TWENTY-THREE AWARDS HANDED OUT AT 2018 ANNUAL AWARDS BANQUET
May. 11, 2018
DARTMOUTH — Twenty-three awards were handed out to deserving coaches, players, officials, teams and volunteers at our 2018 Annual Awards Banquet.
The 2018 Hockey Nova Scotia Annual Awards Banquet was held on Saturday, May 5 at the Best Western Plus in Dartmouth. The awards ceremony was part of the 2018 Hockey Nova Scotia Annual General Meeting.
Hockey Nova Scotia was pleased to have Joe Drago, chairman of the Hockey Canada board of directors, in attendance. Spryfield's Troy Ryan, assistant coach of the Canadian women's Olympic hockey team, also addressed our guests during the evening's festivities.
(PHOTO: Troy Ryan speaks to guests at the 2018 Hockey Nova Scotia Annual Awards Banquet.)
In all, 23 awards were handed out to individuals who helped make the 2017-18 hockey season a special one in Nova Scotia.
Below is a complete list of this year's award winners.
The Jim Stirling Scholarship (Donated by BFL Canada Risk and Insurance Incorporated)
(PHOTO: Gabrielle Fraser receives her award from David McNeil, Female Council.)
The winner of this year’s Jim Stirling Scholarship is a student at Advocate District High School.
This past season, her dedication to the game was evident as, along with her twin sister, she drove two-and-a-half hours each way to practice with her team, the Nova Scotia Female Midget Hockey League’s Pro Cresting Penguins, at the East Hants Sportsplex.
An accomplished track-and-field athlete, she was active in a number of sports and even found time to give back to her community as a youth basketball coach.
Described by her teachers as a highly motivated student who always strives to do her best, she was a familiar face in clubs at her school where she also served as vice-president of her student council.
Next year, she plans to attend university where she will study kinesiology.
Winner: Gabrielle Fraser
Tiny Titus Award
(PHOTO: Denver Fraser receives the Tiny Titus Award from the Hockey Nova Scotia board's Heather Murphy.)
The winner of this year’s Tiny Titus Award is an Advocate Harbour native who, despite being an hour away from the nearest rink, has had a strong passion for hockey throughout her life.
That passion was on full display this season when, along with her twin sister Gabrielle, she drove two-and-a-half hours each way to attend practice at the East Hants Sportsplex as a member of the Pro Cresting Penguins.
A determined, committed and motivated student-athlete who is known for giving her all in all of her pursuits, she was a fixture on her school’s basketball, soccer, track and field and cross-country teams. Despite that busy schedule, she also found time to volunteer in her community through a number of initiatives including a food drive for her local food bank.
Next year, she hopes to study human kinetics at the University of Guelph.
Winner: Denver Fraser
Hockey Canada Officiating Program Branch Award: Most Promising
(PHOTO: Nelson Thompson accepts the award from Adam Aldred on behalf of Miranda McMillan.)
The winner of this year’s Most Promising Award is a native of Truro, Nova Scotia.
After playing five years of varsity hockey at Dalhousie University with the women’s team, she began her officiating career in 2017, working as an official in the Metro West and Metro East Female Hockey zones.
Her hockey background and talent on the ice allowed her to excel very quickly. By the end of the season, she was selected to officiate in the High School Girls Provincial Championships where she worked the gold medal game, as well as the Midget AA Provincial Championship, and the Female Atom AA Day of Champions gold medal final.
This month, she will be also be officiating at the National Aboriginal Championships.
Winner: Miranda McMillan (Nelson Thompson, Officiating Zone Coordinator of Fundy, accepting the award on her behalf)
Hockey Canada Officiating Program Branch Award: Most Improved
(PHOTO: Sam Currie accepts his award from Corey Hayne.)
The winner of this year’s award began his officiating career in the Debert area.
During the 2011-2012 season, he worked the lines at a Peewee provincial tournament in Debert, finding himself assigned to the gold medal game. He has continued to improve, and, as a 16-year old, began lining in the Maritime Junior A Hockey League.
In 2016 and 2017, he refereed at the Atlantic Challenge Cup in Moncton, receiving a bronze medal games assignment during both seasons.
This past season, he was a referee in the Division 1 High School championship.
He is currently a student at St. Mary’s University but that hasn’t stopped him from furthering his officiating career.
Winner: Sam Currie
Hockey Canada Officiating Program Branch Award: Most Deserving
(PHOTO: Jason Clark accepts his award from Hockey Nova Scotia referee-in-chief Michael MacDonald.)
This individual took over the role of referee-In-chief of the Cole Harbour & Bel Ayr Minor Hockey Association in 2001. During his tenure, he has been instrumental in the development of hundreds of officials.
This year’s winner has high expectations for all of his officials and demands a high degree of accountability. His focus is always on respect for all of those involved with the game.
He has a reputation for doing his best to put officials in the best position to succeed and has offered development and advancement opportunities to any official who has shown the ability and desire.
Winner: Jason Clark
HNS Female Officiating Award of Distinction
PHOTO: Sophie Thompson receives her award from Hockey Canada referee-in-chief Todd Robinson.)
The winner of this year’s Female officiating Award of Distinction is a student at St. FX who grew up playing hockey and officiating with the Halifax Hawks Minor Hockey Association.
In a short time, she has managed to achieve significant assignments both at the provincial and national levels.
Some of those major assignments have include the 2017 Atlantic Challenge Cup Female Under-18 gold medal game where she was a referee, the 2017 Under-18 Female National Championship in Quebec City where she worked the lines, the 2018 AUS women’s gold medal game as linesmen, as well as the Esso Cup gold medal final just last weekend.
Winner: Sophie Thompson
Hal Lewis Award (Official of the Year)
(PHOTO: Rick Hill presents the Hal Lewis Award to Leo Mroz.)
This individual began his officiating career at the age of 16.
He went on to become a Level 5 referee who would officiate in leagues from Major Midget up to Junior A and the AUS.
Staying active on the ice for more the 20 years, he reached milestone assignments like Major Midget Atlantics and the Air Canada Cup in Dartmouth.
After hanging up his skates an an on-ice official, he quickly transitioned to a role as a clinic instructor, as well as a supervisory role within Hockey Nova Scotia,
In recent years, he has served as the Major Bantam liaison and Junior B liaison where, just last weekend, he oversaw a successful Don Johnson Cup in Membertou.
Winner: Leo Mroz
Denny Deveau Award
(PHOTO: Tim Clayton presents the award to Jamie Green.)
This individual has been active in both female and minor hockey in the South Shore region for many years. A former coach and president with the Lunenburg Minor Hockey Association, he was a part of the amalgamated board that formed to create the South Shore Ice Sharks Minor Hockey Association.
In recent years, he has worked hard to help recruit new players from his region to the female game. He always their best interests at heart.
He has given up countless hours of his time as an assistant coach and as a committee member with the Western Riptide Female Hockey Zone, while also finding time to serve as President of the South Conference Female Hockey League, a role he has held for the past two years.
Most recently, he volunteered his time at the 2018 Esso Cup in Bridgewater as the sponsorship and game operations director.
Winner: Jamie Green
HNSMC Registrar's Award
(PHOTO: Beth MacMullin receives her award from Mike Langille.)
This individual is known to always go above and beyond the call of duty. She is also known for her strong organizational skills and she is always eager to lend a hand in any way that she can. As a result, she has been active in assisting the association in a whole variety of ways.
She is a well-respected member of the Whalers team who is known for her doing her role diligently and for never asking for anything in return.
The winner of this year’s Registrar’s Award comes to us from the Dartmouth Whalers Minor Hockey Association.
Winner: Beth MacMullin
HNSMC Outhie Moriarity Award
(PHOTO: Brian Wentzell presents the award to Aidan MacKinley.)
This year’s winner comes to us from the Dartmouth Minor Hockey Association where he is a blue-liner for the Bantam C Sharks.
This year, he was known for showing up to every practice and game with a smile on his face. Win or lose, he always maintained a positive attitude when it came to the game.
This season, he developed a reputation as a hard worker who always gives his best effort and he always demonstrated good sportsmanship on and off the ice.
Winner: Aidan MacKinley
HNSMC Award of Merit
(PHOTO: Ken Boyce makes the presentation to Ginnie Clark.)
A long-time minor hockey volunteer who gave up her time to manage her son’s hockey teams beginning in 1976, she also found the time to help grow the SEDMHA Minor Hockey Tournament.
When she started volunteering for SEDMHA as tournament registrar, it was an eight-team Bantam tournament. Today, it has grown to three tournaments featuring 55 female hockey teams, 72 novice teams and more than 200 minor hockey teams.
This year, she celebrated her 40th season as the event’s registrar, a busy role that sees her book more than 1200 hotel rooms for visiting teams while also looking after team rosters and travel permits.
She is a well-known and popular figure at the event.
Winner: Ginnie Clark.
Lauchie MacIsaac Award
(PHOTO: League president Sean Edwards accepts the award from Marc Blinn.)
The winner of this year’s Lauchie MacIsaac is an Annapolis Valley-based minor hockey league that is always looking for new ideas to help it grow.
Their goal is simple: to give its players, from the Novice division right up to Midget, the best possible hockey experience that they can.
In recent years, the league has seen significant growth and expansion thanks to strong the strong leadership and guidance of its executive.
Congratulations to the winner of this year’s Lauchie MacIsaac Award: the Annapolis Valley Minor Hockey League.
Winner: Annapolis Valley Minor Hockey League
Clary MacDonald Award (Coach of the Year)
(PHOTO: Greg MacDonald receives his award from Elite Hockey chair Steve Coates.)
The winner of this year’s Clary MacDonald Award for Coach of the Year helped guide his team to a provincial title at the Peewee AAA level this season.
Throughout the season, he was known as a hardworking and meticulous coach who always tried to get the best out of his players.
The success they had in Nova Scotia earned the team a berth in the Peewee AAA Atlantic championship where they battled all the way to a silver medal finish.
Aside from the work he does with his Peewee AAA team, he is also active within the Hockey Nova Scotia High Performance Program.
Winner: Greg MacDonald, Bedford Peewee AAA Blues
Fred Fox Award – Male Team of the Year
(PHOTO: The Bedford Blues receive their award from Scott Kennedy.)
This year, Greg MacDonald’s team finished the regular season with an incredible 27-0-1 record. The team was undefeated in the playoffs and they went 2-0 during the central minor league championship round.
They also capture championship banners at the Buster Harvey Memorial Tournament in Fredericton and on home at the Jordan Boyd Memorial Tournament in Bedford.
The team’s success is credited not only to the commitment from all of the team’s players, but also the dedication of the club’s coaches, the hard work of the club’s manager and of course, the tremendous support of the families of the players and the community of Bedford.
Not only did this club capture the Peewee AAA provincial championship this year, they also took home silver from Atlantics in New Brunswick.
Congratulations to our male team of the year: The Bedford Peewee AAA Blues.
Winner: Bedford Peewee AAA Blues
Jed Ritcey Award
(PHOTO: David Jamael receives his award from Minor Council chair Brad MacKinley.)
The winner of this year’s Jed Ritcey Award has been a coach with the Sydney Minor Hockey Association since 2010.
Before beginning his tenure as association president in 2013, he leant is time to the association’s board to assist in areas like player and coach development, as well as ice allocation.
As MHA president, he has helped introduce more than 200 young players to the game through the Canadian Tire First Shift, a program he helped his association receive and one he has also coached in.
This season, with funding from the Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf legacy fund, he helped a launch a Special Needs Hockey Program in his area.
While these commitments keep him busy, he is always eager to help mentor new board members and we’re told that his passion and drive to grow the game in his association is obvious to all who know him.
Winner: David Jamael
Ron Conrad Award – Female Team of the Year
(PHOTO: Female Council's Peter Twohig presents the Ron Conrad Award to the Metro West Midget AA Force.)
We received this nomination for the Ron Conrad Award from a gentleman named Glenn Collier. His daughter Leah began the season as a member of this particular team. She was a goalie. However, back in late October, just two games into the regular season, her hockey career came to an abrupt end.
The hip flexor issue that she had been trying to battle through turned out to be cancer. After surgery to remove her tumor, she was cancer-free and able to walk… but her hockey career was over.
At one point, her father says she told him that she “knew she was going to miss hockey, I just didn’t realize I was going to miss it this much”.
The family says what transpired next humbled them beyond words.
Leah’s teammates, coaches and managers, and the Metro West FHA went above and beyond to include her, at every opportunity, in all of the events she was physically able to take part in.
Aside from the drives to games and tournaments later on in the season, teammates also frequently visited her in the hospital during the Christmas break and made a surprise team visit to her house where they presented her with a Metro West Force team sweater.
On the ice, the team had an incredible season, posting an 18-4-3 record to capture the league championship and advancing to the Day of Champions. And from the day that Leah wasn’t able to play anymore, the team also began every game with a “1-2-3 LEAH!” chant showing everyone that she was always in their hearts and minds.
This team demonstrated not only what it means to be a great team but to be a family.
Winner: Metro West Midget AA Force
Hockey Nova Scotia Development Association of the Year
(PHOTO: Dan St. John presents the Award to Shelburne MHA president Jennifer Sears.)
This year’s winner is a Minor Hockey Association based in southwestern Nova Scotia.
This season, the MHA took a big leap forward when it came to development at the grassroots level. The association’s development team embarked on a number of development initiatives to help improve the skill set of young players in the area.
One such program was a weekly skills session that the association hosted on Mondays.
The association’s development team was also proactive when it came to coach development. The coordinators frequently went on the ice with other coaches, making them comfortable in their roles and assisting them in improving their practices.
Winner: Shelburne County Minor Hockey Association
Hockey Nova Scotia Development Coordinator of the Year
(PHOTO: Andrew Holland and Jennifer Sears accept the award from Donnie Burke and Fred Howard.)
We have two winners this year in our Hockey Nova Scotia Development Coordinator of the Year category.
This pair has been extremely dedicated to development within the Shelburne County Minor Hockey Association.
Through the selfless giving of their time, they have helped develop not only players through their skill sessions, but also coaches and even officials.
They are always eager to help other coaches in their association thrive.
Winner: Andrew Holland and Kegin Watt (award accepted on Kegin's behalf by MHA president Jennifer Sears)
Ken Mantin Award
(PHOTO: Aimee Lee accepts the award from Terry Moore and Dan McMullen.)
We have two winners for this award this evening.
These two individuals are athletic therapists who always bring a high degree of professionalism to our Hockey Scotia High Performance Program.
They have been involved with the program for many years, lending their talent and care to our players at our high performance program spring and summer camps and at the Atlantic Challenge Cup.
That dedication and dependability has resulted in assignments and opportunities at the national level with Hockey Canada.
Highly trained and incredibly dedicated, they are a huge benefit to all of the programs that they are involved in.
Winner: Aimee Lee and Meredith Waisman (unable to attend)
Hockey Nova Scotia Coach of the Year (House/Rec)
(PHOTO: Marjorie Nickerson accepts the award from Mitch MacGregor on behalf of Brian Sangster.)
The winner of this year’s Hockey Nova Scotia Coach of the Year Award at the C-level comes to us from the Canso Minor Hockey Association where he coaches the Atom C Bluefins.
This individual always arrives to the rink in an upbeat mood and with a smile on his face. Despite a busy schedule as a full-time fisherman, he always finds the time to prepare his team for each game and practice.
Highly respected by the youngsters on his team, the other coaches and the parents of his players, he’s always encouraging them and helping them to do their best on the ice.
Through it all, he’s always able to lead the team in a positive manner and the Bluefins have benefited greatly from their coach
Winner: Brian Sangster
Hockey Nova Scotia Jacques Comeau Award
(PHOTO: Robbie Sinclair receives the Jacques Comeau Award from Jacques' son Ben.)
This season, this individual helped lead the Glace Bay Miners to an Atom AA provincial championship as the team’s head coach.
A graduate of the Glace Bay Minor Hockey Association himself, he went on to play at Princeton and then followed that up with a 4-year pro hockey career. When he decided to hang up his skates, he got involved with coaching, first at the University of New Brunswick and more recently as an assistant coach with the Cape Breton Tradesmen of Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League.
Aside from leading his Atom AA team to a provincial title, he also serves as the coaching coordinator on the Glace Bay Minor Hockey executive.
We’re told that his cool demeanor, knowledge of the game and impressive teaching and communication skills help make him a role model and a valuable and cherished member of the Glace Bay Minor Hockey Association.
Winner: Robbie Sinclair
HNS Award of Merit
(PHOTO: Heather Murphy receives the award from Arnie Farrell.)
The winner of this year’s Hockey Nova Scotia Award of Merit is a long-time volunteer with our branch.
For several years, she was a fixture on the Hockey Nova Scotia Female Council where she often wore many hats but the main one was as the Female Council’s North Conference coordinator.
In recent years, she has transition from the council to the Hockey Nova Scotia board where she continues to be a dedicated and diligent volunteer.
With her impressive background in accounting and finance, she has been a big benefit to the board when it comes to managing finances.
Winner: Heather Murphy
(PHOTO: President Garth Isenor makes the presentation to Brian Wentzell.)
The winner of this year’s President’s Award is celebrating his tenth year with Hockey Nova Scotia.
Before joining the branch, he was a local volunteer at the minor hockey association level.
He joined Hockey Nova Scotia as the Minor Council regional director for the Western zone and served in that role until he assumed the position of South Conference coordinator.
He has a reputation as a hard worker who is dedicated to minor hockey in his area. He always brings a high level of professionalism that is reflected in all of the work that he does for the Minor Council.
Respected by his peers on the Hockey Nova Scotia board and councils, he is a deserving recipient of this recognition.
Winner: Brian Wentzell
Departing Minor Council Member
(PHOTO: Minor Council chair Brad MacKinley thanks Mike Langille for his service.)
Departing Female Council Member
(PHOTO: Female Council chair Stephen Murray thanks Peter Twohig for his service.)
Departing Board Member
(PHOTO: Vice-president Arnie Farrell thanks Terry Moore for his service.)