2018-19 AUS men's hockey major awards and all-stars announced

2018-19 AUS men's hockey major awards and all-stars announced

UNB's Chris Clapperton named AUS MVP

(HALIFAX, N.S.) - Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2018-19 AUS men's hockey major award winners and all-stars as selected by the conference's seven head coaches following regular season play.

Fourth-year UNB Reds forward Chris Clapperton has been named the AUS MVP.

Other major award winners include Moncton's Étienne Monpetit of Valleyfield, Que., who was named rookie of the year; StFX's Adam Stevens of Bedford, N.S., who was selected as most sportsmanlike player; UNB's Randy Gazzola of Thorold, Ont., the recipient of the Godfrey Award for student-athlete community service for the second consecutive season; and Moncton head coach Judes Vallée who was named the AUS coach of the year for the first time in his career.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER (Kelly Trophy): Chris Clapperton, UNB Reds

The Atlantic University Sport men's hockey most valuable player is Chris Clapperton of the U SPORTS no. 2-ranked UNB Reds.

Clapperton, a fourth-year forward from Cap d'Espoir, Que., was the 2018-19 AUS regular season scoring champion with 47 points—the second most in U SPORTS.

He led the nation in assists this season with 33, in shots with 125, and he tied for first in game-winning goals with five.

Clapperton's plus/minus rating of +27 was the best in the Atlantic conference and the second best in U SPORTS.

After four seasons with the Reds, he has amassed 118 career regular season points—45 goals and 73 assists.

He was also named an AUS first team all-star today for the first time in his career. Last season, he earned AUS second team all-star nods.

Clapperton now becomes the AUS nominee for the for the U SPORTS Senator Joseph A. Sullivan trophy as the nation's top player.

The Atlantic conference has claimed nine of the past 15 national player of the year awards.

Former UNB standout Philippe Maillet is the most recent player from the Reds and the Atlantic conference to earn the national honour. He won the award in 2016-17.  

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (A.J. MacAdam Trophy): Étienne Monpetit, Moncton Aigles Bleus

The Atlantic conference rookie of the year and recipient of the A.J. MacAdam Trophy for the 2018-19 season is Moncton goaltender Étienne Monpetit.    

In just his first year with the Moncton program, Monpetit had a league-leading save percentage of .923 and 793 saves through 25 games played in the regular season, including three shutouts.

Before joining the Aigles Bleus, he played most recently for the QMJHL's Victoriaville Tigres. Prior to that, he played four seasons for the QMJHL's Val d'Or Foreurs.

Monpetit backstopped the Moncton squad to a fifth-place finish in the AUS regular season standings—trailing StFX and UPEI in third and fourth by just one point. The Aigles Bleus' success this season follows a challenging 2017-18 that saw the team finish last and miss the postseason with just three wins.

Monpetit's win in this category marks the first time a Moncton player has taken home AUS rookie of the year honours since goaltender Jonathan Pelletier won the award in 2001-02.

Monpetit now becomes the Atlantic conference nominee for the U SPORTS rookie of the year award. The national award has been won by Moncton players only twice in school history and not since 1989. Eric Galarneau earned the honour in 1988-89, and Claude Lefebvre in 1985-86.

UNB's Kris Bennett is the most recent Atlantic conference recipient of the national award. He took home the honours last season.


MOST SPORTSMANLIKE PLAYER (Don Wells Trophy): Adam Stevens, StFX X-Men  

In his fifth season with the StFX X-Men, forward Adam Stevens has been chosen as the Atlantic University Sport most sportsmanlike player and recipient of the Don Wells Trophy.

A business student from Bedford, N.S., Stevens finished the regular season second in team scoring with 24 points. He scored 10 goals and added 14 assists. In 30 games played this regular season, he amassed just two penalty minutes.

Throughout five AUS regular seasons, he has played 137 games, tallied 72 points and taken just 10 career regular season penalty minutes.

Stevens is just the second-ever player from a StFX team to be named the conference's most sportsmanlike player and the first since 2001. Former X-Men standout Paul Andrea earned the honour following the 2000-01 season.

Stevens now becomes the Atlantic conference nominee for the U SPORTS R. W. Pugh Award. No StFX player has ever earned the national honour. The most recent Atlantic conference recipient of this award was UNB's Randy Gazzola who earned the national honour last season.

STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD (The Godfrey Award): Randy Gazzola, UNB Reds

UNB's Randy Gazzola is the 2018-19 Atlantic conference recipient of the Godfrey Award and is the AUS nominee for the prestigious Dr. Randy Gregg Award.

The Godfrey Award, named after Dr. Bill Godfrey, is given annually to the player who best represents the spirit of intercollegiate hockey by his leadership both on and off the ice and by his conduct throughout the season.

This marks the second consecutive year Gazzola has earned this honour.

The fifth-year defenceman was also named the AUS and U SPORTS most sportsmanlike player last season.

On the ice for the Reds this season, Gazzola amassed 20 points in 24 games played with three goals and 17 assists. He had a plus/minus rating of +26.

Off the ice, Gazzola is a four-time academic all-Canadian, on pace to repeat the accomplishment for a fifth time this season. He completed his undergraduate studies in just three years and is currently enrolled in UNB's MBA program.

Despite the heavy demands of being a student and a varsity athlete, he also makes contributions to the university community and the greater Fredericton community, volunteering in a number of capacities. Gazzola makes regular visits to local elementary schools with members of the UNB men's hockey team and volunteers for UNB's Read with the Reds. He is also involved with the Just 4 Ice youth development program.

He has represented his team on UNB's athletes' council and as a member of the Reds Phillips Sports Leadership Academy. He also volunteers his time as a youth hockey coach at the AAA Peewee level.

Gazzola is the fourth player from the Reds to take home the Godfrey Award and the first player in conference history to win it in back-to-back seasons.  

He now becomes the AUS nominee for the Dr. Randy Gregg Award. UNB's Kyle Bailey is the most recent player from the Reds to earn the national honour. He won in 2011-12.

StFX's Nathan Chiarlitti is the most recent player from the Atlantic conference to earn the honour. He was awarded the Dr. Randy Gregg Award in 2015-16.

COACH OF THE YEAR (Bob Boucher Trophy): Judes Vallée, Moncton Aigles Bleus

In just his second season as head coach of the Moncton Aigles Bleus, Judes Vallée has been selected by his peers as the 2018-19 AUS coach of the year for the first time in his career.

After finishing in last place last season with just three wins, Vallée guided the Aigles Bleus to a 14-12-4 regular season record this year. Moncton finished fifth in the AUS standings—trailing StFX and UPEI in third and fourth by just one point.

The Aigles Bleus finished with a home record of 10-5 and 14 regular season wins are the most for the program since 2013-14 (when they finished with a record of 17-11-0).

Vallée becomes the fifth Moncton coach to earn AUS coach of the year honours and the first since 2012 when Serge Bourgeois won the award.

Vallée now becomes the Atlantic conference nominee for the Father George Kehoe Memorial Award as the U SPORTS coach of the year. Bourgeois is the most recent Moncton Aigles Bleus coach to win the national award. He won in 2011-12.

An AUS coach has claimed this award in five of the past nine seasons.

FIRST AND SECOND TEAM ALL-STARS AND ALL-ROOKIE TEAM

The Atlantic University Sport first and second team all-stars were also announced today, along with this year's all-rookie team.

First Team All-Stars:
Goaltender: Étienne Monpetit, Moncton (1st year – Valleyfield, Que.)
Defence: Nicholas Welsh, Saint Mary's (1st year – Halifax, N.S.)
Defence: Matt Murphy, UNB (3rd year – Woodstock, N.B.)
Forward: Chris Clapperton, UNB (4th year – Cap d'Espoir, Que.)
Forward: Hunter Garlent, Saint Mary's (3rd year – Thorold, Ont.)
Forward: Maxime St-Cyr, Moncton (3rd year – St-Didace, Que.)                                                                                                                

Second Team All-Stars:
Goaltender: Eric Brassard, Saint Mary's (3rd year – St. Hubert, Que.)
Defence: Olivier LeBlanc, UNB (2nd year – Quebec City, Que.)
Defence: Alexander Peters, Saint Mary's (2nd year – Blyth, Ont.)
Forward: Tyler Boland, UNB (2nd year – St. John's, N.L.)
Forward: Kameron Kielly, UPEI (2nd year – Charlottetown, P.E.I.)
Forward: Mark Tremaine, StFX (4th year – Dartmouth, N.S.) 

All-Rookie Team:
Goaltender: Étienne Monpetit, Moncton (Valleyfield, Que.)
Defence: Nicholas Welsh, Saint Mary's (Halifax, N.S.)
Defence: Garrett McFadden, Acadia (Kincardine, Ont.)
Forward: Matthew Boucher, UNB (Los Angeles, California)
Forward: Mark Rassell, UNB (Calgary, Alta.)
Forward: Dawson Theede, Saint Mary's (Brooklin, Ont.) 

The 2019 Subway AUS Men's Hockey Championship semi-final series are set to begin tonight. The two best-of-five playoff series will see the UNB Reds face off against the UPEI Panthers, while the Saint Mary's Huskies take on the StFX X-Men. The schedule is as follows:

Semifinal #1 (Best 3-of-5): UPEI (4) vs. UNB (1)

Game 1: UPEI at UNB on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. 
Game 2: UPEI at UNB on Friday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. 
Game 3: UNB at UPEI on Monday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. 
*Game 4: UNB at UPEI on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. 
*Game 5: UPEI at UNB on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. 
(*if necessary) 

Semifinal #2 (Best 3-of-5): StFX (3) vs. Saint Mary's (2)

(All Saint Mary's home games will take place at the Halifax Forum.)

Game 1: StFX at Saint Mary's - Thursday, Feb. 21, 7 p.m.
Game 2: StFX at Saint Mary's - Saturday, Feb. 23, 7 p.m.
Game 3: Saint Mary's at StFX - Monday, Feb. 25, 7 p.m.
*Game 4: Saint Mary's at StFX – Wednesday, Feb. 27, 7 p.m.
*Game 5: StFX at Saint Mary's – Friday, March 1, 7 p.m.
(*if necessary)

All matches of the AUS semifinals will be webcast live at www.AUStv.ca.

The winners of each series will advance to the Subway AUS Men's Hockey Championship best-of-three final series. AUS receives two berths in the 2019 U SPORTS Cavendish Farms University Cup being hosted by the University of Lethbridge March 14-17.

The two Atlantic conference berths will be awarded to the AUS champion and runner up.  

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