The Beaver Valley Nitehawks and the KIJHL handed out their end of regular season awards this past week and while some were expected there were a few surprises.
The Nitehawks received the banner for top team in the regular season while Terry Jones took home coach of the year honours in the KIJHL, but as Jones points out, the award is for the whole coaching staff which includes assistants Jeremy Cominotto, Kris Boyce, Mike Morissette and consultant Dave Pasin.
Nitehawks captain Chris Derochie was awarded the Most Sportsmanlike in the league and top scorer in the Neil Murdoch Division for finishing with 101 points while amassing only 20 minutes in penalties.
Leading goal scorer Craig Martin took home MVP and Rookie of the Year awards for the Neil Murdoch Division, but the 16-year-old phenom who netted 48 goals this season and finished third in overall scoring with 96 points, inexplicably did not win top rookie in the KIJHL. Martin scored 21 more goals than the next closest rookie and scored five goals and added two assists in nine games as an AP with the Trail Smoke Eaters.
As for Martin, he says the awards are an honour, but far beyond his expectations at the start of the season.
“I was hoping to contribute as much as I could and work hard every night and give the team a chance to win.”
While he didn’t anticipate leading the league in scoring, he does have two very good reasons for his success.
“It really helps playing with (Ryan) Edwards and Derochie on the line,” he added. “We just started playing together in training camp and it clicked.”
Despite requests, the KIJHL has yet to release award winners.
As for the Nitehawk team awards: MVP went to Derochie, top rookie to Martin, top forwards to Dallas Calvin and Edwards, top defenceman to Nick Perez, Most Popular – Tyler Collins, the Hawks Hit Man to Brantley Shapansky, Most Improved – Archie McKinnon, Most Inspirational to Josh Peters and Most Dedicated to Arie Postmus.
The Pat Corrado award went to Mike Vlanich, the Bill Volpatti award for service and perseverance to Scott Davidson and Mason Spear and the Tom Meakes award for volunteerism to Paul Caron and Nikki Kuffert.
The result of Thursday’s Nitehawks game was unavailable at press time.