PHOTO: CAPTAIN RILEY POINT TOOK HOME TWO AWARDS – MVP & PLAYER'S CHOICE! – photo courtesy of Julie Wilson
Sunday, March 3, 2013- Veteran forwards Riley Point and Zach Rassell and rookie Connor Wilson were the big winners last night at the Canmore Eagles Annual Award’s Banquet held before a sold-out gathering of 150 guests at the Canmore Golf and Curling Club.
Hosted by Mountain FM morning man Rob Murray, with special speeches by Eagle’s Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne and Team President Darryl Lockwood, this year’s “Award’s Banquet” was an upbeat affair as the club witnessed a 15 point improvement in the AJHL Southern Division standings and a 20% increase in home-ice attendance during the 2012-2013 season.
The Eagles finished in fifth-place in the AJHL Southern Division standings and will now meet the fourth-place Drumheller Dragons in an upcoming Best-Of-Five Alberta Junior Hockey League opening round playoff series.
Captain Point, who has worn the Eagle crest proudly for five years and suited up for 218 regular season games, shared the Canmore Jewelers Award for the team’s “Most Valuable Player” with Zack Rassell, and also won the Bow Valley Construction “Player’s Choice” award. Throughout his career in Canmore, Point always stayed positive, never gave up, led by example, and showed tremendous passion and determination.
Rassell, who played 177 regular season games in four seasons as an Eagle, claimed the Lockwood Auto Body/Hart Mtn. Store Award as the team’s “Top Scorer”. Rassell, who will attend the University of Alaska/Anchorage on a hockey scholarship next season, led the Eagles in scoring this season with 25 goals and 29 assists in 54 games played.
Wilson, who had eight goals and 15 assists in his rookie season, took home the Town Of Canmore Award for “Rookie of the Year” and also claimed the Canmore Ramada Award for “Academic Achievement”. Wilson, who took regular shifts on the Eagle’s power-play and penalty kill units this season, also excelled in his academic studies at the Canmore Composite High School with an +80% average. The Eagles salute Connor for his achievements both on and off the ice!
Third-year player Trey Phillips was awarded the Royal Canadian Legion trophy for the team’s “Best Defenceman”. Phillips really blossomed on the backend this season as the speedy, play-making defenceman upped his point total from 10 points a year ago to 32 in 2012-2013.
Canmore native Johnny Stevens was awarded the Bremner Engineering and Construction Award for the team’s “Most Dedicated Player”. Stevens established himself as one the AJHL’s most dependable and hard hitting defenceman this season and always comes to the rink determined to give everything he has.
Fellow Canmore native and defenceman Jeremy Gordon took home the Lake Louise Ski Area trophy for “Most Improved Player”. With the club decimated by injuries for large portions of the season, Gordon took advantage of his opportunities, stepped up his game, showed his versatility, and played a lot of minutes both as a defenceman and a forward.
Prince Albert native and penalty killing specialist Jeremy Margeson continued to excel defensively this season and won the Boston Pizza Trophy as the team’s “Most Sportsmanlike” Player. Margeson plays every game with great heart and determination.
The California kid, Ciaron Driscoll, was awarded the “Derek Deegan” Award – to the Eagle player who volunteers his time to help-out with Canmore Minor Hockey. Driscoll, who played 199 regular season games for the Eagles in his four-year AJHL career, could always be found at the rink helping out Minor Hockey players whenever possible. The Eagles truly value the relationship with Canmore Minor Hockey and strongly encourage the players to spend as much time as possible with the younger kids.
Long time Board of Director and Volunteer Joost Asselbergs was also honoured for his countless hours of volunteer work and took home the “Ken Pauls Senior” Award for “Outstanding Contribution”. Asselbergs simply does it all for the club and can often be seen tending the bar in the Eagle’s Nest Lounge, selling Christmas trees, maintaining the Eagle’s alumni website, programming cash registers, collecting funds from silent auctions, and keeping track of the club’s overall financial progress. Thanks Joost – your efforts are truly appreciated by the entire club.
The “Volunteer of the Year” was awarded to long-time Eagle statistician Ken Browne. Browne is a loyal Eagle fan, billet host and huge supporter of the team. He attends every home game and updates the club’s player stats after every home game. A wealth of AJHL information, Browne is always on the look-out for possible new Eagle prospects. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication Ken!
NOTEBOOK: Special thanks to the Canmore Golf and Curling Club and host Rob Murray for their outstanding contributions to the Award’s Banquet. Thanks also to the numerous Bow Valley business’s for their “Silent Auction” contributions. Your support is greatly appreciated by the hockey club. . .The Eagles will be holding their Celebrity Poker Tournament on Saturday, April 20 from 2 pm – 11 pm at the Stoney Nakoda Resort and Casino. The Poker Tournament will be open to the first 100 players to register. For full details, please see the promotional Poker Tournament poster on the Eagle’s website or contact Kenny Pauls JR. at Kenny@can-bow or call 403-609-7797.