(HALIFAX, N.S.) - Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2015-16 AUS men's hockey major award winners and all-stars as selected by the conference's eight head coaches following regular season play.
Second-year StFX forward Eric Locke of Toronto has been named the Atlantic University Sport most valuable player.
Other AUS major award winners announced today were Dalhousie's Phil Gadoury of Montreal, who was named rookie of the year; Saint Mary's Ben Duffy of Lower Sackville, N.S., who was selected as the most sportsmanlike player; StFX's Nathan Chiarlitti of Maple, Ont., who earned 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 first time in his career.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER (Kelly Trophy): Eric Locke, StFX
The Atlantic University Sport men's hockey most valuable player is Eric Locke of the CIS No. 5-ranked St. Francis Xavier University X-Men.
Locke, a third-year human kinetics student in his second year of eligibility, notched 35 points in 28 games played this season—the third most in the Atlantic conference.
Also named a first team all-star today, he posted 14 goals, 21 assists and had a plus/minus rating of +15 this season.
In two seasons of university hockey, Locke has now accumulated 50 career points in 50 games played.
Prior to joining the X-Men, Locke spent six seasons in the OHL from 2010-11 to 2013-14—first a season with the Windsor Spitfires, then two with the Barrie Colts, followed by three with the Saginaw Spirit where he amassed 184 points in 147 games played.
In 2013, he was selected in the seventh round of the NHL Draft by the Buffalo Sabres.
"He is a dynamic player with great speed and outstanding work ethic and passion for the game," said StFX X-Men head coach Brad Peddle. "His shot is among the best in the AUS and he has become one of the elite forwards in the AUS in only his second year for his competitive two-way style. He is a tremendous kid, an academic all-Canadian and the hardest working kid on our team. Eric has become a very important leader in our group."
Locke becomes the fifth StFX player to claim the Kelly Trophy and the first since the 1999-00 season. He joins the ranks of former X-Men standouts Yanick Evola (1999-00), Dale McTavish (1994-95), Dave Purcell (1987-88 and 1985-86) and Tony Cuomo 1980-81.
He will now represent the conference as the AUS nominee for the CIS's Senator Joseph A. Sullivan trophy as the nation's top player.
The Atlantic conference has claimed eight of the past 12 CIS player of the year awards. Acadia's Liam Heelis is the most recent AUS recipient of the national honour. He earned the accolade following the 2013-14 season.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (A.J. MacAdam Trophy): Phil Gadoury, Dalhousie
The Atlantic conference rookie of the year and recipient of the A.J. MacAdam Trophy for 2015-16 is Dalhousie Tigers forward Phil Gadoury.
In just his first year with the Dalhousie program, Gadoury scored a league-leading 17 goals, including five on the power play and two game winners. He had more hat tricks than any player the nation with five this season.
In 25 games played, the 5-foot-10 commerce student from Montreal racked up 23 points. He posted the third most shots on goal in the Atlantic conference with 90.
"The AUS attracts some of the top talent in the country and this past season featured an exceptional group," said Tigers head coach Chris Donnelly. "Phil had a great start to his university career leading the league in goal scoring as a first-year player, which is a tremendous achievement in such a tough conference. His work ethic and character are second to none, which helped make his transition into the league a very smooth one."
Gadoury, who played two seasons with the QMJHL's Halifax Mooseheads before joining the Tigers, becomes the fourth Dalhousie player to be named the conference's top rookie and the first since the 2006-07 season when Jordan Morrison earned the honour.
He will now look to become the first-ever Dalhousie player to be selected as the CIS rookie of the year later next month. 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
In his 11th season as head coach, Brad Peddle has been selected by his peers as the 2015-16 AUS coach of the year for the first time in his career.
Peddle guided the CIS No. 5-ranked StFX X-Men to a 18-6-4 regular season record this year and a second-place finish in the Atlantic conference standings with 40 points. This marks the team's best regular season performance and first opening-round playoff bye since the 2003-04 season.
Peddle becomes just the third StFX X-Men coach to earn AUS coach of the year honours and the first since the 1976-77 season.
He now becomes the Atlantic conference nominee for the Father George Kehoe Memorial Award as the CIS coach of the year.
An AUS coach has claimed this award in four of the past six seasons. UNB Varsity Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall was last season's recipient. Trevor Stienburg of the Saint Mary's Huskies earned the accolade in 2012-13, Moncton's Serge Bourgeois in 2011-12 and MacDougall in 2009-10.
MOST SPORTSMANLIKE PLAYER (Don Wells Trophy): Ben Duffy, Saint Mary's
In his sophomore season with the Huskies, forward Ben Duffy has been chosen as the Atlantic University Sport most sportsmanlike player and recipient of the Don Wells Trophy for the second consecutive year.
A second-year commerce student from Lower Sackville, N.S., Duffy finished the regular season with 21 points in 23 games played. He scored 10 goals, added 11 assists and finished with a plus/minus rating of +11.
In this season's quarter-final playoff series versus the Moncton Aigles Bleus, Duffy notched another two goals and two assists in two games played.
In 23 regular season and two postseason games played, he has amassed just two penalty minutes.
In two seasons, 49 regular season and 10 postseason games for the Huskies, Duffy has accumulated four total penalty minutes so far in his AUS career.
"I could not be happier for Ben, winning this award," said Huskies head coach Trevor Stienburg. "He is a gifted player that has been well-respected throughout his career. But most importantly, this award is evidence of his respect for the game, his teammates and—just as importantly—his opponents. I'm proud to have Ben as part of our program."
Duffy is the fifth Saint Mary's player to receive this award and the first to claim the honour in back-to-back seasons since former Huskies' standout Cam Fergus claimed the award in three consecutive seasons from 2008-09 to 2010-11.
Duffy now becomes the Atlantic conference nominee for the CIS's R. W. Pugh Award. Dan Rudisuela is the most recent student-athlete to claim the honour for Saint Mary's. He earned the accolade following the 2007-08 season. Former UNB standout Chris 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): Nathan Chiarlitti, StFX
StFX's Nathan Chiarlitti is the 2015-16 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.
In his third-year of eligibility from Maple, Ont., Chiarlitti has worked hard on the ice, in the classroom and in his community this season.
He played in all 28 games for the X-Men this regular season, posting three goals and 12 assists and finishing with a plus/minus rating of +14.
Academically, the fourth-year human kinetics student achieved academic all-Canadian status. He recently completed the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and hopes to attend medical school in the future.
Chiarlitti is heavily involved in the community, volunteering his time with an array of organizations and causes.
He was awarded the Leader of Distinction award by the StFX Leadership Academy, which he has been involved with for the past three years. He is a volunteer coach for the Antigonish Minor Hockey Mentorship Program, a volunteer tutor with the Hockey Program of X-Cellence and president of the Coady Society.
Chiarlitti volunteers with Fit 4 Life and Fit 4 Tots, a StFX human kinetics community service program which promotes healthy lifestyles to children. He is a participant in StFX's Best Buddies program, which helps people with intellectual disabilities gain valuable life experiences, leadership skills and establish new friendships.
He has also done extensive volunteer work in medical research including thyroid oncology research at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, work with Caisis, the online cancer data management system, as well as data collection for CAPL (Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy).
"Nathan has been our captain all season and is a tremendous leader in our group," said X-Men head coach Brad Peddle. "He is highly respected in our dressing room, while being able to maintain strong personal relationships with his teammates. He is our most reliable player in every situation. When it comes to the values associated with this award and the complete person it exemplifies, I can sincerely say Nathan fits the description more than anyone I have ever had in our program. His willingness to go above and beyond to help others is quite remarkable."
This is the third consecutive year a player from the StFX X-Men has taken home the Godfrey Award. Former X-Men standouts Rob Slaney (2014-15) and Murdoch MacLellan (2013-14) earned the honour the past two seasons.
Chiarlitti now becomes the AUS nominee for the Dr. Randy Gregg Award. X-Men head coach Brad Peddle is the most recent StFX winner of the national award. He took home the honours as a player in 1998-99.
UPEI's Jordan Knox is the most recent recipient of the Dr. Randy Gregg Award from the Atlantic conference, claiming it in 2012-13.
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: Corbin Boes, Dalhousie (2nd year – Saskatoon, Sask.)
Defence: Jordan Murray, UNB (3rd year – Riverview, N.B.)
Defence: Matthew Pufahl, Acadia (2nd year – Saskatoon, Sask.)
Forward: Eric Locke, StFX (2nd year – Toronto, Ont.)
Forward: Alex Saulnier, Moncton (3rd year – Cap-Pelé, N.B.)
Forward: Phil Maillet, UNB (3rd year – Terrebonne, Que.)
Second Team All-Stars:
Goaltender: Drew Owsley, StFX (4th year – Lethbridge, Alta.)
Defence: Geoff Schemitsch, Acadia (3rd year – Thornhill, Ont.)
Defence: Nathan Chiarlitti, StFX (3rd year – Maple, Ont.)
Forward: Stephen MacAulay, Saint Mary's (3rd year – Cole Harbour, N.S.)
Forward: Mike Cazzola, Acadia (4th year – Guelph, Ont.)
Forward: Allain Saulnier, Moncton (3rd year – Cap-Pelé, N.B.)
Goaltender: Alex Dubeau, UNB (Mascouche, Que.)
Defence: Ryan MacKinnon, UPEI (Summerside, P.E.I.)
Defence: Austyn Hardie, Saint Mary's (Montreal, Que.)
Forward: Phil Gadoury, Dalhousie (Montreal, Que.)
Forward: Holden Cook, StFX (Oshawa, Ont.)
Forward: Kyle Farrell, Acadia (Howie Centre, N.S.)
The 2016 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 Saint Mary's Huskies face off against the StFX X-Men, while the UNB Varsity Reds take on the UPEI Panthers. The schedule is as follows:
Semi-final Series #1 (Best 3-of-5): UNB (1) vs. UPEI (6)
Game 1: Thursday, Feb. 25 – UPEI at UNB, 7 p.m.
Game 2: Friday, Feb. 26 – UPEI at UNB, 7 p.m.
Game 3: Monday, Feb. 29 – UNB at UPEI, 7 p.m.
Game 4: Tuesday, Mar. 1 – UNB at UPEI, 7 p.m.*
Game 5: Friday, Mar. 4 – UPEI at UNB, 7 p.m.*
Semi-final Series #2 (Best 3-of-5): StFX (2) vs. Saint Mary's (4)
Game 1: Thursday, Feb. 25 - SMU at StFX, 7 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, Feb. 27 - SMU at StFX, 7 p.m.
Game 3: Monday, Feb. 29 - StFX at SMU, 7 p.m.
Game 4: Wednesday, Mar. 2 - StFX at SMU, 7 p.m.*
Game 5: Friday, Mar. 4 - SMU at StFX, 7 p.m. *
The winners of each series will advance to the Subway AUS Men's Hockey Championship best-of-three final series.
All matches of the AUS championship semifinals will be webcast at www.AUStv.ca.
The 2016 CIS University Cup men's hockey championship is being hosted by Saint Mary's University at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, March 17-20. As host, the Huskies receive an automatic berth in the national championship.
The Atlantic conference receives two additional berths in the championship, which will be awarded to the AUS champion and runner up. Should the Huskies earn a place in the AUS final playoff series, a best-of-three consolation final series will be held in order to determine the recipient of the third berth at the CIS University Cup.
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