PORT McNEILL — After taking a year away from hockey following knee surgery after his final season of peewee competition, Drake Barron might have been expected to ease his way back into the sport.
Instead, the bantam-eligible goalie jumped up a division and manned the net for the Port McNeill Minor Hockey midget team all season.
That effort earned Barron Player of the Year honours last week as the association held its annual general meeting and awards night at Sunset Elementary School.
Before this season, Barron last played for the Port Hardy peewees in the 2008-09 season. After that campaign he underwent surgery to repair ligament damage and sat out the 2009-10 season while rehabbing.
Other top awards went to novice player Matthew Jones, who won the Tristan Jones Memorial Award; to longtime head referee Marc Dumonceaux, who was awarded the Margaret Muzik Memorial Award; to midget coach Rob Brittain for Coach of the Year; and to Adam Bastarache for Referee of the Year.
Each competition level handed out its own team awards, including Esso medallions for most sportsmanlike, most dedicated and most improved players and a trophy for most sportsmanlike player.
Trophy collection turned out to be a family affair for Mathew and Brandon Saunders, who won the hardware for the Novice Cheetah and bantam teams, respectively.
Other MSP trophies went to Matthew Datos (peanuts), Avory Collins (novice Tigers), Aidan Carey (atoms), Klyde Pausang (peewees) and Alex DesRochers (midgets).
In the association’s annual elections, Scott Mitchell was re-elected as president and took the microphone to highlight the club’s accomplishements in the last year, including a series of offseason recruiting drives that increased turnout after a down season in 2009-10.
He got the recruiting under way for next season by announcing Strategic Management Group would offer a $50 rebate to one of the upcoming summer hockey camps to the first 20 players registered, and that Port McNeill Minor Hockey would provide the same $50 rebate to all clinic participants who register with the association by June 1.
The clinics include Clayton Stoner’s Vancouver Island Hockey School July 4-8 and Lou Lemire’s Summer Hockey Skills Camp July 11-15.
Other officers for the 2011-12 season include vice president Glenn Moore, treasurer Kevin Laird, registrar Heather Mohan, equipment manager Dwayne Murray, ice coordinator Kim Dutcyvich and tournament coordinators Danielle Furney and Lisa Brown.
Award winners appear in Scoreboard, page xx.