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CHL alumni earn OUA year-end awards

 

BURLINGTON, Ont. ­– Ontario University Athletics (OUA) is pleased to announce the East and West Division men’s hockey major award winners and all-stars for the 2017-18 season.

EAST DIVISION

What more can you say about the season that Concordia’s Anthony Beauregard (Val-d’Or Foreurs) put together for the East Division’s third seed? The talented forward, put the OUA on notice with a torrid scoring pace that sent him to the top of the final ranks in both the conference and the nation.

Beauregard’s 60 points were far away the pace-setting mark this season, eclipsing his closest competitor in all of U SPORTS by 14 points. To achieve these lofty totals, the second-year talent tallied a second-ranked 19 goals and notched a nation-leading 41 assists, showing that he is just as electric setting up his teammates as he is at finding the back of the net. Diving deeper into his electric offensive prowess, Beauregard was able to be on the ice in several situations, including special teams, where he notched four power-play goals and three short-handed goals on the year.

This marks the first time in almost three decades that a Concordia player has received the East Division’s MVP nod, and just the third time overall, joining the likes of former Stingers Robert Desjardins (1990-91) and Mark Mahon (1988-89). For his impressive play, Beauregard has also earned a selection as a 2017-18 First-Team All-Star, but isn’t the only Stinger being represented therein.

Also playing significant roles for the capable Concordia squad this season was newcomer Carl Neill (Charlottetown Islanders), who quickly became one of the most potent defenders in all of U SPORTS. The first-year blueliner showcased his two-way talent all season long, to the tune of a 26-assist campaign – pacing all defencemen for the year – to go along with five goals. His 31-point total not only ranked him 13th in the OUA, but also secures him a First-Team All-Star nod, as well as a spot on the All-Rookie Team.

Concordia forward Massimo Carozza (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles) has also been selected for the 2017-18 All-Rookie Team after finishing third in the OUA with 35 points, with top-10 results in both goals and assists.

While Neill and Carozza were standouts among their fellow freshman, it was another first-year phenom that takes home the East Division’s Rookie of the Year award, as Riley Brandt (Trail, B.C.) secures the honour for the RMC Paladins this season. When looking for the elite goal-scorers in the country, Brandt’s name quickly shot to the top of the list, as the Paladins star finished first in U SPORTS in goals this season with 21.

Brandt, who also earns a First-Team All-Star and All-Rookie Team nod, stepped up in a big way for the Paladins, not only achieving great personal success, but also helping his team fight tooth and nail for the final playoff spot this season. Behind his 33 points (7th in OUA), Brandt has helped to show that the future of RMC hockey is as bright as ever, especially given that he is just the second Paladin to ever win the award (Ryan Vince, 1997-98), and that he is one to keep an eye on at all times when taking to the ice.

While one RMC rookie was putting pucks in the net, it was another keeping them out, and Daniel Vautour (Acadie-Bathurst Titan) has garnered an All-Rookie Team nod for his puck-stopping proficiencies.

It was a big year for McGill, the division’s top-seed, meanwhile, which earns a trio of major awards for their contributions on the ice, behind the bench, and beyond the rink. Starting on the ice, one of their biggest threats is between the pipes, as netminder Louis-Philip Guindon (Rimouski Oceanic) has been named the 2017-18 Goaltender of the Year.

Guindon posted an 18-6 record, leading the nation in wins along with a conference-leading goals-against average of 2.22. The second-year goalie also compiled a solid .917 save percentage on the season, playing a big role in leading McGill to the league’s best defensive record.

Also playing a role in the team’s defensive prowess, as well as their offensive strengths, was head coach Kelly Nobes, whose efforts behind the bench have earned him the 2017-18 Coach of the Year award. Guiding the Redmen to a division-leading 22-4-2 record and their fourth trip to Nationals in his eight seasons at McGill, Nobes takes home the award for the second time in his career (2010-11). A former McGill player and a veteran bench boss of 17 years in the OUA, Nobes was able to get the most from his talent-laden roster this season, which included top-three finishes in offence (4.00 goals per game), defence (2.31 goals-against per game), power-play goals (27), shorthanded goals (8) and penalty-killing (88.4%).

The third major award winner from McGill was one who made an impact not only on the ice, helping him earn Second-Team All-Star honours, but off of it. For his well-rounded efforts, Nathan Chiarlitti (Owen Sound Attack) has been named the OUA’s 2017-18 Randy Gregg Award nominee. The fifth-year defenceman scored 16 points in 28 games and had only eight penalty minutes.

In the classroom, Chiarlitti achieved a 3.91 GPA in the second year of his master’s degree, making the Principal’s Student-athlete Honour Roll and earning Academic All-Canadian honours. The Redmen captain has served as a volunteer for a multitude of causes, including the Antigonish Minor Hockey Association, the Maritime Program of Hockey Excellence, and ParticipACTION – and those beyond athletics, including Fit 4 Life and Fit 4 Tots, a community service program which promotes healthy lifestyles to children. He has also volunteered with the Best Buddies program, which helps people with intellectual disabilities gain valuable life experiences, leadership skills and establish new friendships.

Joining Chiarlitti as a Second-Team All-Star is teammate Jerome Verrier (Quebec Remparts), a third-year centre who proved to be one of the most prolific passers in the conference. Verrier finished second in the OUA scoring race with 41 points, including a dozen goals – four of them game-winners – and also ranked second with 29 assists, to lead one of the truly elite offensive units.

A pair of other standout scorers round out the Second-Team forwards, as UQTR’s Christophe Boivin (Acadie-Bathurst Titan) and Carleton’s Brett Welychka (Belleville Bulls) – the latter also serving on U SPORTS All-Stars this season – have turned their strong campaigns into all-star selections. Boivin paced the UQTR Patriotes in his rookie season – also earning a spot on the All-Rookie Team – ranking fifth in the OUA in points (34) and seventh in goals (16), while Welychka wasn’t far behind with a 31-point season of his own (13th in OUA).

The Ravens’ product wasn’t the only U SPORTS All-Star to receive recognition for his body of work this season; however, as fellow representative Spencer Abraham (Erie Otters) turned in an award-winning campaign of his own. The Queen’s Gaels captain has been named the 2017-18 Defenceman of the Year for the second time in his career (2014-15), not only proving to be a game-changer in front of the net, but also in the attacking zone to the tune of 22 helpers this season (5th in OUA).

The First-Team All-Star also shone in other facets of the game, most notably in terms of his overall demeanor, as his respect for the game and those around him have also helped make him the 2017-18 Most Sportsmanlike Award recipient; becoming just the second Gael to win the award (Brady Olsen, 2006-07).

It takes more than just one player for a team to finish second in their division; however, and in that vein, two Queen’s teammates are also being recognized with all-star selections. Forward Slater Doggett (Windsor Spitfires) has secured a First-Team nod, behind his top-five finish in goals (18) and top-ten point total (33), which also included a quartet of game-deciding goals for the Kingston squad. Goaltender Kevin Bailie (London Knights), meanwhile, has carved out a spot as a Second-Team All-Star after allowing the fifth fewest goals against (33), racking up a stout win percentage of 0.769, and finishing in the top ten in save percentage (0.920).

Rounding out both the Second-Team All-Stars and All-Rookie Team are a pair of Gee-Gees defencemen. Securing the all-star selection was Jacob Sweeney (Moncton Wildcats), while Medric Mercier (Oshawa Generals) garnered first-year recognition, both as a result of the key roles on the uOttawa blue line this season.

WEST DIVISION

When it comes to making an impact in multiple facets of the game, few can do it better than Alex Basso (London Knights), and for his all-around efforts, the Ryerson Rams captain has earned 2017-18 Player of the Year honours.

Basso shines bright from the blueline, anchoring the Rams defence in several ways. He is able to disrupt the opposition on a nightly basis, shutting down their top threats with the best of them, but his skillset goes well-beyond shutdown defender. The fourth-year player also finished second in the OUA in power-play markers, tallying seven on the season, en route to his 14-goal campaign. He was also a top-20 finisher in points on the year with 28, and stepped up on several occasions to register Ryerson’s game-winning goal; good in enough for second in the OUA in that category.

Basso, who is the first Ryerson player to take home the Player of the Year honours, has also been awarded the Defenceman of the Year nod and has been named to the First-Team All-Stars.

Ryerson’s recognition didn’t stop there; however, as the Rams are well-represented in this year’s all-star crop. Joining Basso on the First-Team is forward Matt Mistele (Sarnia Sting), who finished his all-star campaign with 14 goals and 33 points, the latter ranking him seventh in the conference. Cracking the Second-Team All-Star roster is fellow forward Aaron Armstrong (Teeswater, Ont.), who was a dynamic talent on the ice this season, chipping in with nine goals and 11 helpers for the Rams.

Rounding out the Ryerson contingent, meanwhile, are a pair of 2017-18 All-Rookie Team selections – Cavin Leth (Prince Albert Raiders) and Gregory DiTomaso (Barrie Colts).

When it comes to rookies, however, none made the impact that this year’s Rookie of the Year recipient did, as Guelph’s Todd Winder (Uxbridge, Ont.) scorched onto the OUA scene in his inaugural campaign. Winder, who also tops the list of All-Rookie Team selections, was an immediately positive addition to the offensively-gifted Gryphons, as the freshman phenom found the back of the net 18 times on the year.

His fourth-ranked goal scoring efforts, which included four game-winning tallies, spearheaded his push to a similar top-five finish in overall points (34). The first-year player becomes the seventh Gryphon to take home the award, and the first to do so since the 2012-13 season (Andy Bathgate).

Helping to guide the gifted goal-scorer in his first season were a number of other all-star caliber teammates, including a trio of First-Team selections. Among those carving out their spots therein were forwards Scott Simmonds (Belleville Bulls) and Cody Thompson (Mississauga Steelheads), as well as defenceman Josh McFadden (Sudbury Wolves).

Simmonds, who serves as captain for the Gryphs, registered a 32-point season – the highest output of his four year career – which included 12 goals and 20 assists (9th in OUA). His running mate put up very similar numbers in his third season, as Thompson recorded 11 goals and 22 assists (5th in OUA) for a 33-point campaign (7th in OUA). Bolstering the back-end for Guelph was fellow first-teamer McFadden, who not only remained a physical presence on the blueline, but also chipped in with 23 points of his own.

The accolades didn’t stop there for Guelph; however, as they also saw a pair of rookies claim recognition for their impressive first-year efforts. Defenceman Mathieu Henderson (Flint Firebirds) was a steady presence for the Gryphons rearguards, while freshman goaltender Andrew Masters (Kitchener, Ont.) protected the blue paint with pride in his first season, collecting 13 wins (4th in OUA) as well as a 2.85 GAA and 0.912 SV%.

When talking about goaltenders in the OUA, the effort that Brock netminder Clint Windsor (Ottawa 67’s) put forth cannot be understated, and his puck-stopping prowess gives him the 2017-18 Goaltender of the Year award. Backstopping the Badgers to a solid campaign, the First-Team All-Star was called upon to be a big part of the team’s 14 wins this season, earning 12 of them in his 26 starts. Windsor, while making the most saves in the conference, led the OUA in save percentage (0.930) and finished in the top-10 in goals-against average (2.51), buoying the Brock attack into a successful season and even more triumphant playoff push.

And when looking deeper at the Badgers’ success this season, the role of head coach Marty Williamson cannot be ignored, and his leadership behind the bench has him named the 2017-18 Coach of the Year.

Williamson led the Badgers to a four-point improvement from a season ago, and much of this success comes from the team’s play in their own zone. Under the guidance of the former Niagara IceDogs head coach, the Badgers were able to rank second in the OUA in goals allowed and operated at a fifth-ranked 84.8% on the penalty kill. Williamson’s guidance secured Brock a fifth-place finish in the division, but they have parlayed that into a Queen’s Cup final run.

The Brock coach becomes just the third in Badgers history to earn the award, following in the footsteps of multi-time winners Murray Nystrom and Mike Pelino.

Another individual who made an impact off the ice – in addition to his in-game stature – is York Lions’ rearguard Shayne Rover (Niagara IceDogs). Having now completed his fifth season, the Lions veteran put up a career-high 17 points on the year, but his impact goes well beyond the scoresheet. His on-ice demeanor, presence, and respect for all those around him have earned Rover the Most Sportsmanlike Award, while his additional efforts in the classroom and the larger community have made him the 2017-18 recipient of the Randy Gregg Award.

The Academic All-Canadian is completing his second degree, graduating with a Bachelor of Education this year, and has taken time to extend his reach to roles such as the sport clubs representative with York’s Athletics and Recreation department and volunteer coach at local high schools in hockey, football, and rugby. The all-time leader for York in regular season games played has left his mark on the club and is a deserving recipient for this year’s Award of Merit.

The reigning Player of the Year, Derek Sheppard (Gatineau Olympiues), represents the Lions as a Second-Team All-Star, bolstering the blueline with the best of them this season, while teammate Mack Shields (Calgary Hitmen), who is coming off his Rookie of the Year recognition a season ago, rounds out the award-winning York contingent with his top-five finishes in save percentage (0.926) and goals-against average (2.40).

An additional three schools also find themselves represented on the Second-Team. For Toronto, the Varsity Blues see the likes of forward Matt Campagna (Plymouth Whalers), whose selection is anchored by his 25-point (8 G, 17 A) output. Laurier’s Brandon Robinson (Kitchener Rangers) earned a Second-Team nod after his 23-point performance (9 G, 14, A) for the Golden Hawks, while Waterloo Warriors’ standout defenceman Mike Moffatt (Kingston Frontenacs) rounds out the talented crew.

Completing the All-Rookie Team, meanwhile, is Western’s Cordell James (Owen Sound Attack), who put home a tidy 19-points in his freshman campaign, scoring nine goals (three of which went for game-winners) and adding 10 assists for the purple ponies.

The complete list of the major award winners and all-stars can be found below:

 

OUA East Division Major Award Winners
Most Valuable Player – Anthony Beauregard, Concordia (Val-d’Or Foreurs)
Rookie of the Year – Riley Brandt, RMC
Defenceman of the Year – Spencer Abraham, Queen’s (Erie Otters)
Goaltender of the Year – Louis-Philip Guindon, McGill (Rimouski Oceanic)
Randy Gregg Award – Nathan Chiarlitti, McGill (Owen Sound Attack)
Most Sportsmanlike Award – Spencer Abraham, Queen’s (Erie Otters)
Coach of the Year – Kelly Nobes, McGill

First-Team All-Stars
F – Anthony Beauregard, Concordia (Val-d’Or Foreurs)
F – Riley Brandt, RMC
F – Slater Doggett, Queen’s (Windsor Spitfires)
D – Spencer Abraham, Queen’s (Erie Otters)
D – Carl Neill, Concordia (Charlottetown Islanders)
G – Louis-Philip Guindon, McGill (Rimouski Oceanic)

Second-Team All-Stars
F – Brett Welychka, Carleton (Belleville Bulls)
F – Jerome Verrier, McGill (Quebec Remparts)
F – Christophe Boivin, UQTR (Acadie-Bathurst Titan)
D – Nathan Chiarlitti, McGill (Owen Sound Attack)
D – Jacob Sweeney, Ottawa (Moncton Wildcats)
G – Kevin Bailie, Queen’s (London Knights)

All-Rookie Team
F – Riley Brandt, RMC
F – Massimo Carozza, Concordia (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles)
F – Christophe Boivin, UQTR (Acadie-Bathurst Titan)
D – Carl Neill, Concordia (Charlottetown Islanders)
D – Medric Mercier, Ottawa (Oshawa Generals)
G – Daniel Vautour, RMC (Acadie-Bathurst Titan)

 

OUA West Division Major Award Winners
Most Valuable Player – Alex Basso, Ryerson (London Knights)
Rookie of the Year – Todd Winder, Guelph
Defenceman of the Year – Alex Basso, Ryerson (London Knights)
Goaltender of the Year – Clint Windsor, Brock (Ottawa 67’s)
Randy Gregg Award – Shayne Rover, York (Niagara IceDogs)
Most Sportsmanlike Award – Shayne Rover, York (Niagara IceDogs)
Coach of the Year – Marty Williamson, Brock

First-Team All-Stars
F – Matt Mistele, Ryerson (Sarnia Sting)
F – Scott Simmonds, Guelph (Belleville Bulls)
F – Cody Thompson, Guelph (Mississauga Steelheads)
D – Alex Basso, Ryerson (London Knights)
D – Josh McFadden, Guelph (Sudbury Wolves)
G – Clint Windsor, Brock (Ottawa 67’s)

Second-Team All-Stars
F – Aaron Armstrong, Ryerson
F – Matt Campagna, Toronto (Plymouth Whalers)
F – Brandon Robinson, Laurier (Kitchener Rangers)
D – Derek Sheppard, York (Gatineau Olympiques)
D – Mike Moffatt, Waterloo (Kingston Frontenacs)
G – Mack Shields, York (Medicine Hat Tigers)

All-Rookie Team
F – Todd Winder, Guelph
F – Cordell James, Western (Owen Sound Attack)
F – Cavin Leth, Ryerson (Prince Albert Raiders)
D – Mathieu Henderson, Guelph (Flint Firebirds)
D – Gregory DiTomaso, Ryerson (Barrie Colts)
G – Andrew Masters, Guelph

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