Men’s Hockey News

Men’s Hockey

Connor Bouchard named U SPORTS men’s hockey player of the year


Connor Bouchard of the Mount Royal Cougars has been named the winner of the Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy as the most outstanding player in U SPORTS men’s hockey. The announcement was made on Wednesday at the All-Canadian Awards Ceremony in Toronto, site of the 2024 championship tournament.

Other major award winners include Connar Ungar of Brock, who won the Clare Drake Trophy as rookie of the year; Kale McCallum of UNB, who was named the defenceman of the Year; Shane Farkas of Mount Royal, who is the goaltender of the year; Brady Gilmour of UNB, who took home the R.W. Pugh Trophy (most sportsmanlike player); Alexandre Gagnon of McGill, who won the Dr. Randy Gregg Award for student-athlete community service and Gardiner MacDougall of UNB, who captured the Father George Kehoe Memorial Award given to the Fox40 Coach of the Year. 

The 2024 University Cup gets underway at the site of the old Maple Leaf Gardens, the Mattamy Athletic Centre on the Toronto Metropolitan University campus. Play continues with two games daily through to the gold medal game, which is set for 5 p.m. on Sunday.

View the official championship website.

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Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy (most outstanding player): Connor Bouchard, Mount Royal

Connor Bouchard, a standout forward from the Mount Royal Cougars, has rightfully earned the prestigious Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy as U SPORTS men’s hockey player of the year. In his second year at Mount Royal, the Cochrane, Alta., product has made an indelible mark on the ice, showcasing exceptional skill, determination, and leadership.

Bouchard's on-ice performance speaks volumes about his prowess as a forward. In 25 games played, he exhibited an impressive goal-scoring ability with 23 goals and demonstrated his playmaking skills with 34 assists, accumulating a remarkable total of 57 points. His proficiency on the power play is evident in his 12 power play goals. With an average of 2.28 points per game and a staggering +31 plus-minus rating, Bouchard not only contributed significantly to his team's success but also stood out as a force to be reckoned with in the league.

One of the most remarkable achievements of Bouchard's season is his 24-game point streak, showcasing his consistency and impact on the scoresheet. Additionally, by becoming the first player since 2000-2001 to reach the 50-point milestone, Bouchard has etched his name in the annals of Canada West men's hockey history.

Bouchard, who spent five seasons with the Tri-City Americans of the WHL, is the second Cougar in three seasons to win the award, following Nolan Yaremko in 2022.

Other nominees: Austen Keating (UNB), Simon Lafrance (UQTR),

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Clare Drake Trophy (rookie of the year): Connor Ungar, Brock

Connor Ungar took the OUA by storm this year on his way to winning the Clare Drake Trophy. The Calgarian was also named the OUA goaltender of the year and is a second-team All-Canadian. Ungar, who came to Brock after four years in the WHL with Brandon, Red Deer and Moose Jaw, set a program record with 20 regular season wins, the most in U SPORTS this season.

His 2.15 goals against average and .932 save percentage were both fourth in the province during the regular season, with his save percentage placing him fifth in the country. Behind Ungar, the Badgers posted a 21-7 regular-season record and finished in fourth in the OUA playoffs and a trip to the University Cup tournament.

One of the biggest wins of Unger’s young university career was a 3-2 shootout win at home against the then-No. 3-ranked UQTR Patriotes on Jan. 13. The Social Sciences major stopped all three shots he faced in the shootout to lead Brock to the thrilling victory.

Other nominees: Alec Belanger (Dalhousie), Jake Poole (Calgary)

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Defenceman of the Year – Kale McCallum, UNB

In just his second season with the UNB Reds, Kale McCallum led all U SPORTS defencemen with 42 points, on 11 goals and 31 assists. His point total tied him for sixth among all skaters nationally, and was third overall in the AUS. His plus/minus rating of +29 put him second nationally among defencemen, behind only teammate Kade Landry.

The second year Business Administration student, from Rothesay, N.B., was third in the country in total assists.

The former Saint John Sea Dog and Val d’Or Foreur played in all of the Reds’ 30 regular season games, helping UNB to a 30-0 regular season record and the school’s 16th consecutive AUS regular season title.

McCallum is the second Red to earn defenceman of the year honours, following Jordan Murray, who won in 2016 and 2017.

Other nominees: David Noël (UQTR), Clayton Hanus (Mount Royal)

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Goaltender of the Year – Shane Farkas, Mount Royal

Shane Farkas of the Mount Royal Cougars is the U SPORTS goaltender of the year after a season that saw him showcase his exceptional skills between the pipes. In his second year as the Cougars goalie, the Penticton, B.C., product has demonstrated remarkable composure and talent, playing a pivotal role in his team's success.

Farkas's statistics for the season speak volumes about his goaltending prowess. In 22 games played, he boasted an impressive goals-against average of 2.18. With a save percentage of .919, Farkas showcased his reliability and agility in the net, making critical saves to preserve his team's leads and secure victories. His 17 wins and an outstanding win percentage of .850 underline his impact on the Cougars' success this season.

Other nominees: Connor Ungar (Brock), Thomas Couture (Acadia)

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R.W. Pugh Trophy (most sportsmanlike player): Brady Gilmour, UNB

In his fourth season with the UNB Red, forward Brady Gilmour earned the R.W. Pugh Trophy as the most sportsmanlike player in U SPORTS men’s hockey.

The Master of Business Administration student from Grafton, Ont., finished fourth in the conference in scoring with 12 goals and 29 assists. He played in all of the Reds 30 regular season games, recording just eight minutes in penalties.

Gilmour’s efforts helped UNB to a 30-0 regular season record and the school’s 16th consecutive AUS regular season title.

Gilmour is the second player from UNB to win the R.W. Pugh Trophy in three years, following Joe Gatenby in 2021-22.

Other nominees: Scott Walford (McGill), Connor Blake (Mount Royal)

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Dr. Randy Gregg Award (student-athlete community service): Alexandre Gagnon, McGill

Alexandre Gagnon of the McGill Redbirds, is the OUA recipient of the student-athlete community service award and conference nominee for the national Randy Gregg Award. This marks the second time that a McGill player has merited this award, following Mathieu Darche (2000).

An alternate captain, Gagnon is a 25-year-old physical and health education senior from Gatineau, Que. He has achieved a lofty 3.97 cumulative grade point average (out of 4) to earn Academic All-Canadian honours and a berth on the Principal’s Student-athlete Honour Roll. The 5-foot-11, 177-pound defensive forward scored six goals and 17 points in 24 league games this season, with only six penalty minutes. He played a key role on McGill’s stifling penalty-killing unit which led the nation with an 89 per cent success rate.

Gagnon, who won the team’s Albert Fyon Trophy as most improved player last season, has served as the team representative on the Varsity Council in the capacity of VP-Community Affairs. He also volunteered as project leader for the team’s McGill-24 Crowdfunding project (2023), represented the hockey team at the Residence Welcome Week event, served as a team mentor for the younger players, was chosen for the University’s National Philanthropy Day video, and volunteered for a “McGill Athletics Thank-a-thon”, which involved calling donors to the hockey program.

Gagnon is the recipient of multiple academic honours, including the 2023 Walter & Mary Marsh Scholarship (community involvement and outstanding leadership), the Tomlinson Undergraduate Award (academic excellence and mentorship), the Phi Delta Kappa Prize (exceptional extra-curricular and community involvement), a Minister of Education Excellence Scholarship (MEES Award), the John Chomay Award (academic and athletic excellence) and a 1938 Champions Award (leadership, academic excellence, athletic achievement).

Other nominees: Alec Belanger (Dalhousie), Dawson Holt (Saskatchewan)

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Father George Kehoe Memorial Award (Fox 40 Coach of the Year): Gardiner MacDougall, UNB

In his 24th season behind the UNB bench, Gardiner MacDougall oversaw one of the greatest seasons in U SPORTS men’s hockey history. MacDougall’s Reds went 30-0 on route to their 16th consecutive Atlantic University Sport regular season title. They then swept their way through the AUS playoffs, rattling off five straight wins to take the Halifax Herald Trophy for the sixth season in a row, and the eight in the past 10 seasons.

Included in UNB’s 30 wins was his 489th, which came on Feb. 6 at Moncton, which moved him atop the U SPORTS all-time regular season coaching wins list.

MacDougall’s Reds will be looking to defend the University Cup title, and enter this week’s tournament as the top seed, after having been atop the U SPORTS rankings all season.

The native of Bedeque, P.E.I. is an accomplished motivational speaker and presenter. He is a graduate of St. Francis Xavier (BSc P-Ed) and Saint Mary’s (B-Ed) universites.

Other nominees: TJ Manastersky (Brock), Sven Butenschon (UBC)


Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy (most outstanding player): Connor Bouchard, Mount Royal

Clare Drake Trophy (rookie of the year): Connor Ungar, Brock

Defenceman of the Year: Kale McCallum, UNB

Goaltender of the Year: Shane Farkas, Mount Royal

R.W. Pugh Trophy (most sportsmanlike player): Brady Gilmour, UNB

Dr. Randy Gregg Award (student-athlete community service): Alexandre Gagnon, McGill

Father George Kehoe Memorial Award (Fox 40 Coach of the Year): Gardiner MacDougall, UNB

First Team All-Canadians

Athlete                                    University                  Pos     Year       Hometown                           Academic Program

Connor Bouchard        Mount Royal         F       2          Cochrane, Alta.            Open Studies

Simon Lafrance           UQTR                   F       4          Ste-Eustache, Que.      Physical Education

Austen Keating            UNB                     F       3          Puslinch, Ont.               Business Admin.

Kale McCallum            UNB                     D       2          Rothesay, NB               Arts

Clayton Hanus             Mount Royal         D       2          Excelsior, Minn.            Business

Shane Farkas              Mount Royal         G       2          Penticton, BC              Open Studies

Second Team All-Canadians

Athlete                                    University                  Pos     Year       Hometown                           Academic Program

Matthew Struthers      STFX                    F       3          Milton, Ont.                  Business

Jacob Roach               Brock                    F       3          Brooklin, Ont.               Sport Management

Colson Gengenbach    Calgary                F       3          Edmonton, Alta.           Business

David Noël                   UQTR                    D       3          Quebec City, Que.        Kinesiology

Jake Lee                     UBC                     D       2          Sherwood Park, Alta.   Arts

Connor Ungar              Brock                   G       1          Calgary, Alta.               Social Sciences

All-Rookie Team

Athlete                                    University                  Pos                       Hometown                           Academic Program

Alec Belanger              Dalhousie             F                   Quebec City, Que        Kinesiology

Luka Verreault             Ottawa                 F                   Rimouski, Que.             Accounting

Jake Poole                  Calgary                F                   McAuley, Man.             Arts

Charlie Callaghan        STFX                    D                   Toronto, Ont.                Business

Jonah Boria                 Brock                   D                   Grimsby, Ont.               Kinesiology

Connor Ungar              Brock                   G                   Calgary, Alta.               Social Sciences