And what a season it was! Despite the COVID-19 pandemic causing Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association’s 2019-2020 minor hockey season to end slightly early, there’s still a lot of great stuff left to mention, so without further adieu, here are the North Island Gazette’s annual minor hockey awards.
* editor’s note – These awards are given out just for fun, the real awards get handed out at the players’ banquet at the end of the season.
Goaltender of the year: Logan Lamothe
Lamothe plays for the North Island Bantam Eagles and he backstopped his team to a stunning 24-1 record (not counting tournaments), winning two banners and helping his team earn a spot at the Tier 3 BC Championships. What’s even more impressive is the Eagles had no other goaltender on the roster, meaning he played every single game throughout the entire season.
Honorary mention: Lucas Handley
Handley had a very strong season in net for the North Island Peewee Eagles this year, helping backstop the Eagles with Matt Mercer to within one game of winning the Tier 3 league banner. Handley has a very good glove hand and looks more than ready to play as a bantam next season.
Female goaltender of the year: Sydney Greer
Greer had a breakthrough year in net for the Tri-Port Peewee Wild, backstopping the team to a phenomenal 9-1 record, while allowing only 12 goals against all season.
Honorary mention: Avary Miller
Miller was once again her dependable, competitive self this season while sharing the net with Griffin Handley for the North Island Midget Eagles. This was Miller’s last year of minor hockey, so it will be interesting to see where she ends up playing next.
Defenceman of the year: Rylan Krawietz
Despite being injured in the last league game of the season, Krawietz effortlessly dominated the blueline all year for the North Island Peewee Eagles, while also showing a real knack for scoring big goals for the team when needed the most.
Honorary mention: Keenan Saunders
Saunders is a legitimate two-sport athlete and he brought a much needed physical aspect to the North Island Midget Eagles roster this season, throwing punishing hits and showing off his heavy slapshot from the blueline.
Defencewoman of the year: Maddy Jorgenson
Jorgenson, who plays for the North Island Peewee Eagles, can score goals and is a fast skater who rarely ever gets caught out of position. She passes the puck well and has really come into her own as a defensive player this season.
Honorary mention: Akira Isaac
Isaac continued to dominate on the blueline this season for the Tri-Port Peewee Wild and is definitely a player to watch in the future.
Forward of the year: Tye Morash
Morash really showed what he is capable of while playing for the North Island Bantam Eagles this season.
He’s a physical force on the ice who throws big hits, is an explosively fast skater with a bullet of a shot, draws penalties, takes penalties, and he even played up an age group with the midget team when they needed him. Look for him to continue on to a potential junior hockey career after high school ends. He has all the tools and is an impact player.
Honorary mention: Axen Peterson
As captain, Peterson put the North Island Atom Eagles on his back (along with linemate Linden Tomasi) and carried them to two banners this season, racking up a ton of goals and assists along the way. Peterson has great hands and knows how to finish on a breakaway.
Female forward of the year: Emily Henschke
Henschke had a really strong year for the Tri-Port Peewee Wild, showing off her knack for scoring goals and her compete level is through the roof.
Honorary mention: Karmen Sawyer
Sawyer plays for the Port McNeill Bantam Whalers house team and she has some serious skills on the ice, passing the puck well and scoring goals for her team.
House league player of the year: Jayden Bucci
Bucci is the captain of the Port McNeill Bantam Whalers, practices with the house midget team and also played a few games this season with North Island Bantam Eagles rep team. A very dedicated and strong house league player.
Honorary mention: Dawson Lamothe
Lamothe is a fast skater and he really brings a physical presence to the Port Hardy Midget Hawks blueline.
Most Valuable Player: Ryan Patterson
After taking a two-year break from playing rep hockey, Patterson came back to the ice and was nominated to be the North Island Midget Eagle’s captain this year.
Patterson guided the team to within one game of winning the Tier 3 league banner, and then he pushed the team all the way to the best-of-three playoff finals. A true captain on the ice and off.
Honorary mention: William Grant
Grant captained the North Island Bantam Eagles this season, and did they ever go on an incredible run.
With Grant leading the way, the team posted a 24-1 record and won two banners. Sadly, their provincial tournament in West Vancouver was cancelled so they didn’t get the chance to win three banners.
Coaches of the year: Ryan Humphrey and Becca Spafford
Humphrey and Spafford lead the Tri-Port Peewee Wild to a stunning 9-1 season record, with 106 goals for and only 12 goals against. They were tied with Cowichan Valley for first place by the end of the season, but somehow did not receive the league banner.
Honorary mention: Brad Tolmie (Head Coach) and Kevin McLaughlin (Assistant Coach)
Tolmie and McLaughlin coached the Port Hardy Atom Hawks this season, and did they ever guide the team, winning numerous medals at down island tournaments and at home.