn that honour.
This past season, Murray became the all-time leading scoring defenceman in UNB history. In 111 regular season games, Murray has scored 34 goals and 77 assists for 111 points.
Prior to joining the Varsity Reds, he spent three seasons in the QMJHL with Acadie-Bathurst and Drummondville.
“Jordan had high expectations coming into this season after a career season and attending two NHL camps in the offseason,” said MacDougall, referencing Murray’s time with the Toronto Maple Leafs orientation camp last July as well as the Tampa Bay Lightning rookie camp in September. “In true UNB fashion he has been a consistent high-level performer and found ways to improve and exceed expectations with a tremendous season. He is a calming influence on the team and has the rare ability to control the game from the back end. His pace and vision are separation points and the ability to join the rush and make plays has led to him setting career highs in goals and points and becoming the top scoring D-man all time at UNB.”
The other nominees were Martin Lefebvre of UQTR and Jesse Forsberg of Saskatchewan.
GOALTENDER OF THE YEAR: Jordon Cooke, Saskatchewan
For a second consecutive season Jordon Cooke has been named Canada West and the U SPORTS top goalie, after posting a 19-4-2 record, 1.94 goals-against average, and a .929 save during the 2016-17 season. The former Kelowna Rocket was the backbone of Saskatchewan’s tremendous season, which saw the Huskies claim the conference regular season title for a second straight season.
The 2016-17 campaign has been a phenomenal one for Cooke, as the Leduc, Alta., product was also named to Canada’s team at the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland over the holiday break. Cooke’s four shutouts this season tied the Canada West single-season record, and his seven career shutouts are the most among any active Canada West goalie.
"Last year, Jordon stood out in his first full year as our No. 1 goaltender. He helped calm a young team, leading us to the Canada West pennant,” said Saskatchewan head coach Dave Adolph. “In 2016-17, he made things look routine as the Huskies skated to a first-place finish in the regular season. He and our young defence enabled us to lead the (conference) with a very stingy 2.11 goals-against average. He loves to play and loves the challenge. We are very fortunate to have him in a Huskie uniform.”
The other nominees were Mackenzie Shields of York and Chase Marchand of StFX.
CLARE DRAKE AWARD (Rookie of the Year): Anthony De Luca, Concordia
Anthony De Luca of the Concordia Stingers is the 2016-17 recipient of the Clare Drake Award for Men's Hockey Rookie of the Year. He is the first ever Concordia hockey player to win the award.
The 5-foot-10, 210-pound forward ranked second in U SPORTS for goals scored with 24 and fourth in scoring with 43 points.
A first team OUA East all-star, the Rosemere, Que., native proved to be the most dangerous player in the conference while on the man-advantage, as he scored a league-high 13 goals on the power play, which ranked second in the country.
He helped the Stingers finish the regular season with 19 wins and 40 points in 28 games making the 2016-17 regular season their best in more than 30 years.
Previously, De Luca spent three seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Rimouski Océanic. In the junior ranks, he played 202 career games picking up 101 goals and 108 assists for 209 points. Rimouski won the QMJHL championship in 2015.
In 2013-14 and 2014-15, De Luca played for the QMJHL all-stars in the Subway Super Series featuring regional teams of Canadian Hockey League all-stars competing against the Russian National Junior Team.
“Anthony is a pure goal scorer and he was a big offensive threat for us, especially on the power play. It’s been a long time since Concordia has had someone with that skill level on the ice,” said Concordia head coach Marc-André Élement. “Anthony has a powerful shot. He’s strong on the puck. It’s hard to get the puck away from him. It’s not easy to play against a guy like that - he’s a game changer.”
The other nominees were forwards Hunter Garlent of Saint Mary’s and Tyson Baillie of Alberta.
R.W. PUGH AWARD (Most Sportsmanlike Player): Elgin Pearce, Calgary
Veteran forward Elgin Pearce becomes the first player in U SPORTS Men’s Hockey history to win the R.W. Pugh Award for Most Sportsmanlike Player three times. In his four seasons with the Dinos, Pearce has consecutively won the award since the 2014-15 season.
Named the Canada West Player of the Year in 2016-17, Pearce’s 20 goals scored were the most in the conference. He was one of just four players to reach the milestone in the nation. Pearce added 11 assists for 31 points in the regular season, just four shy of Connor Rankin from the Mount Royal Cougars.
“Elgin is very deserving of this award for the third time in his career,” said Dinos head coach Mark Howell. “He had a remarkable season, earning him the Canada West Player of the Year Award, and I’m very proud of Elgin. He is respected by his peers, fellow coaches and everybody within U SPORTS hockey and this award really recognizes the quality of player Elgin is, as well as the type of person he is.”
The other nominees were forward Michael McNamee of Carleton and defenceman Geoff Schemitsch of Acadia.
FATHER GEORGE KEHOE MEMORIAL AWARD (Coach of the Year): Dave Adolph, Saskatchewan
In his 24th season at the helm of the Huskies, head coach Dave Adolph guided Saskatchewan to another first-place finish during the regular season, earning him the 2016-17 Canada West and U SPORTS Coach of the Year Award. The win marks the third time in Adolph’s career he has claimed the conference Coach of the Year Award (1997-98 and 1999-00) and first on the national stage.
Adolph’s 421 career conference wins are the most all-time. During his tenure at Saskatchewan, Adolph has guided his team to 20 consecutive postseason appearances, six Canada West championship titles and 12 appearances at the University Cup, most recently finishing fourth.
During his career as a Huskie hockey player and co-captain, Adolph and his teammates captured three Canada West championship titles, winning Saskatchewan’s only University Cup in 1983.
"The storied success of our men’s hockey program is due in no small part to the continued efforts of Coach Adolph,” said Huskies athletic director Basil Hughton. “He continues to do an excellent job in bringing top notch student-athletes to our program. This year is another example of that. This recognition is extremely well-deserved and an acknowledgement of his ongoing efforts with Huskie Hockey."
The other nominees were Marc-Andre Element of Concordia and Gardiner MacDougall of UNB.
DR. RANDY GREGG AWARD (Student-Athlete Community Service): Aaron Armstrong, Ryerson
For his accomplishments in the classroom, around the local community and on the ice, Ryerson Rams forward Aaron Armstrong is this year's recipient of the Randy Gregg Award.
As an ambassador for the Rams hockey program, athletics department and Ryerson University, Armstrong leads by example in all facets of his life, both on and off the ice. A U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian, Armstrong tutors and mentors his teammates, aiding and motivating those around him to achieve their full academic potential.
In the community, Armstrong, along with other members of the Rams hockey team, regularly volunteer at Regent Park Arena, where they teach a developmentally-disabled class from Nelson Mandela Public School how to skate. A mental health advocate, Armstrong is an active member of Ryerson's SAMHI team where he shares stories from his experience of coaching youth to help increase awareness. Since 2015, Armstrong has been heavily involved with Light Patrol and "Curb Light," where he hands out clothing, food and coffee to the homeless youth in Toronto's downtown core.
Following the season, Armstrong will be traveling to Cambodia in May with five other Rams student-athletes, where he'll be volunteering at local schools, running sports programs and providing day care for mothers with young children so they are able to work. When he returns to Canada, Armstrong is planning on running a hockey school for low income children who could not normally afford to attend.
On the ice, Armstrong led the OUA and was second in the nation with 46 points this season, breaking a school record for most points in a single campaign and becoming the first Ram to top the conference leaderboard.
Armstrong becomes the first player in Ryerson history to win the prestigious Randy Gregg Award.
"Aaron is a tremendous leader who has made a huge impact to the overall developing culture at Ryerson,” said Ryerson interim head coach Johnny Duco. “An Academic all-Canadian who leads the charge not only on the ice but in his community as well. Aaron exemplifies what it is to be a Ram every day and I could not think of a more deserving recipient of this award."
The other nominees were forward Eric Locke of StFX and defenceman Dryden Dow of Calgary.