StFX's Chase Marchand named AUS MVP
(HALIFAX, N.S.) - Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2017-18 AUS men's hockey major award winners and all-stars as selected by the conference's seven head coaches following regular season play.
Second-year StFX X-Men goaltender Chase Marchand has been named the AUS MVP, marking the first time the top honour has been awarded to a goalie since the 1995-96 season.
Other AUS major award winners include UNB's Kris Bennett of Brampton, Ont., who was named rookie of the year; UNB's Randy Gazzola who was selected as both most sportsmanlike player as well as this year's recipient of the Godfrey Award for student-athlete community service; and StFX head coach Brad Peddle who was named the AUS coach of the year for the second time in his career.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER (Kelly Trophy): Chase Marchand, StFX X-Men
The Atlantic University Sport men's hockey most valuable player is Chase Marchand of the U SPORTS no. 3-ranked StFX X-Men.
Marchand, a second-year goaltender from Halifax, N.S., is just the second goalie to ever be named AUS MVP. St. Thomas Tommies goaltender Johnny Lorenzo first earned league top honours following the 1995-96 season.
Playing in 22 games for the X-Men this season, Marchand led the conference with a save percentage of .924 and a win percentage of .762. His goals against average of 2.38 was the second best in AUS.
The X-Men finished the regular season with a 22-4-4 record, good for second place in the standings, securing a bye through to the semi-final round of the Subway AUS Men's Hockey Playoffs.
In addition to being name AUS MVP, Marchard earned a place on the AUS first team all-star squad for the second consecutive year. Last season, he was also named to the AUS all-rookie team.
He will now represent the conference as the AUS nominee for the U SPORTS Senator Joseph A. Sullivan trophy as the nation's top player.
The Atlantic conference has claimed nine of the past 14 national player of the year awards. UNB's Philippe Maillet earned the honour last season.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (A.J. MacAdam Trophy): Kris Bennett, UNB Varsity Reds
The Atlantic conference rookie of the year and recipient of the A.J. MacAdam Trophy for the 2017-18 season is UNB forward Kris Bennett.
In just his first year with the Varsity Reds program, Bennett finished second in the conference in goal scoring with 18 goals in the regular season.
In 30 games played, the Brampton, Ont. native finished fifth overall in points, adding 20 assists this season. He finished with a plus-minus rating of +15.
Prior to joining the UNB squad, Bennett played five seasons with the OHL's Saginaw Spirit between 2012-13 and 2016-17.
He amassed 114 points for the Spirit in 185 games played between 2014-15 and 2016-17.
Bennett now becomes the Atlantic conference nominee for the U SPORTS rookie of the year award. The national award has been won by UNB players twice before. Bennett looks to join the ranked of former UNB standouts Kevin Young, who earned the honour in 2003-04, and Ryan Lindsay, who won in 1997-98.
The last AUS player to receive the honour was former StFX standout Jason Bast following the 2010-11 season.
COACH OF THE YEAR (Bob Boucher Trophy): Brad Peddle, StFX X-Men
In his 13th season as head coach, Brad Peddle has been selected by his peers as the 2017-18 AUS coach of the year for the second time in his career.
Peddle guided the two-time defending AUS champion and U SPORTS no. 3-ranked StFX X-Men to a 22-4-4 regular season record and a second-place finish in the Atlantic conference standings with 48 points.
The X-Men had the best power play percentage in the nation this season (25.7%) and the most power play goals (45). Their penalty kill percentage of .91 was the best in U SPORTS.
StFX's goals against average of 2.40 was the second best in AUS.
To date, Peddle has amassed a career regular season record of 195-172-1 and a record of 235-206-1 including regular season, AUS playoffs and U SPORTS championship action.
Peddle is the third coach from the StFX X-Men to earn AUS coach of the year honours and this is his second time earning the award.
Prior to Peddle's first win in 2015-16, the last StFX coaches to earn the honour were Wayne Synishin in 1976-77 and Father George Kehoe in 1973-74.
Peddle now becomes the Atlantic conference nominee for the Father George Kehoe Memorial Award as the U SPORTS coach of the year. He himself is the only StFX coach, and the most recent Atlantic conference coach, to earn the national honour, winning the award in 2015-16.
An AUS coach has claimed this award in five of the past eight seasons.
MOST SPORTSMANLIKE PLAYER (Don Wells Trophy): Randy Gazzola, UNB Varsity Reds
In his fourth season with the UNB Varsity Reds, defenceman Randy Gazzola has been chosen as the Atlantic University Sport most sportsmanlike player and recipient of the Don Wells Trophy.
A first-year MBA student from Thorold, Ont., Gazzola finished the regular season with 24 points. He scored six goals and 18 assists and finished with a plus-minus rating of +13. In 30 games played this regular season, he amassed just eight penalty minutes.
In his four AUS regular seasons, he has played 110 games, tallied 85 points and taken just 52 career regular season penalty minutes.
Gazzola was also named to the AUS second team all-star squad today for the second time in his career.
In his inaugural season with UNB in 2014-15, he was named an AUS second team all-star and earned a place on the AUS all-rookie team.
Along with award, Gazzola is also this recipient of the 2017-18 Godfrey Award for student-athlete community service.
Gazzola is the fourth Varsity Reds player to be named the conference's most sportsmanlike player and the first since 2013-14 and 2012-13 when former UNB standout Chris Culligan took home the honour in back-to-back seasons.
He now becomes the Atlantic conference nominee for the U SPORTS R. W. Pugh Award. UNB's Culligan is the most recent AUS player to earn the national honour. He won following the 2013-14 season.
STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD (The Godfrey Award): Randy Gazzola, UNB Varsity Reds
UNB's Randy Gazzola is the 2017-18 Atlantic conference recipient of the Godfrey Award and is the AUS nominee for the prestigious Dr. Randy Gregg Award.
The Godfrey Award, named after Dr. Bill Godfrey, is given annually to the player who best represents the spirit of intercollegiate hockey by his leadership both on and off the ice and by his conduct throughout the season.
The fourth-year defenceman was also named the most sportsmanlike player this season and earned a spot on the AUS second team all-star squad.
Off the ice, Gazzola is a three-time academic all-Canadian, on pace to repeat the accomplishment for a fourth time this season. He completed his undergraduate studies in just three years and currently boasts a 3.8 GPA in UNB's MBA program.
Despite the heavy demands of being a student and a varsity athlete, he also makes contributions to the university community and the greater Fredericton community, volunteering in a number of capacities. Among the initiatives he lends his time to are UNB's Read with the Reds program with local elementary schools, UNB's athletes' council and the Just 4 Ice youth development program.
Gazzola has been a member of the Varsity Reds Phillips Sports Leadership Academy for the past two years. He also volunteers his time as a youth hockey coach at the AAA Peewee level.
He becomes the fourth player from the Varsity Reds to take home the Godfrey Award and the first since 2011-12 when former UNB standout Kyle Bailey earned the honour.
Gazzola now becomes the AUS nominee for the Dr. Randy Gregg Award. UNB's Bailey is the most recent player from the Varsity Reds to earn the national honour. He won in 2011-12.
StFX's Nathan Chiarlitti is the most recent player from the Atlantic conference to earn the honour. He was awarded the Dr. Randy Gregg Award in 2015-16.
FIRST AND SECOND TEAM ALL-STARS AND ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
The Atlantic University Sport first and second team all-stars were also announced today, along with this year's all-rookie team.
First Team All-Stars:
Goaltender: Chase Marchand, StFX (2nd year – Halifax, N.S.)
Defence: Jagger Dirk, StFX (4th year – Penticton, B.C.)
Defence: Ryan MacKinnon, UPEI (3rd year – Summerside, P.E.I.)
Forward: Hunter Garlent, Saint Mary's (2nd year – Thorold, Ont.)
Forward: Stephen Harper, Acadia (2nd year – Burlington, Ont.)
Forward: Michael Clarke, StFX (3rd year – London, Ont.)
Second Team All-Stars:
Goaltender: Corbin Boes, Dalhousie (4th year – Saskatoon, Sask.)
Defence: Randy Gazzola, UNB (4th year – Thorold, Ont.)
Defence: Cole MacDonald, StFX (2nd year – Wetaskiwin, Alta.)
Forward: Boston Leier, Acadia (4th year – Saskatoon, Sask.)
Forward: Chris Clapperton, UNB (3rd year – Cap d'Espoir, Que.)
Forward: Kris Bennett, UNB (1st year – Brampton, Ont.)
Goaltender: Rylan Parenteau, UNB (Saskatoon, Sask.)
Defence: Dylan Di Perna, Saint Mary's (Nobleton, Ont.)
Defence: Santino Centorame, StFX (Mississauga, Ont.)
Forward: Kris Bennett, UNB (Brampton, Ont.)
Forward: Kameron Kielly, UPEI (Stratford, P.E.I.)
Forward: Jake Coughler, Saint Mary's (St. Catharines, Ont.)
The 2018 Subway AUS Men's Hockey Championship semi-final series are set to begin tomorrow night. The two best-of-five playoff series will see the UNB Varsity Reds face off against the Saint Mary's Huskies, while the Acadia Axemen take on the StFX X-Men. The schedule is as follows:
Semifinal #1 (Best 3-of-5): Saint Mary's (4) vs. UNB (1)
Game 1: Saint Mary's at UNB - Thursday, Feb. 22, 7 p.m.
Game 2: Saint Mary's at UNB - Friday, Feb. 23, 7 p.m.
Game 3: UNB at Saint Mary's - Monday, Feb. 26, 7 p.m.
Game 4: UNB at Saint Mary's - Tuesday, Feb. 27, 7 p.m.* (if necessary)
Game 5: Saint Mary's at UNB - Thursday, Mar. 1, 7 p.m.* (if necessary)
Semifinal #2 (Best 3-of-5): Acadia (3) vs. StFX (2)
Game 1: Acadia at StFX - Thursday, Feb. 22, 7 p.m.
Game 2: Acadia at StFX - Friday, Feb. 23, 7 p.m.
Game 3: StFX at Acadia - Sunday, Feb. 25, 7 p.m.
Game 4: StFX at Acadia - Monday, Feb. 26, 7 p.m.* (if necessary)
Game 5: Acadia at StFX - Thursday, Mar. 1, 7 p.m.* (if necessary)
All matches of the AUS semifinals will be webcast live at www.AUStv.ca.
The winners of each series will advance to the Subway AUS Men's Hockey Championship best-of-three final series. AUS receives three berths in the 2018 U SPORTS University Cup being hosted by UNB March 15-18. As hosts, the Varsity Reds receive an automatic berth in the national championship.
The two additional berths will be awarded to the AUS champion and runner up. If UNB is a finalist, a best-of-three consolation final will be played to determine which team receives the third national berth.