2011-12 Canada West women's hockey major awards and all-stars announced

EDMONTON – Fifth-year Saskatchewan Huskies forward and alternate captain Julie Paetsch is the 2011-12 Canada West women’s hockey Player of the Year.

Paetsch finished the season scoring a conference-high 34 points, with 14 goals and 20 assists in 24 games as the Huskies went 16-6-2. She recorded points in 19 games during the regular season. Leading by example, the Arts & Science student from Lanigan, Sask., was third in the CIS with seven power-play goals and first nationally with 113 shots. She had multiple points in 10 games, scoring three or more points four times. Paetsch also makes the First All-Star team for her efforts.

It is the second time in history a Huskies athlete has been named MVP after Breanne George was given the honour in 2009-10.

“Julie is one of those special players that only comes along once in a while,” said Huskies head coach Steve Kook. “She made an immediate impact when she joined our team three years ago with her playmaking skills and the ability to make those she plays with better. Julie is an exceptional athlete excelling at many sports outside of hockey. Her success can be attributed to her relentless work ethic and determination.”

Canada West Rookie of the Year, Lethbridge forward Sadie Lenstra, was a highly recruited Calgary product and stepped right into the Pronghorns’ lineup with immediate impact, scoring in her very first game.

Not only did she lead conference freshmen in scoring, but with 19 points in 22 games played she finished 12th overall in the conference. The majority of her team-leading 10 goals came at the most opportune times, leading the team with three game winning goals as Lethbridge went 14-8-2 on the season. In addition to her offensive prowess, Lenstra brought a two-way game, also leading the team in plus/minus, with a +8 rating.

“Sadie is a very talented and dynamic player,” said Horns head coach Chandy Kaip. “She has stepped in on our first line, all special teams and has been a top contributor for us. This is a big role for a rookie to play and Sadie conquered many of our expectations for a first year player.”

The conference nominee for the CIS Marion Hilliard Student-Athlete Award is Kelsey Tulloch of the Saskatchewan Huskies.

She has been a leader on and off the ice this season, helping the team to its fifth straight playoff appearance while recording eight points – four goals, four assists for the third-place Huskies.

A four-time All-Academic, and on her way again in 2011-12 with a 90% average, the Business student has represented her team on the Huskie Athletics Council, a student-governing council and, through HAC, has read to children in Huskie Tales and helped collect used shoes to send to Africa. She has helped her team organize a Christmas hamper and the Regina native has coached hockey with inner-city Saskatoon schools and Saskatchewan women’s hockey programs at the bantam, midget and pee wee levels.

“Throughout her time at Saskatchewan, Kelsey has shown excellence in both the classroom and on the ice, but what sets her apart are her contributions in the community and to the Huskie Athletics family,” said Steve Kook. “She has been a role model to our younger players and someone that our program will truly miss (going forward).”

Voted Coach of the Year was Chandy Kaip of the Lethbridge Pronghorns.

It took some time and patience, but that perseverance paid off for the fourth-year head coach, who guided the Horns to their best season in school history. The 14 wins doubled the previous best and was a 19-point turnaround from last season that vaulted the team from seventh place last season into a playoff spot for the first time in five years.

“Chandy has had a good year this year, she had a strong recruiting class and she has developed her team into a strong competitive unit,” said Pronghorn Athletics Executive Director Sandy Slavin. “Being selected for this award by her peers recognizes the effort Chandy has put into her program.”

Among the All-Stars to have previous selections are 2011 CIS MVP Hayley Wickenheiser (CIS 1st Team), Melissa Zubick (2011, CW 1st Team) and former Alberta Panda Stephanie Ramsay (2009 CIS 2nd) all with Calgary, Manitoba’s Addie Miles (2009 CW 1st, 2010 & 2011 CW 2nd), Saskatchewan’s Julie Paetsch (2010 CW 2nd) and Cara Wooster (2011 CW 2nd), along with Nicole Pratt for Alberta (2010 CW 2nd).

Following is a list of 2011-12 Canada West women’s hockey Award winners & All-Stars:

AWARDS

Player of the Year: Julie Paetsch, Saskatchewan

Rookie of the Year: Sadie Lenstra, Lethbridge

Marion Hilliard CIS Student-Athlete Award nominee: Kelsey Tulloch, Saskatchewan

Coach of the Year: Chandy Kaip, Lethbridge

ALL-STARS

      First Team                                        Second Team
G:  Crystal Patterson, Lethbridge       Kaitlyn Chapman, Alberta
D:  Nicole Pratt, Alberta                      Addie Miles, Manitoba
D:  Stephanie Ramsay, Calgary          Melissa Zubick, Calgary
F:  Iya Gavrilova, Calgary                   Shelby Ballendine, Lethbridge
F:  Julie Paetsch, Saskatchewan        Nellie Minshull, Manitoba
F:  Hayley Wickenheiser, Calgary       Cara Wooster, Saskatchewan

Award winners are now considered for CIS national awards, to be handed out by Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) at the 2012 championships, hosted in Edmonton, March 8-11 by the University of Alberta.

This weekend’s best-of-three Canada West final between the Calgary Dinos and Alberta Pandas takes place Friday, Saturday and, if necessary, Sunday at Olympic Park in Calgary. Alberta is into Nationals as host, meaning Calgary, as the other finalist, has also qualified for the national championships.

www.canadawest.org / www.canadawest.tv

About Canada West Universities Athletic Association
Canada West is consistently the most decorated of the four conferences in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), winning at least 10 CIS national titles every year, 1997 to 2010. Comprised of 16 schools from the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, Canada West produces numerous major award winners and Academic All-Canadian student-athletes each year, with many going on to athletic success around the globe in pro leagues or events such as the Olympics, Paralympics or Universiade Games. “cwuaa” on Twitter.

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