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NOJHL announces 2014-15 award winners

NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE

NOJHL MEDIA UPDATE

Release Date: Monday, March 9, 2015

NOJHL announces 2014-15 award winners
Powassan’s Harland named MVP & rookie of the year

SUDBURY – The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League announced today its award winners for the 2014-15 season.

Headlining the list of honourees is Powassan Voodoos forward Steve Harland, who was named the recipient of both the Carlo Cattarello Trophy, emblematic of NOJHL Most Valuable Player and the John Grignon Trophy for being the league’s rookie of the year.

Harland also earned the Jimmy Connors Trophy, which goes annually to the NOJHL’s scoring champion and he will also be the NOJHL’s nominee for the Canadian Junior Hockey League player of the year.

Another multiple award winner was Ethan Strong of the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners, who earned NOJHL Best Defenceman honours along with the league’s best overall team player award.

Meanwhile Soo Thunderbirds netminder Mario Culina captured the Wayne Chase Memorial Award for registering the lowest goals-against average in the league and also shared the NOJHL Team Goaltending honour for fewest goals allowed in 2014-15.

Three other Thunderbirds were also recognized with Brett Jeffries picking up the Mitch Tetreault Memorial Trophy as the league’s best defensive forward, Nicolas Tassone garnered the Onaping Falls Huskies Trophy as the NOJHL’s most gentlemanly player while Jordan Smith was named the recipient of his second straight Mirl “Red” McCarthy Memorial Award as NOJHL coach of the year.

Sault Ste. Marie also captured the James Aspin Trophy as league regular season champions.

Other award winners include Brennan Roy of the Abitibi Eskimos taking home the Gilles Laperriere Trophy as most improved player and Elliot Lake Wildcats general manager Todd Stencill claiming the Joe Drago Trophy as NOJHL Director of the Year.

The league’s nominee for the CJHL scholastic player of the year and the NOJHL’s most valuable player will be announced at a later date.

The following is the complete list of the NOJHL’s 2014-15 award recipients:

CARLO CATTARELLO TROPHY – MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Steve Harland, Powassan Voodoos – A key contributor to the Voodoos offensive numbers, Harland played a part in 44% of the 213 goals Powassan scored during the course of the regular season with either a tally or assist and was also on the ice for countless others.

The 18-year-old from Scarborough, Ont., paced all skaters in the NOJHL in both assists and points with 95 and 53 respectively.

He also finished third in goals with 42 and had an impressive 31-game point streak during the course of the season.

JOHN GRIGNON TROPHY ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Steve Harland, Powassan Voodoos – Led all first-year players in the league in goals, assists and points while also pacing all skaters in the NOJHL in offensive production.

JIMMY CONNERS MEMORIAL TROPHY LEAGUE SCORING CHAMPION: Steve Harland, Powassan Voodoos – As a rookie, the Voodoos standout topped all NOJHL skaters with 95 points on 42 goals and 53 assists.

CJHL PLAYER OF THE YEAR NOMINEE: Steve Harland, Powassan Voodoos – With his accomplishments, Harland will also be the NOJHL’s nominee for the Canadian Junior Hockey League player of the year award.

The Powassan right winger will be among 10 hopefuls up for CJHL accolades, which will be announced during the RBC Cup May 11-19 in Portage la Prairie, Man.            

NOJHL TROPHY BEST DEFENCEMAN: Ethan Strong, Kirkland Lake Gold Miners – A three-year standout in the league, the 20-year-old from Kinmount, Ont., had an impressive 2014-15 campaign for the Gold Miners helping anchor the Kirkland Lake defensive corps while also contributing mightily offensively.

Strong averaged close to a point-per-game this season amassing 46 in total, including 17 goals.

His 14 power play tallies led all NOJHL defencemen and was also the second highest total in the entire league.

NOJHL TROPHY BEST OVERALL TEAM PLAYER: Ethan Strong, Kirkland Lake Gold Miners – Strong was recognized for his contributions in both ends of the ice aiding Kirkland Lake’s efforts in aiming to repeat as NOJHL champions.

The veteran D-man also impressed helping Team NOJHL advance to their first-ever semifinal berth at the most recent Central Canada Cup Challenge, which was held in Toronto.

WAYNE CHASE MEMORIAL AWARD – BEST GOALS-AGAINST AVERAGE: Mario Culina, Soo Thunderbirds – The rookie netminder for his hometown side in Sault Ste. Marie led all NOJHL stoppers in goals-against average at 2.24.

The 17-year-old Culina also finished with a solid .912 save percentage and was second overall in wins with 21.

NOJHL TEAM GOALTENDING AWARD: Mario Culina/Brian Kment, Soo Thunderbirds – The Sault Ste. Marie tandem of Culina and Kment combined to allow the fewest goals in regular season play in 2014-15 at 130.

This marks the second straight season the Thunderbirds have won this award.

Kment was also part of that honour in 2013-14.
    
MITCH TETREAULT MEMORIAL TROPHY – TOP DEFENSIVE FORWARD: Brett Jefferies, Soo Thunderbirds – A valuable two-way forward, Jeffries was instrumental in helping keep opposing players at bay with his defensive efforts with the Thunderbirds.

The 19-year-old, who hails from Cochenour, Ont., also had a solid season offensively scoring 20 times and set-up 23 others. As well, Jeffries had a shorthanded marker and four game-winners to his credit.

GILLES LAPERRIERE TROPHY – MOST IMPROVED PLAYER: Brennan Roy, Abitibi Eskimos – Seeing time both on defence and at forward for Abitibi, Roy had a career season offensively with the Eskimos.

The 18-year-old from Iroquois Falls finished sixth in NOJHL scoring with 71 points on 29 goals and 42 assists.

That marked an impressive 39-point improvement from the 32 he registered last season as a rookie for Abitibi.    
        
ONAPING FALLS HUSKIES TROPHY – MOST GENTLEMANLY PLAYER: Nicolas Tassone, Soo Thunderbirds – The gifted Thunderbirds forward produced in a big way in all areas of the ice while displaying discipline, skill and finesse.

The Sault Ste. Marie product, who is in his last season of Jr. A hockey, led the Thunderbirds with 68 points on 32 goals and 36 assists. He also notched pair of markers on the power play, four more while his club was shorthanded while doling out four game-winners.

Tassone also accomplished this while incurring only three minor penalties in 51 games.
                
MIRL “RED” MCCARTHY” MEMORIAL AWARD – COACH OF THE YEAR: Jordan Smith, Soo Thunderbirds – The recipient of NOJHL coach of the year accolades for a second straight season, Smith guided his Sault Ste. Marie to another league regular season title.

Smith becomes the first NOJHL bench boss to repeat as coach of the year since 2004 when Paul Gagne claimed his third straight honour with the Abitibi Eskimos.

He was also named a first team NOJHL all-star for his efforts behind the bench.
                    
THE JOE DRAGO TROPHY – NOJHL DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR: Todd Stencill, Elliot Lake Wildcats – Played a huge role in both the on and off-ice success the Wildcats had in their first year in the NOJHL.

Helped formulate a roster that won 38 games while also playing a pivotal part in the club’s efforts off the ice and aiding in Elliot Lake’s transition into the league a smooth one.

Stencill was also recognized earlier by the league by being named a second team all-star general manager.
                
THE JAMES ASPIN TROPHY – NOJHL REGULAR SEASON CHAMPIONS: Soo Thunderbirds – Sault Ste. Marie captured their second straight regular season title by finishing first overall in the NOJHL standings with a 38-7-1-6 overall record.
                 
NOJHL SCHOLASTIC PLAYER OF THE YEAR – T.B.A.
            
NOJHL PLAYOFF MOST VALUABLE PLAYER – T.B.A.