Bortis lone Huskie honored with Canada West award
Source: Canada West Communications
EDMONTON – The 2012-13 Canada West men’s hockey Most Valuable Player and CIS Sullivan Trophy nominee is fourth-year Manitoba Bisons forward Blair Macaulay.
Macaulay becomes only the second player to repeat as conference MVP since the award’s inception in 1978-79 and is only the second Manitoba Bison (Paul Deniset in 2004-05) to win the honour.
The 24-year-old Winnipeg native finished tied for second in conference scoring with 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists), while playing all 28 conference games. He was also top 10 in numerous Canada West categories including assists (tied for second with 23), goals (tied for eighth with 12), plus/minus rating (tied for ninth with +16), power play assists (tied for eighth with eight), shots on goal (second with 103) and game-winning goals (tied for third with four).
Macaulay was named Husky-WHL Graduate of the Month for January after collecting 4-11-15 over eight games. The 5-11, 185-pound forward also had a nine-game point streak from Dec. 1-Jan. 26, during which he recorded 18 points.
“Blair is a quality person and student who is an excellent representative of the University of Manitoba and the CIS,” commented Bison men’s hockey head coach Mike Sirant. “He is a highly competitive athlete who plays the game with passion and pride. His on-ice strengths are his speed, skill and vision but it is his ability to make plays at top end speed that make him a special player. Blair’s leadership style is to lead by example as he is highly respected for his exceptional work ethic in practices, games and in the gym.”
Macaulay’s teammate, James Henry, has been voted Rookie of the Year, becoming the sixth member of the Bisons to win the honour.
Henry, 21, was third in conference rookie scoring with 22 points (eight goals and 14 assists) while playing in all 28 conference regular season games. With the Bisons, he was fifth in team scoring and fifth on the team with 14 assists. The Winnipeg native was also top Canada West rookie and tied for sixth overall with three game-winning goals in 2012-13 season. The 5-9 forward added a +6 plus/minus rating with one power-play goal.
Head coach Mike Sirant talked about Henry by saying, “James more than fulfilled our expectations and is a very deserving winner of the award. He played a key role centering one of the Bisons’ top lines and made an important contribution on our successful power-play and penalty-killing units. He is a complete player who has an excellent understanding of the game plus is tough and relentless defensively while having the skill, vision and patience to make great offensive plays. James is an exceptional leader by both his actions and words and is a positive influence on his teammates.”
Kyle Bortis of the Saskatchewan Huskies has won the Dave “Sweeney” Schriner Scoring Trophy after leading the conference with 10 goals and 26 assists in 28 games. For his efforts, he was also named a Canada West First Team All-Star. It is his second straight selection as a conference all-star.
The fourth-year Agriculture & Bioresources student becomes the sixth Huskie in history to finish first in the Canada West scoring race. In his highlight reel season, Bortis was named the WHL-Graduate of the Month in October, as well as Canada West Athlete of the Week once.
“Kyle has really stepped up his game this year for our team,” said Huskie head coach Dave Adolph. “He has been one of our top performers every year for the past four seasons.”
Jesse Craige, a third-year with the Alberta Golden Bears, has been named the 2012-13 Mervyn “Red” Dutton Trophy recipient as Canada West Defenceman of the Year.
The Edmonton born rearguard, and former Chiliwack Bruin, led all conference defencemen in points with 24 in 27 games. Those totals, which include a Canada West best 23 assists, were good enough to finish third in CIS defencemen scoring as well. His 14 power-play assists led the conference, while his +21 ranking was second best in Canada West as well.
The Golden Bears, owners of a 23-4-1 regular season record, led CIS in goals scored for much of the season, and finished with 116, while also giving up the fewest goals against (45) in the entire country. Craige, a key power-play contributor, helped Alberta to a 23.4% rating with the man advantage, which was best in Canada West and third highest in CIS.
“Not only has Jesse produced offence for the team every game, leading Canada West defencemen in scoring, he has also been a big part of our team’s record setting defence,” noted Ian Herbers, a former Golden Bears’ defenceman himself. “He has become a leader on the Golden Bears because of his work ethic, determination, competitiveness and positive attitude. His on-ice energy drives the defence.”
Sophomore Alberta Golden Bears forward Jordan Hickmott is the winner of the UBC Hockey Alumni Trophy awarded to the student-athlete who best exemplifies sportsmanship and ability.
Hickmott, a 2012 CIS All-Rookie team member, led the nation’s number two offence in goals (15) and points (35) during a 28 game regular season in which the No.1 ranked Golden Bears recorded a 23-4-1 record. He finished inside the top 15 for both points and goals in CIS as well. On top of that, the former Edmonton Oil King took just two minor penalties this is season, and also recorded the fourth best plus/minus in Canada West at +19, which was also the highest mark recorded by a forward in the conference.
“Jordan is developing into one of the premiere two-way players in CIS Hockey,” said Golden Bears head coach Ian Herbers. “He is a highly skilled forward that plays in every situation. He is an offensive threat at any time, and creates many of his offensive opportunities with solid, responsible hockey. Jordan employs his size, skills, hockey sense, along with his determination, in all facets of the game to excel while staying out of the penalty box.”
Fifth-year Alberta forward Greg Gardner is the Canada West nominee for the CIS Dr. Randy Gregg Award for excellence in hockey, academics and community service.
Gardner, who has served as Alberta’s captain since the 2011-12 season, was +13 this season as the centre on Alberta’s third line, and he scored 12 points this season, including five goals as Alberta finished first in Canada West with a 23-4-1 record.
The Cold Lake, Alta. born forward and former Prince George Cougar, is also active within the community. He volunteers his time with the University Athletes Board, which gets Golden Bears and Pandas student-athletes to events at the Stollery Children’s Hospital for the Bear Hugs Program, Read in Week and the Government of Alberta’s Family Day skate. During the first semester of 2012-13 he volunteered at the Saville Community Sports Centre with the “Little Aces Program”, which is for young tennis players who have been selected by Tennis Canada through a motor skills test and is funded by the national sports governing body to develop the athletes into elite players. He has served as an on-ice instructor at the Vimy Ridge Hockey Academy, and volunteers at the Golden Bear Pee-Wee hockey tournament which takes place over the Christmas holidays. He also has helped the Golden Bears organize and run the “Skills Competition” that is part of the highly successful Brick Invitational Super Novice Hockey Tournament each summer at West Edmonton Mall.
“Greg has proven himself to be a natural leader for the Golden Bears the past two seasons,” said Golden Bears head coach Ian Herbers. “As our team captain, he has shown tremendous leadership on the ice and in the dressing room, as well as in both the classroom and in the community. Greg leads by example with his work ethic, determination and attitude. He is an outstanding two-way forward that is used in all situations. A CIS Academic All-Canadian, Greg has always been willing to give the extra effort for the school and community.”
In his first year behind a CIS bench as a coach, Alberta Golden Bears head coach Ian Herbers has been chosen as the Coach of the Year.
Herbers led the Golden Bears to a Canada West best 23-4-1 record in his debut season, as well as the No.1 ranking in the nation in nine of the 17 weeks. The lowest Alberta ever dipped in the rankings was No.4. The Golden Bears had a banner 2012-13 campaign under Herbers, finishing first in CIS in fewest goals against (45), first in shots on goal (1,124), second in goals scored (116), and with the third best power-play in the nation (23.4%) and the ninth best penalty killing unit in Canada (83.5%).
Hebers played four years with the Golden Bears between 1989 and 1992, serving as team captain and earning a Bachelor of Physical Education degree with distinction, and a national championship in his final season. He rejoined the Golden Bears in the spring of 2012.
“We are very proud that a former Academic All-Canadian, graduate of the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, and a captain of the Golden Bears has made a successful return as head coach to his hometown,” stated Director of Athletics Ian Reade. “It has been a pleasure to have Ian Herbers as part of our coaching team.”
The tandem of Alberta’s Réal Cyr and Kurtis Mucha has repeated as winners of the Adam Kryczka Memorial Trophy for lowest combined team goals against average. The Golden Bears allowed a conference record-low 46 goals in winning 23 of 28 games to finish atop the Canada West standings.
Claiming the Fair Play Trophy for fewest penalty minutes are the UBC Thunderbirds, which also won the award in 2011-12. In 28 regular season games, the T-Birds had 343 penalty minutes for an average of 12.25 minutes per contest.
Most Valuable Player (Sullivan Trophy nominee as CIS Player of the Year): Blair Macaulay, Manitoba
Dave “Sweeney” Schriner Scoring Trophy: Kyle Bortis, Saskatchewan
Mervyn “Red” Dutton Trophy (Outstanding defenceman): Jesse Craige, Alberta
University of Alberta Hockey Alumni Trophy (Outstanding Freshman): James Henry, Manitoba
UBC Hockey Alumni Trophy (Sportsmanship & Ability): Jordan Hickmott, Alberta
Dr. Randy Gregg Award (Athletic ability, Academics & Citizenship): Greg Gardner, Alberta
Coach of the Year: Ian Herbers, Alberta
Adam Kryczka Memorial Trophy (Canada West only, best team GAA): Réal Cyr & Kurtis Mucha, Alberta
Fair Play Trophy (Canada West only, fewest team penalty minutes): UBC
First Team Second Team
G: Kurtis Mucha, Alberta Jordan White, UBC
D: Jesse Craige, Alberta Thomas Carr, Alberta
D: Dane Crowley, Manitoba Jeremy Schappert, Manitoba
F: Kyle Bortis, Saskatchewan Tyler Dittmer, Manitoba
F: Jordan Hickmott, Alberta Johnny Lazo, Alberta
F: Blair Macaulay, Manitoba Brock Nixon, Calgary
Award winners are now finalists for Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) annual awards, to be handed out during University Cup week, March 14-17 in Saskatoon.
The Canada West championship takes place this weekend as the Alberta Golden Bears host the Saskatchewan Huskies in a best-of-three series atrting on Friday at Clare Drake Arena in Edmonton. All games are live on canadawest.TV, with real-time stats available on LeagueStat.
In addition to a conference banner, the winner also heads to the CIS University Cup, hosted at Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon by the University of Saskatchewan.
About Canada West Universities Athletic Association
Canada West is consistently the most decorated of the four conferences in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), winning at least 10 CIS national titles every year, 1997 to 2010. Comprised of 16 schools from the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, Canada West produces numerous major award winners and Academic All-Canadian student-athletes each year, with many going on to athletic success around the globe in pro leagues or events such as the Olympics, Paralympics or Universiade Games. @cwuaa on Twitter. #cwTV / #cwchamps