Jr. B Canadiens honour top performers
The St. Paul Junior B Canadiens held a year-end banquet and awards ceremony on Saturday evening at the Elks Hall, and there was plenty of optimism in the air for the future of the franchise.
“We’re going to start building off this season and getting better every year. It’s not going to happen overnight and it didn’t happen this year, but I think we have the character players to make it happen now,” said Canadiens head coach Joe Young, who will be returning to the bench next season.
Ten awards were presented on Saturday night, as well as a pair of framed jerseys given to graduating players John Schmitt and Brett Blanchette.
“These boys deserve it. They played very well, and the parents were very committed,” said Canadiens president Lisa Davies. “It’s a rebuilding year. I can’t wait for next season, it’s going to be awesome.”
Austin Rediron was named the St. Paul Canadiens 2012-13 MVP. The netminder posted a .879 save percentage despite a 3-18-0 record through 25 games this season.
Young was happy to announce that the North East Alberta Junior B Hockey League rookie of the year will be returning to the Habs roster next season.
“I definitely think him getting hurt and not playing for the last month and half really disappointed him, and he wants to come back and have an ever better year. That’s what a competitor does,” said Young. “Needless to say, we couldn’t be happier that we’re going to be solidified in net. We know what he brings to the table and everyone in the league knows as well.”
Tyler Bunce was awarded with the top scorer award. The forward found the back of the net 10 times during the regular season and assisted on another 19 goals.
Dylan Loughran and John Schmitt shared the honour of top defenceman. Loughran posted three goals and seven assists on the season, while Schmitt had a goal and 10 assists.
Pierre Beaudoin was named the most skilled Canadien of the 2012-13 season. Beaudoin managed three goals and two assists through 10 regular season games with the Canadiens this year.
Rookie of the year was given to Tanner Hellquist. Hellquist only played 15 regular season games with the Habs this year, but managed to put up an average of 1.2 points per game.
Mackenzie Trach was named the 2013 playoff MVP. In the Canadiens four games against Cold Lake, Trach led the team in scoring with a goal and three assists.
Brett Blanchette, who played his final year in a Canadiens jersey this season, received the coach’s award for his dedication to the team both on and off the ice.
“It means a lot to be honoured for having the heart and committing. I know I’m not one of the more skilled players but I try my hardest and do what I can for the team,” said Blanchette, who traveled to and from Lethbridge to take part in Canadiens games and practices this season.
Jamie Wozniak was named as the teams most dedicated player, and Jalel Abougouche was named the hardest working player.
When asked what he learned from his first playoff experience in the Habs opening round loss to Cold Lake, Abougouche said it was to “work harder.”
“They thought they were going to walk all over us,” he said. “In the last couple of games we showed them that we can compete with anyone that we want to.”