The Lambton Jr. Sting AAA Hockey Association held their annual Awards Ceremony at the RBC Centre Thursday night before approximately 200 people with players, parents, executive and special guests in attendance.
MICOR SPORTS MVP AWARD
The MVP player awards are sponsored by Micor Sports. Recipients of the Micor MVP Award included Jason Bacchus (Minor Atom), Nate Highfield (Major Atom), Blake Buttler (Minor Peewee), Hunter Monkhouse (Major Peewee), Jakob Knowles (Minor Bantam), Tristan Sedlak (Major Bantam), Curtis Helps, (Minor Midget) and Matt Vince (Major Midget).
COACH/TEAM OF THE YEAR
(L-R) Kevin Devine, Mike Kelly
Minor Bantam Coach Kevin Devine was named this year's Coach of the Year. Devine led his team with a third place finish in the West Division with a total of 33 points (14-13-5). In the Playdown series they were defeated in the 1st round by London. Season wasn't over as they moved on to the playoff. In the semi final series in the West Division against Sun County and Windsor the Minor Bantam's won with 6 points overall that sent them to the final against Huron Perth where they were defeated in 3 straight games.
Team of the Year
For their accomplishments the Minor Bantam team was named Team of the Year for 2013-14.
"It's a team award." Minor Bantam Head Coach Kevin Devine said. "The players come in they work hard. As coaches we just want to teach them and instruct them and give them the best opportunity to win. This year we brought in 8 new players and full credit goes to the kids, they bought into the program. We had some successes but we have some unfinished business next year."
Devine advises the players to stay in condition over the summer but he is an advocate of taking time off of hockey.
"Do something whatever it might be, I know there are some kids that play lacrosse, golf etc. but I'm not an advocate of them playing hockey 12 months a year but stay physically fit." Devine said "It's so hard to take down time for 3 months then pick the bag up and come to the rink and expect to be in shape. I tell the kids to stay in shape but do have some time away from the rink to enjoy some other sports because when you are playing AAA and you do have some success it can be 8 - 9 months long so it get's to wear on them after awhile so it's great to take a break."
(L-R) David Shortt, Mike Kelly
The Volunteer Award was presented to Dave Shortt. Dave who does not have a son playing in AAA has been a member of the AAA Executive for several years. This award was presented to Dave for his outstanding service to the Association.
Jalen Day Memorial Scholarship Award
(L-R) Paul Burgess, Kaden Fulcher, David Day, Mike Kelly
2013 -2014 marked the 10th Anniversary of the Jalen Day Memorial
Jalen was well known in the community for his courage, determination,
dedication and love for hockey.
Jalen's dream was to become a goalie in the NHL and to win the Stanley
"Love It, Believe It, Do It"
Because of Jalen's inspiration to many people in the community the Jalen
Memorial Scholarship Award is presented each year to a goalie who showed the
same qualities as Jalen. The 2013 - 2014 Jalen Day Award and $500.00 scholarship was presented to Minor Midget Goalie Kaden Fulcher.
The Builder Award was presented to the Sarnia Sting for their financial contribution and assistance to the AAA Association. With their annual contribution it is estimated that the cost for registration is reduced by $300.00 per player. Bill Abercrombie Vice President of Operations for the Sting accepted the award on behalf of the Sting.
According to Abercrombie he said that it is really important for all OHL teams to support their AAA teams because they are the feeder system for the OHL.
"For the size of the City of Sarnia it's extremely important because we are not one of the biggest centres." Abercrombie said "We try and get involved as much as we can to keep the organization top class and to recruit the kids to play in the system. We don't want them leaving so it's extremely important and for them to work hard. I don't care what town you play in it can be the smallest town the biggest town if you are a good hockey player you will be recruited and you will be found. Anybody that thinks they have to go to a bigger centre in order to get scouted or seen is totally untrue."
Abercrombie a former coach with AAA Sarnia Legionnaires and Sarnia Sting advises parents especially the parents starting out to relax and enjoy the moment.
"It gets worse as they get older." Abercrombie said "Everybody gets more involved and everyone gets more competitive but it's a great experience. One thing about hockey your friends last forever and your wins and losses you forget about it very quickly but you never forget about your friends. Despite all the teams I coached throughout the AAA system I can hardly remember what our records were, I knew we had a competitive team but there's a lot of people I am still friends with today. To me that's what it's all about and I think they need to realize that and remember that."
MICOR SPORTS MVP AWARD
(L-R) Lambton AAA President Mike Kelly , Jason Bacchus, Coach Steve DeGurse
(L-R) Coach Brad McLean, Nate Highfield, Mike Kelly
Minor Peewee Blake Butler
(not in attendance)
(L-R) Coach John McIntyre, Hunter Monkhouse, Mike Kelly
(L-R) Coach Kevin Devine, Jakob Knowles, Mike Kelly
Tristan Sedlak, Mike Kelly
(L-R) Coach Jeff Perry, Curtis Helps, Mike Kelly
(L-R) Coach Jonathan Taylor, Matt Vince, Mike Kelly