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March 23, 2011

McGill’s Picard-Hooper named player of the year

Photo credit Rob Blanchard 

FREDERICTON (CIS) – McGill University forward Alexandre Picard-Hooper was named CIS player of the year in men's hockey, Wednesday night.

The third-year centre from Boucherville, Que., became the first member of the Redmen to claim the Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy. He is also the first OUA player to earn national MVP honours since Lakehead's Joel Scherban in 2004-05.

University Cup website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/mice

Watch the CIS awards gala http://www.news-cast.com/sports/UNB_VarsityReds/index.html

Other CIS major award winners announced during the All-Canadian celebration at the Playhouse in Fredericton were Saint Mary's Andrew Hotham of Barrie, Ont., who was named defenceman of the year; Calgary's Dustin Butler of Calgary, selected as the country's best goaltender; St. Francis Xavier forward Jason Bast of Moose Jaw, Sask., who received the Clare Drake Award presented to the rookie of the year; Waterloo forward Chris Ray of Kelowna, B.C., who claimed the R.W. Pugh Award as the nation's most sportsmanlike player; Calgary's Mark Howell of Red Deer, Alta., who captured the Father George Kehoe Memorial Award as coach of the year; and Alberta forward Eric Hunter of Oakbank, Man., who received the Dr. Randy Gregg Award recognizing his excellence in hockey, academics and community involvement.

The 49th Cavendish Farms University Cup championship, presented by Home Depot, gets underway on Thursday at the Aitken University Centre with the first of three days of pool play and culminates on Sunday with the national final, live on Rogers Sportsnet at 8 p.m. Atlantic. Rogers Sportsnet will also broadcast Saturday's two round-robin games, while SSN Canada will have live webcasts of all seven contests.

SENATOR JOSEPH A. SULLIVAN TROPHY (player of the year): Alexandre Picard-Hooper, McGill

Picard-Hooper was voted most outstanding player of the OUA's Eastern Division and a first-team all-Canadian after leading the country in scoring with 58 points, including 11 goals, in 28 conference games. His 47 assists were also tops in the nation and five shy of the single-season school record set by George Burnett in 1982-83. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound centre became the first Redmen player to win the CIS scoring race since current Montreal Canadiens forward Mathieu Darche accomplished the feat in 1999-00.

Picard-Hooper's totals are even more impressive considering the fact that linemate Francis Verreault-Paul, the top sniper in CIS hockey with 28 goals in only 19 contests, was sidelined for nine games due to an injury. The finance junior played a large role in helping McGill lead the nation in scoring for the second consecutive campaign with 141 goals (5.04 per game). The Redmen also topped the CIS in victories, posting a 24-2-2 record in regular-season play.

A former member of CIS all-rookie team back in 2008-09, Picard-Hooper has played in all 84 regular season games for the Redmen since his university debut and has an impressive 32-111-143 record in 84 career outings for an average of 1.70 points per game. He enrolled at McGill following a successful four-year major junior career that saw him rack up 323 points in 265 QMJHL contests with Baie-Comeau and Saint John.

"Alex is a skilled, crafty centreman who is very smart and good at both ends of the ice," said Kelly Nobes, head coach of the Redmen. "He has eyes in back of his head and makes guys around him better."

Saint Mary's defenceman Andrew Hotham of Barrie, Ont., and Alberta forward Derek Ryan of Spokane, Wash., were the other finalists for the Sullivan Trophy.

DEFENCEMAN OF THE YEAR: Andrew Hotham, Saint Mary's

Hotham was also a finalist for top-defenceman honours last season, when the award was first presented.

The commerce senior tied for the CIS lead among rearguards with a team-high 37 points, including eight goals, in 27 conference games, marking the third year in a row that he finished at the top of the blue-liners' scoring list. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior ranked fifth in the AUS scoring race and led the Atlantic conference in plus/minus (+18) and assists (29) en route to his third straight all-Canadian selection, including back-to-back first-team nods. Hotham quarterbacked a Huskies' power-play that clicked at a 21.3 per cent rate this year, scoring seven of his eight markers with the man advantage.

Hotham, who played for three OHL teams including his hometown Barrie Colts before joining Saint Mary's in 2007-08, was named University Cup tournament MVP last March when the Huskies captured their first CIS title in school history. He has tallied 148 points in 109 career AUS regular season games.

"I have never coached a player with such incredible hockey instincts," said Saint Mary's head coach Trevor Stienburg. "His skill and sacrifice to win are second to none. He truly changed the dynamics on our team."

McGill's Marc-André Dorion of St-Hubert, Que., and Alberta's Kyle Fecho of Hanna, Alta., were also in the running for the award.

GOALTENDER OF THE YEAR: Dustin Butler, Calgary

Butler, the first Calgary goalie to earn all-Canadian status since Jaret Burgoyne in 1992-93, set a school record with a stingy 2.12 goals-against average for the Dinos this season and tied another single-season mark with his .926 save percentage, leading Canada West in both categories. The third-year netminder allowed just 42 goals on 570 shots in 21 conference games, posting a 13-9 record with two shutouts. He also backstopped the Dinos to a semifinal series victory over Saskatchewan marking their first trip to the conference final since 1996 – and their first University Cup appearance since 2000.

Butler, who played for the Portland Winter Hawks, Kamloops Blazers and Prince Albert Raiders over his major junior career, was named the Canada West Western Hockey League graduate of the month in November.

"Dustin has really evolved into one of the elite goaltenders in CIS hockey, and he really showed that in our Saskatchewan series," said Calgary coach Mark Howell. "He is one of our most improved players, is very focused and determined to be a winner. He leads by example with his work ethic in practice."

Saint Mary's Neil Conway of Painseville, Ohio, and Wilfrid Laurier's Ryan Daniels of Pickering, Ont., were also up for the top goalie award, which was first presented a year ago.

CLARE DRAKE AWARD (rookie of the year): Jason Bast, St. Francis Xavier

Bast is only the second member of the X-Men to be named CIS rookie of the year. He joined forward Peter Lisy, who was the third-ever recipient of the award back in 1987-88.

The 5-foot-10, 185-pound centre played in all 28 regular season games in his university debut, finishing fourth on the team in scoring with 27 points, which was good for 16th in the Atlantic conference. His 24 assists were second on the X-Men and fifth in the AUS. After helping StFX to a third-place finish in conference play with a 17-10-1 record, the human kinetics freshman exploded in the playoffs with an AUS-leading 17 points in 12 outings, including a pair of game-winning goals, as the X-Men qualified for the University Cup tourney for the first time since 2007.

Bast, who played his major junior hockey with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL, was the CHL's most sportsmanlike player last season.

"Jason has had a tremendous first season for us, playing in all key situations, both even-strength and special teams," says StFX head coach Brad Peddle. "He played big minutes each night against many of the opposing teams' top checkers. He is an individual of high character and one of the hardest working players on our team both on and off the ice. He has been an outstanding addition to the X-Men hockey program and has already made a case in just his first season as a top-end player in the AUS conference."

Ottawa forward Luc-Olivier Blain of Longueuil, Que., and Manitoba defenceman Jeremy Schappert of Winnipeg were also nominated for the Clare Drake Award.

R.W. PUGH AWARD (most sportsmanlike player): Chris Ray, Waterloo

Ray became the first Waterloo player to receive the R.W. Pugh Award since its inception in 1986.

In his fourth season with the Warriors, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound team captain led Waterloo in scoring for the third consecutive year with a 9-18-27 record in 19 games while racking up only 18 penalty minutes, en route to a second straight selection as a second-team all-Canadian.

A three-time OUA first-team all-star, he helped Canada claim a bronze medal at the Winter Universiade in Turkey. The environment and business senior has earned Academic All-Canadian status every year since he joined the Warriors after winning the 2004 Memorial Cup with the WHL's Kelowna Rockets. Ray has attended NHL camps with Tampa Bay, Vancouver and Phoenix.

"We are very proud that Chris is being recognized for his performance this season," says Waterloo head coach Brian Bourque. "Chris plays a pivotal role on our team in all situations. He is our captain and competes as hard as any player in the league, game-in and game-out, which has made him an outstanding leader for our younger players."

Saint Mary's forward Cam Fergus of Brantford, Ont., and Alberta forward Sean Ringrose of Edmonton were also up for the Pugh Award.

FATHER GEORGE KEHOE MEMORIAL AWARD (coach of the year), presented by Coaches of Canada: Mark Howell, Calgary

In just his second year as a CIS head coach, Howell is the fourth Calgary winner of the Father George Kehoe Memorial Award, following Tim Bothwell (1996-97) and George Kingston (1980-81, 1973-74).

Over his two seasons with the team, Howell has led the Dinos to a pair of playoff appearances after a one-year absence and the program's first University Cup appearance since 2000. His 2010-11 squad posted a 17-8-3 conference record, the school's best since 1996-97, and a second-place finish in Canada West. With home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs, the Dinos qualified for the CIS championship with a three-game series win over Saskatchewan and appeared in their first conference final series since 1996.

Howell joined the Dinos after six years as a head coach at the Junior 'A' level in Drayton Valley, Alta., and Kelowna, B.C. He played one year of CIS hockey at Alberta, winning the 1992 University Cup with the Golden Bears.

"In just two short years, Mark has re-established the University of Calgary as one of the premier hockey programs in Western Canada," said Wayne Giles, dean of the U of C's kinesiology faculty. "His dedication and tireless work have led to quick success and a trip to the University Cup, and we congratulate him on this well-deserved honour."

Saint Mary's Trevor Stienburg and Western Ontario's Clarke Singer were also in the running for coach-of-the-year honours.

DR. RANDY GREGG AWARD (outstanding student-athlete): Eric Hunter, Alberta

Hunter became the sixth Golden Bear – and the second in as many years - to claim the Dr. Randy Gregg Award. He follows in the footsteps of Tyler Metcalfe (2010), Gavin McLeod (2005), Jeff Zorn (2004), Blair St. Martin (2003), and Cam Danyluk (1998).

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound forward put up solid offensive numbers in his fourth campaign with Alberta tallying 23 points in 25 conference games to up his career total to 147 points in 154 overall contests. A former Canada West rookie of the year, he has helped the Bears capture the conference banner in each of his four seasons with the team, as well as a University Cup title in 2008. The 70th captain in Golden Bears history, the 24-year-old is a two-time NHL draft pick having been selected 266th overall in 2004 by Chicago, and 179th overall in 2006 by the New York Rangers.

In the classroom, Hunter is a two-time Academic All-Canadian and will graduate from the U of A with a Bachelor of Business degree.

He is also heavily involved in the community, serving as the team representative on the University Athletic Board, which runs events that sees U of A athletes visiting the Stollery Children's Hospital, raising money and food for the Alberta Food Bank, and supporting fundraising efforts for 'Kids Sport', a program dedicated to helping underprivileged children participate in youth sport.

"Eric has proven himself to be a natural leader for our team this season," said Alberta head coach Eric Thurston. "As our team captain he has shown tremendous leadership on the ice, in the classroom and in the community with his hard work and effort. His leadership has been very important this season as we have a very young team with 15 players in either their first or second season in the lineup for most games."

Acadia goaltender Kris Westblom, a business administration student from Meadow Lake, Sask., and Queen's forward Jonathon Lawrance, a physical and health student from Steinbach, Man., were also nominated for the Dr. Gregg Award.

ALL-CANADIAN TEAMS

The all-Canadian teams were also announced on Wednesday.

Joining Picard-Hooper, Hotham and Butler on the first CIS squad were conference most valuable players Tremblay (AUS) and Ryan (Canada West), as well as OUA top defenceman Dorion.

Tremblay, who was the CIS MVP a year ago, earned his third straight all-Canadian nod, including back-to-back first-team selections. This season, he won his second consecutive AUS scoring title with 44 points (22-22-44) in 27 games.

Ryan, a second-team member last season, topped the CWUAA with 47 points (17-30-47) in 28 outings.

Dorion tied Hotham for the CIS lead amongst rearguards with 37 points (8-29-37) in 25 contests. He was also a first-team all-Canadian last year, when he claimed the inaugural CIS defenceman of the year award.

The second CIS unit for 2010-11 is comprised of Conway in goals, Fecho and Waterloo's Kyle Sonnenburg of Waterloo, Ont., on defence, as well as Chris Ray, Alberta's Chad Klassen of Saskatoon and UPEI's Matt Carter of Mississauga, Ont., on offence.

Fecho was named to the second squad for a second straight season, while teammate Klassen became a three-time all-Canadian, including a first-team nod a year ago.

Joining Bast, Blain and Schappert on the all-rookie team were Carleton goalie Matthew Dopud of Pointe-Claire, Que., Acadia defenceman Christopher Owens of St. John's, and Alberta forward Johnny Lazo of Winnipeg.

2010-2011 CIS MEN'S HOCKEY AWARDS & ALL-CANADIANS

Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy (player of the year): Alexandre Picard-Hooper, McGill
Defenceman of the year: Andrew Hotham, Saint Mary's
Goaltender of the year: Dustin Butler, Calgary
Clare Drake Award (rookie of the year): Jason Bast, St. Francis Xavier
R.W. Pugh Award (most sportsmanlike player): Chris Ray, Waterloo
Father George Kehoe Memorial Award (presented by Coaches of Canada): Mark Howell, Calgary
Dr. Randy Gregg Award (student-athlete / community service): Eric Hunter, Alberta

First Team

Pos. - Athlete - University - Year - Hometown - Faculty

G Dustin Butler Calgary 3 Calgary, Alta. Arts
D Marc-André Dorion McGill 3 St-Hubert, Que. P&H Education
D Andrew Hotham Saint Mary's 4 Barrie, Ont. Commerce
F Alexandre Picard-Hooper McGill 3 Boucherville, Que. Finance
F Derek Ryan Alberta 4 Spokane, Wash. Science
F Hunter Tremblay UNB 4 Timmins, Ont. BBA

Second Team

G Neil Conway Saint Mary's 2 Painseville, OH Commerce
D Kyle Fecho Alberta 5 Hanna, Alta. Business
D Kyle Sonnenburg Waterloo 4 Waterloo, Ont. Legal Studies
F Chad Klassen Alberta 5 Saskatoon, Sask. Phys. Ed. & Recreation
F Chris Ray Waterloo 4 Kelowna, B.C. Environ. & Business
F Matt Carter UPEI 3 Mississauga, Ont. BBA

All-Rookie Team

G Matthew Dopud Carleton 1 Pointe-Claire, Que. Arts
D Christopher Owens Acadia 1 St. John's, Nfld. BBA
D Jeremy Schappert Manitoba 1 Winnipeg, Man. University 1
F Johnny Lazo Alberta 1 Winnipeg, Man. Open Studies
F Luc-Olivier Blain Ottawa 1 Longueuil, Que. Communications
F Jason Bast StFX 1 Moose Jaw, Sask. Human Kinetics

-CIS-

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