Tuesday, March 16, 2010

MJAHL Announces Awards and All-Stars, Three New Awards

Press Release

The Maritime Junior A Hockey League announced the 2009-2010 Annual Award winners and 1st Team All-Stars on Friday. Each season, the league votes amongst all 11 members teams for top selections in the categories of Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Most Sportsmanlike, Best Defenseman, Top Goaltender and Best Goaltending Duo (GAA), along with 6 All-Star selections for each position. In addition, the league has announced three new awards that will be announced next week.

Taking home the top award of Player of the Year is Defenseman Chris Owens of the Miramichi Timberwolves. Owens had a remarkable season in his fourth year in Miramichi. In addition to winning the scoring title with 92 points (23 goals, 69 assists), Owens reached two more significant milestones in 2009-2010 as he became the highest scoring defenseman in league history with 258 regular season points. Further, the very offensive-minded defenseman became the Timberwolves' highest scoring player in the team's history. Owens was Player of the week four times in 2009-2010 and also put in a 10 point game in February.

In addition to his scoring ability, Owens also proved to be solid on the Blue line, also taking home the award for Top Defenseman. Owens notched an incredible amount of ice time for the Timberwolves and was a defensive pillar for his team all season.

Rookie of the Year is Darcy Ashley of the Summerside Western Capitals. Ashley was an impressive force entering as a 16 year-old as he very quickly notched up points. Ashley lead the league in scoring for the first several weeks of the season. Ashley finished with 67 points (26 goals, 41 assists), good for 6th in scoring on the year.

The Top Goaltender award goes to Kirk Rafuse of the Truro Bearcats. Rafuse played in 29 games for the Bearcats in 2009-2010 earning a 2.16 GAA and a .924 saves %, good for 19 wins. The Bearcats also took home the Best Goaltending Duo once again this year, but this time with a twist: the award this season will be coined as Top Goaltending Trio. Kirk Rafuse, Alex Scola and Richard Gagnon combined for a 1.96 GAA.

Most Sportsmanlike honors goes to two players this year. Mitchell Maynard of the Weeks Crushers and Dana Fraser of the Truro Bearcats both receive the award. Maynard had just 11 penalty minutes in 49 games as a rookie this season while Fraser, a player who would attract lots of attention and who finished second in scoring with 91 points, had just 12 penalty minutes on the year.

In addition to these awards, the league will announce three new honors next week. The new awards are the MJAHL Character Award, MJAHL Community Leadership award and the MJAHL Builders award.

Finally, the 1st Team All-Stars for 2009-2010 are as follows:

Goal: Kirk Rafuse, Truro Bearcats
Defense: Chris Owens, Miramichi Timberwolves 

Defense: Evan Watts, Truro Bearcats
Left Wing: Nick Huard, Woodstock Slammers
Centre: Dana Fraser, Truro Bearcats
Right Wing: Matt Milson, Miramichi Timberwolves 

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

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