Canucks dominate Golden Horseshoe awards
Justin Kyle of the Niagara Falls Canucks was Golden Horseshoe most valuable player and also won for most regular season goals and most regular season points. PHOTO BY: BILL POTRECZ
The Niagara Falls Canucks were front and centre in the annual Golden Horseshoe Conference post-season awards.
The regular season champions took home nine awards, including four by Justin Kyle who was named most valuable player and also won for most regular season goals and most regular season points.
Kyle, a 20-year-old Whitby native, was awarded the Russell Masterson Award as league MVP following a memorable campaign that saw the big forward lead the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League in scoring with 37 goals, 81 assists and 118 points.
Kyle also took home the Rob Judge Memorial Award for most regular season goals and the Pat Murphy Memorial Award as the Golden Horseshoe regular season leading scorer as well as the GOJHL award as the regular season scoring champion.
Matthew Riva of the Canucks was the J.P. Thomas Memorial Award winner as the most improved player.
Riva, an 18-year-old native of Niagara Falls, increased his production from two goals and 11 points last season to 19 goals and 43 points.
The Dave Dunham Trophy for Most Valuable Defenceman went to Dillon Hill of the Canucks.
Hill, a 20-year-old Niagara Falls native, led all GOJHL rearguards with 11 goals and 78 points.
David D’Agostino of the Canucks was awarded the Cpl. Tyler Crooks Memorial Award for Player of the Year.
The 21-year-old St. Davids resident had a solid season with 18 goals and 51 points from the blueline.
The Canucks also won team awards for the GOJHL and Golden Horseshoe first-place champions.
“We had a meeting tonight after practice and announced our winners to the team and congratulated the individuals as well as the team for having a great season,” Canucks coach Frank Pietrangelo said. “To win nine awards is fantastic. It’s not something that happens every year.
“It’s nice to be acknowledged but then we put it behind us because we have bigger things in front of us now. We’ll be able to enjoy those a little bit more in a couple of months.”
Rounding out the Golden Horseshoe award winners were Jack McGovern and Noah Battaglia of the St. Catharines Falcons who took home the F.G. Bloomfield Trophy for the lowest goals against average in the regular season.
McGovern, a 17-year-old Waterdown native, had a stellar rookie season with a 1.90 GAA, while Battaglia joined the team from the Erie Otters and fashioned a 2.51 GAA. The Falcons led all of the GOJHL in fewest goals permitted with 106 in 47 games.
Noah Battaglia of the St. Catharines Falcons
TJ Hughes of the Hamilton Kilty B’s was the Cecil Jones Memorial Award winner as most gentlemanly player.
The Hamilton native was assessed only 18 minutes in penalties while contributing 64 points.
Ken Peroff was the Tom Kelly Memorial Award winner as coach of the year after guiding the Kilty B’s to a 35-12-0-1 record and third place.
Alex Stinis of the Lockport Regals won the Brent Rubel Memorial Trophy as Rookie of the year. The 17-year-old native of Niagara Falls, N.Y. collected 20 goals and 40 points in 38 games.
Cal Schell of the Bulldogs was awarded the Gus Crecsenzi Most Valuable Goaltender Award in the GOJHL. The 17-year-old Burlington native had a 2.14 GAA and .922 save percentage in 24 games.
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