Ice earn awards

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

Mem­bers of the Tri Pen AAA ban­tam Ice hockey team were well rep­re­sented at the pro­vin­cial ban­tam league’s an­nual awards ban­quet, which was re­cently held in Grand Falls-Wind­sor.

Af­ter be­ing crowned cham­pi­ons of the in­au­gu­ral New­found­land and Labrador AAA Ban­tam league this sea­son, a num­ber of Tri Pen ban­tam Ice were named the best at their po­si­tion at the league’s award cer­e­mony.

Ice rep­re­sen­ta­tives nabbed five of the nine awards handed out March 13, in­clud­ing league most valu­able player, top de­fence­man, top goal­tender, best goals against av­er­age and the coach of the year.

I can’t say I was ex­pect­ing to get the award.

— Zachary Bennett

Ice cap­tain Zachary Bennett was named the league’s top de­fence­man. The Bay Roberts res­i­dent cap­tained the Ice dur­ing the sea­son and scored the se­rieswin­ning goal in Game 3 of the league cham­pi­onship se­ries. The Tri Pen ban­tam Ice dom­i­nated the New­found­land and Labrador AAA Ban­tam league awards cer­e­mony, pick­ing up five of the nine awards handed out. They in­cluded the league’s most valu­able player, top de­fence­man, top goal­tender, best goals against av­er­age and the coach of the year. Pic­tured are, from left, award win­ners Zachary Bennett (top de­fence­man), Tris­tan Gray (top goal­tender, goals against av­er­age), Kyle Pet­ten (league MVP) and Nel­son Bennett (coach of the year).

“I can’t say I was ex­pect­ing to get the award,” he said. “There are a lot of good de­fence­men in this league. It’s just an hon­our to be nom­i­nated.”

Bennett had 30 points in 28 games and was a for­mi­da­ble pres­ence in his own end for Tri Pen.

“I thought I played good. I like to play a phys­i­cal game and chip in of­fen­sively where I can,” he said.

Bonavista’s Tris­tan Gray led the way for the Ice. As one half of an ex­cel­lent keeper duo for the Ice, Gray was named goal­tender of the year af­ter post­ing a regular sea­son record of 12 wins and just two loses. In the play­offs, he was even bet­ter, post­ing a per­fect 3-0 record with a 1.00 GAA. His 1.21 regular sea­son goals against av­er­age net­ted him the top GAA award.

In an award that was re­ally no sur­prise to many pro­vin­cial hockey pun­dits, Tri Pen for­ward Kyle Pet­ten was named the league’s most valu­able player.

The young ath­lete was third in league scor­ing with 39 points (19 goals, 20 as­sists) de­spite miss­ing four games dur­ing the sea­son. He played in 24 in to­tal. Pet­ten upped his game in the play­offs notch­ing nine points in just five games. Fi­nally, coach Nel­son Bennett was named coach of the year af­ter guiding his team to a regular sea­son record of 23 wins, three losses and two ties, which was good for first place in the league. The Ice led the league in goals against with just 41 al­lowed and was third in goals with 121 dur­ing the sea­son.

Zachary said the strong show­ing in the awards was in­dica­tive of the type of team Tri Pen put on the ice this year.

“(The num­ber of awards) says we have great in­di­vid­ual tal­ent, but that we are also a great team as well,” he said. Mean­while, St. John’s Alex Ne­whook won the league’s scor­ing ti­tle and was named rookie of the year. West­ern’s Kristo­pher Thomas was named the league’s scholas­tic player and Cen­tral’s Devin Ed­wards was named the most gen­tle­manly and ef­fec­tive player.

Pee­wees shutout

The Tri Pen pee­wee Ice were shutout of their awards, de­spite a num­ber of play­ers hav­ing solid sea­sons. Cap­tain Reilly Mayne was up for both league MVP and most gen­tle­manly and ef­fec­tive player. The for­ward reg­is­tered 24 goals and 14 as­sists for an Ice team that posted nine wins, 17 loses and two ties in 28 games.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

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