At St. Marys minor hockey’s year-end banquet last Tuesday at the Legion
By Pat Payton
There were four major awards presented to OWHA players in the St. Marys Minor Hockey Association last Tuesday night at the Royal Canadian Legion. And three of them went to members of the Hubbard Pharmacy ‘B’ Bantam girls team.
Hard-working centre Lydia Taylor accepted the Doug Hicks Memorial Trophy for outstanding leadership by an OWHA player. Taylor, the team captain, helped the Hubbard Bantams finish just one point out of first place.
Current SMMHA president Kristene McCurdy made the trophy presentation.
In the 22-game Lower Lakes Female Hockey League (LLFHL) regular schedule, the Liz Simpson-coached St. Marys Bantams finished with a solid 14-4-4 record and 32 points in the West Division. The Rock allowed a league-low 17 goals, while scoring 47 times. In the playoffs, the Hubbard squad were league finalists.
The other nominee for the Hicks Memorial Award was Natalie Johnston, of the A.B.S. Tracs Inc. Bantam ‘C’ girls.
The Dixies Award for the most skillful and hardest-working OWHA player went to Hubbard Bantams’ forward Audrey Littlejohn. The trophy presentation was made by SMMHA Life Members Randy Preszcator and Larry McLellan.
Kendra Robertson, of the A.B.S. Tracs Inc. Bantams, was the other nominee for the Dixies Award.
The third member of the Hubbard ‘B’ Bantams to win a major award was Matt Luyten, who also had a strong season. Luyten took home the Ernie Little Trophy for outstanding OWHA goalie in the SMMHA. Past president Chris Boyd made the trophy presentation.
Grace Hillman, of the A.B.S. Tracs Inc. Bantams, was the other nominee for the Little award.
The Lindsay Atkinson Memorial Award for the most sportsmanlike OWHA player, on and off the ice, went to A.B.S. Tracs Inc. Bantams’ forward Abbie Boyd.
The trophy presentation was made by Atkinson family members — Pat Craigmile, Joan Atkinson, Maggie Gregory and Jim Atkinson. Lindsay Atkinson was described by his brother Jim as a “great hockey fan.”
Hubbard Bantams defenceman Megan Morning was also nominated for the Atkinson award.
Four teams specially honoured
Prior to the presentation of the major awards, four SMMHA teams were specially recognized at the front of the hall.
The first team honoured were the All-Ontario champion Firefighter ‘BB’ Peewees. Manager Marty Thomson said the 2018-19 Firefighters were a “great bunch of kids” to coach and he also thanked the parents for their “cooperation and assistance” all season long.
Overall, the Peewees posted a 48-6-3 record. In addition to their provincial title, they won two tournaments and finished second in two others. “Dwain (Smith) did a great job coaching these kids,” Thomson said.
The Legion Minor Midgets were OMHA ‘BB’ finalists this past season. “We battled and worked hard, and it was a fun bunch to be around,” head coach Robb McIntosh said before introducing his players and staff.
The other two teams honoured were the Kin Canada Novice ‘C’ girls and the A.B.S. Tracs Inc. Bantam ‘C’ girls, who both qualified for the OWHA provincials in Toronto.
“The girls played well as a team and improved as the season went on,” said Kin Novices’ coach Ray Cousineau, who noted that his team finished first in their pool at the provincials. “I’m very happy with the way the girls played this year, and I look forward to coaching them in Atom.”
Only three members of the Bantam ‘C’ squad attended the banquet, and all three went to the front to represent their team, which was coached by Don Scott. Spokesperson Grace Hillman talked fondly of her team and their season.
SMMHA awards banquet notebook:
–Nominees for awards are submitted by coaches and their staffs from Peewee, Bantam and Midget level teams. Coaches speak to their nominations and the SMMHA directors vote to determine the annual recipient.
–The president’s plaque was presented to current president Kristene McCurdy by past president Chris Boyd.
–Long-time volunteer Norm Penney did another great job as Master of Ceremonies last Tuesday night.
–Janice Mitchell, of Janice’s Fine Country Catering, provided another delicious meal for minor hockey awards night.
–The SMMHA would like to thank the Royal Canadian Legion for the use of the Hall and the assistance of their staff.