2018-19 AUS women's hockey awards and all-stars announced

2018-19 AUS women's hockey awards and all-stars announced

Université de Moncton Aigles Bleues forward Katryne Villeneuve named MVP

(HALIFAX, N.S.) - Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2018-19 AUS women's hockey all-stars and major award winners as selected by the conference's eight head coaches.

Fifth-year Université de Moncton forward Katryne Villeneuve was named the Atlantic University Sport most valuable player.

Other AUS major award winners announced today were UNB's Kendra Woodland from Kamloops, B.C., who was named rookie of the year; St. Thomas's Emily Oleksuk from Thunder Bay, Ont., who was named the league's top defensive player; Mount Allison's Heather Richards of St. Anthony, N.L., who was selected as the most sportsmanlike player; Saint Mary's Kiana Wilkinson from Prince George, B.C., who earned the student-athlete community service award; and St. Thomas Tommies head coach Peter Murphy who was named the AUS coach of the year.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Katryne Villeneuve, Université de Moncton Aigles Bleues 

The Atlantic University Sport women's hockey most valuable player is fifth-year forward Katryne Villeneuve of the Université de Moncton Aigles Bleues.

A sport and tourism student from Casselman, Ont., Villeneuve led the conference and finished second in the country in both points (36) and goals (19) scored this season.

Villeneuve also led the conference in short-handed goals with three, and had five game-winning goals on the season.

Villeneuve is the fourth player from the Université de Moncton to win the conference MVP award. Former Moncton standout Mariève Provost earned the honour in the 2010-11, 2009-10, and 2006-07 seasons. Provost's teammate Kathy Desjardins earned the honour in the 2008-09 season, and Guylaine Haché earned the inaugural award in the 1999-00 season.

Villeneuve now becomes the AUS nominee for the Brodrick Trophy as U SPORTS player of the year. Former Atlantic conference player Daley Oddy earned the national honour last season, with Sarah Bujold and Brayden Ferguson earning the honour in 2016-17 and 2007-08, respectively.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Kendra Woodland, UNB Reds

Kendra Woodland, a first-year goaltender from Kamloops, B.C., is the AUS women's hockey rookie of the year.

Woodland, also named a first team all-star and a member of the AUS all-rookie team today, played in 23 regular season games this year for the UNB Reds in their first season back in the AUS.

The five-foot-eight arts student earned nine wins for the UNB Reds in her rookie season, including three shutouts.

Woodland led all AUS goaltenders in save percentage (.945), to rank eighth in the country. The Reds finished the season with a 13-11-4 record on the season, finishing fourth in the Atlantic Conference.

Woodland is the fourth player from the UNB Reds to be named the conference's top rookie. Goaltender Terri Ryerson last earned the honour in the 2005-06 season, with Emily Hobbs and Lynda Robinson winning the honour in 2001-02 and 2000-01, respectively.

She now looks to become the fourth AUS player to be selected as the U SPORTS rookie of the year.

StFX's Alexa Normore (2010-11), and former Saint Mary's players Lindsay Taylor (2002-03) and Courtney Schriver (2004-05), are the only AUS players to have won the national award.

MOST SPORTSMANLIKE PLAYER: Heather Richards, Mount Allison Mounties

This season's Atlantic University Sport most sportsmanlike player is Heather Richards of the Mount Allison Mounties.

This award recognizes an individual who maintains the standards of fair play and treats those around her with respect at all times.

Richards, a fourth-year Bachelor of Chemistry student from St. Anthony, N.L., appeared in 27 regular season games this year for the Mounties.

The five-foot-four forward finished the season with 11 points, including three goals and eight assists. Through the entirety of the regular season, she took just four penalty minutes.

Richards becomes the third player from Mount Allison to be recognized with this award. Courtney King last earned the honour in the 2013-14 season. Ashlynn Somers earned the honour in back-to-back seasons in 2011-12 and 2012-13.


TOP DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Emily Oleksuk, St. Thomas Tommies

St. Thomas Tommies forward Emily Oleksuk has been awarded the Atlantic University Sport Top Defensive Player award.

This award, established in 2016-17, is given annually to a skater who consistently excels in defensive aspects of the game and displays strong play in all areas of the ice individually and as part of their team's defensive tactics.

A fourth-year Bachelor of Arts student from Thunder Bay, Ont., Oleksuk and the Tommies squad finished first in the AUS regular season standings with a 22-5-1 record. St. Thomas boasted the second lowest goals against average in the conference at just 1.58 per game.

She finished second in the league and fourth in the country in points with 34, and finished first in both the conference and the country in assists with 23. Oleksuk also finished the season with a plus-minus rating of +16.

She led the league in game-winning goals with seven, and was tied at the top in power-play goals with four.

Oleksuk was selected as the winner of this award based upon criteria such as face-offs, blocked shots, fore-checking, rush-zone defending, penalty killing, and shutting down the opposition's top players.

Oleksuk is the first player from the Tommies to be named the league's top defensive player since the award's inception in 2016-17.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Peter Murphy, St. Thomas Tommies

St. Thomas' head coach Peter Murphy has been selected by his peers as the 2018-19 AUS coach of the year. This is his first time earning the honour.

This season, St. Thomas finished first in the regular season standings with a 25-5-1 record and earned a bye through to the Subway AUS Women's Hockey Playoffs semi-final round.

The Tommies led the league this season in goals (83), assists (131), goals-per game (2.96) and power-play goals (16).

Murphy is the first coach from St. Thomas to be named AUS coach of the year. He now looks to earn national coach of the year honours.

Saint Mary's head coach Chris Larade previously earned the national honour in back-to-back seasons in 2015-16 and 2016-17. Other Atlantic Conference coaches to earn the honour are Moncton's Rheal Bordage (2006-07), Dalhousie's Lesley Jordan (2005-06), and Saint Mary's Lisa MacDonald (2002-03).


Kiana Wilkinson of the Saint Mary's Huskies has been selected as the AUS student-athlete community service award recipient for the 2018-19 season.

This award honours the individual who best combines academics, athletics and community involvement.

Wilkinson, a fourth-year science student from Prince George, B.C., played in all 28 games for the Huskies this season and finished with eight assists.

She is a fourth-year captain for the Huskies, and is not only a strong two-way defenseman, but also a strong student in the classroom. She is also extensively involved in the community, volunteering her time with an array of initiatives.

Among the causes she spends her time to are the Ronald McDonald House and the Out of the Cold homeless shelter.

She is a minor female hockey volunteer, organizing game day and other team events. She also volunteers her time with Move for Inclusion, a weekly student-athlete run initiative which hosts children of all abilities for an 'open gym' style play session.

Wilkinson also dedicates her time to SAMHI (the Student-Athlete Mental Health Initiative), a charitable organization dedicated to promoting wellness and mental health, and supporting student-athletes who may suffer from a mental health problem or illness.

She is a member of the athletic council where she organizes student-athlete events as well as looks for opportunities to raise money and awareness through community initiatives.

Wilkinson is on the Motion Ball Committee, which is an event aimed to promote awareness and raise funds for the Special Olympics movement through integrated sport.

She is the fourth player from the Huskies to receive this award since its inception in 2002-03, joining Joyce Spruyt (2006-07), Kori Cheverie (2007-08 and 2008-09) and Beatrice Harrietha (2016-17 and 2017-18).

Wilkinson will now represent the conference as the AUS nominee for the U SPORTS Marion Hilliard Award. The last AUS student-athlete to take home the national honour was St. Thomas' Kayla Blackmore following the 2012-13 season.


This year's Atlantic University Sport first and second team all-stars, along with the all-rookie team members are as follows:

First Team All-Stars:
Goaltender: Kendra Woodland, UNB (1st year – Kamloops, B.C.)
Defence: Lindsey Donovan, StFX (3rd year - Miramichi, N.B.)
Defence: Alexandra Woods, St. Thomas (3rd year - Courtice, Ont.)
Forward: Sarah Bujold, StFX (5th year – Riverview, N.B.)
Forward: Katryne Villeneuve, Université de Moncton (5th year – Casselman, Ont.)
Forward: Lauren Henman, St. Thomas (5th year – Cow Bay, N.S.) 

Second Team All-Stars:
Goaltender: Abby Clarke, St. Thomas (5th year – Springdale, N.L.)
Defence: Natalie Stanwood, Dalhousie (4th year – West Vancouver, B.C.)
Defence: Jenna MacLean, UNB (1st year – Wilcox, Sask.)
Forward: Emily Oleksuk, St. Thomas (4th year – Thunder Bay, Ont.)
Forward: Shae Demale, Saint Mary's (1st year – Red Deer, Alta.)
Forward: Tyra Meropoulis, StFX (1st year – Edson, Alta.)

All-Rookie Team:
Goaltender: Kendra Woodland, UNB (Kamloops, B.C.)
Defence: Jenna MacLean, UNB (Wilcox, Sask.)
Defence: Caleigh Meraw, Saint Mary's (Red Deer, Alta.)
Forward: Tyra Meropoulis, StFX (Edson, Alta.)
Forward: Shae Demale, Saint Mary's (Red Deer, Alta.)
Forward: Jolena Gillard, UPEI (Deer Lake, N.L.)

The 2019 Subway AUS Women's Hockey Playoffs semi-final series are set to begin tomorrow night. The two best-of-three playoff series will see the StFX X-Women face off against the Saint Mary's Huskies, while the UNB Reds take on the St. Thomas Tommies. The schedule is as follows:

Semifinal #1 (Best 2-of-3): UNB (4) vs. St. Thomas (1)

Game 1: UNB at St. Thomas – Saturday, Feb. 23, 7 p.m.
Game 2: St. Thomas at UNB – Monday, Feb. 25, 7 p.m.
Game 3: UNB at St. Thomas – Wednesday, Feb. 27, p.m.* (if necessary) 

Semifinal #2 (Best 2-of-3): Saint Mary's (3) vs. StFX (2)

Game 1: Saint Mary's at StFX – Friday, Feb. 22, 7 p.m.
Game 2: StFX at Saint Mary's – Sunday, Feb. 24, 6:30 p.m. (Location: Civic Centre)
Game 3: Saint Mary's at StFX – Tuesday, Feb. 26, 7 p.m.* (if necessary)

The winners of each series will advance to the Subway AUS Women's Hockey Championship best-of-three final series.

All matches of the AUS championship semifinals will be webcast at www.AUStv.ca.

The 2019 U SPORTS Women's Hockey Championship is being hosted by UPEI at the MacLauchlan Arena in Charlottetown, P.E.I., March 14-17.

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