Monthly Archives: July 2018

The 2018 Bagskate Hockey Podcast Awards Results

Acadie-Bathurst Titan v Regina Pats

Well we can’t afford Rob Faulds for this production, but it’s time to officially wrap up the 2017-18 junior and college hockey campaign by handing out some hardware with the third edition of the Bagskate Hockey Podcast Awards.

In addition to your votes through the online poll that was up for most of June and my own ballot, let’s meet the rest of this year’s esteemed panel.

  • Andy Eide – Seattle Thunderbirds and WHL beat writer for ESPN 710 in Seattle
  • Brett Punkari – My brother and the lone Kitchener Rangers fan in Sault Ste. Marie
  • Jeremy Fraser – Sports reporter for the Cape Breton Post and beat writer for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
  • Marc Smith – Sports reporter for Golden West Radio and beat writer for the Moose Jaw Warriors
  • Matthew Gourlie – Moose Jaw Warriors beat writer for the Dub Network
  • Michael Oleksyn – Sports reporter for the Melfort Journal and beat writer for the Melfort Mustangs
  • Neate Sager – CHL beat writer for Sportsnet
  • Pete Krupsky – Play-by-play announcer for the US NTDP
  • Phil Heilman – Friend of the show and man about town in the Battlefords
  • Victor Findlay – U Sports beat writer for the Canadian University Sports Network and play-by-play announcer for the University Cup on Sportsnet

As always, a huge thanks to everyone who submitted their ballot for this fun exercise. Now let’s meet this year’s winners.

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Forward of the Year – Tyler Steenbergen (Swift Current Broncos)

As a member of the best line in junior hockey this season with Glenn Gawdin and Aleksi Heponiemi alongside him, Steenbergen came out of the gates firing offence and was scoring goals at an alarming rate. Injuries and time away at the World Juniors meant he only ended up with 47 goals, but he was a threat whenever he stepped on the ice and that was plain to see when the Broncos struggled to score goals after his injury in the Memorial Cup. Plus, his lone goal at the World Juniors was a big one as the Arizona Coyotes prospect scored in the final minutes of the third period to help Canada win the gold medal over Sweden.

  1. Tyler Steenbergen (Swift Current Broncos) – 50 votes
  2. Jayden Halbgewachs (Moose Jaw Warriors) – 49 votes
  3. Andrei Svechnikov (Barrie Colts) – 44 votes
  4. Glenn Gawdin (Swift Current Broncos) – 36 votes
  5. Sam Steel (Regina Pats) – 25 votes
  6. Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) – 24 votes
  7. Aleksi Heponiemi (Swift Current Broncos) – 17 votes)
  8. Ryan Donato (Harvard Crimson) – 16 votes
  9. Alex Barre-Boulet (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada) – 13 votes
  10. Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) – 12 votes
  11. Gabriel Vilardi (Kingston Frontenacs) – 12 votes
  12. Adam Gaudette (Northeastern Huskies) – 10 votes
  13. Jack Hughes (US NTDP) – 9 votes
  14. Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting) – 9 votes
  15. Oliver Wahlstrom (US NTDP) – 9 votes
  16. Ty Ronning (Vancouver Giants) – 8 votes
  17. Layne Young (Battlefords North Stars) – 6 votes
  18. Brayden Burke (Moose Jaw Warriors) – 5 votes
  19. Chris Van Os-Shaw (Spruce Grove Saints) – 1 vote

Canada v Sweden: Gold Medal Game - 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship

Defenceman of the Year – Rasmus Dahlin (Frolunda)

There’s not much more than can be said about the Swedish sensation. The most hyped defensive prospect since Aaron Ekblad (who was the last blueliner to go first overall in the draft four years ago) Dahlin was impressive all year for his club and his country. As he joins a Buffalo Sabres squad looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011, Dahlin’s future looks bright as makes his way to the NHL. Just how good he’ll end up being remains to be seen.

  1. Rasmus Dahlin (Frolunda) – 90 votes
  2. Noah Dobson (Acadie-Bathurst Titans) – 41 votes
  3. Evan Bouchard (London Knights) – 37 votes
  4. Cale Makar (UMass Minutemen) – 35 votes
  5. Conor Timmins (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) – 25 votes
  6. Cal Foote (Kelowna Rockets) – 21 votes
  7. Josh McDougall (Nipawin Hawks) – 18 votes
  8. Nicolas Hague (Mississauga Steelheads) – 16 votes
  9. Kale Clague (Moose Jaw Warriors) – 14 votes
  10. Ty Smith (Spokane Chiefs) – 10 votes
  11. Juuso Valmaki (Tri-City Americans) – 9 votes
  12. Dennis Cesana (Brooks Bandits) – 6 votes
  13. Olivier Galipeau (Acadie-Bathurst Titan) – 5 votes
  14. David Quenneville (Medicine Hat Tigers) – 4 votes
  15. Colby Sissons (Swift Current Broncos) – 4 votes
  16. Jacob Bernard-Docker (Okotoks Oilers) – 2 votes
  17. Jason Fram (Alberta Golden Bears) – 1 vote

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Goaltender of the Year – Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips)

The first two-time winner of any Bagskate Hockey Podcast award, Hart’s final season with the Silvertips saw him produce science fiction numbers. In a year where everyone was scoring goals in the WHL, Hart’s 1.60 goals against average was over a goal better than his closest rival (Portland’s Cole Kehler) and his .947 save percentage was 33 percentage points better than the next highest starter (Victoria’s Griffen Outhouse). While Stuart Skinner out-dueled him in the WHL final, Hart’s legacy is set in stone as a three-time WHL goalie of the year winner, this year’s league MVP recipient and a gold medal winner for Canada at the World Juniors. It’s only a matter of time before he becomes the full-time starter for the Philadelphia Flyers.

  1. Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips) – 98 votes
  2. Evan Fitzpatrick (Acadie-Bathurst Titan) – 54 votes
  3. Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires) – 44 votes
  4. Stuart Skinner (Swift Current Broncos) – 42 votes
  5. Matthew Villalta (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) – 22 votes
  6. Matthew Galadja (Cornell Big Red) – 20 votes
  7. Spencer Knight (US NTDP) – 10 votes
  8. Zach Sawchenko (Moose Jaw Warriors) – 10 votes
  9. Cale Morris (Notre Dame Fighting Irish) – 8 votes
  10. Colton Point (Colgate Raiders) – 8 votes
  11. Kaden Fulcher (Hamilton Bulldogs) – 6 votes
  12. Mitchell Gibson (Lone Star Brahmas) – 5 votes
  13. Matthew Thiessen (Steinbach Pistons) – 5 votes
  14. Samuel Harvey (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies) – 4 votes
  15. Jeremy Helvig (Kingston Frontenacs) – 3 votes
  16. Strauss Mann (Fargo Force) – 2 votes

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Rookie of the Year – Jack Hughes (US NTDP)

It’s pretty simple when it comes to projecting the 2019 NHL Draft class at the moment. There Jack Hughes and everyone else. The highly-touted American forward ran wild over the USHL this year as he average two points per game in his rookie campaign. As a member of the US NTDP, Hughes is part of a super talented crop of 2001-born players that ran over everything in their path at the World Under 17’s and also turned in an excellent showing at the World Under 18’s before losing in the final to Finland. Having yet to commit to an NCAA program and his OHL rights being held by a Mississauga Steelheads side that is expected to struggle next season, it appears Hughes will be back with the US NTDP for another campaign and could be set to put up some staggering numbers before making the jump to the pros.

  1. Jack Hughes (US NTDP) – 76 votes
  2. Filip Zadina (Halifax Mooseheads) – 59 votes
  3. Alexis Lafreniere (Rimouski Oceanic) – 37 votes
  4. Matthew Galadja (Cornell Big Red) – 24 votes
  5. Jake Anthony (Nipawin Hawks) – 22 votes
  6. Rasmus Sandin (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) – 19 votes
  7. Dylan Cozens (Lethbridge Hurricanes) – 17 votes
  8. Alex Newhook (Victoria Grizzlies) – 16 votes
  9. Peyton Krebs (Kootenay Ice) – 14 votes
  10. Arthur Kailyev (Hamilton Bulldogs) – 12 votes
  11. Max Paddock (Regina Pats) – 10 votes
  12. Scott Perunovich (Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs) – 6 votes
  13. Matej Pekar (Muskegon Lumberjacks) – 5 votes
  14. Matthew Thiessen (Steinbach Pistons) – 4 votes
  15. Mitchell Gibson (Lone Star Brahmas) – 3 votes
  16. Riley Brandt (RMC Paladins) – 2 votes

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Team of the Year – Acadie-Bathurst Titan (Memorial Cup Champions)

After reaching the Memorial Cup in the first season in New Brunswick after moving from Laval in 1999, the Titan spent a long time in the QMJHL wilderness and had threat of relocation over the last few seasons. The smallest centre in the CHL returned to the scene in a massive way this year as they took care of the top ranked Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the league final and then picked up their biggest win in franchise history by capturing the 100th Memorial Cup in Regina. With their success and the Swift Current Broncos capturing the WHL crown, it’s a great sign for the rest of the CHL that small market teams can succeed.

  1. Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL and Memorial Cup Champions) – 74 votes
  2. Canada Under-20 Team (World Junior Champions) – 46 votes
  3. Swift Current Broncos (WHL Champions) – 32 votes
  4. Alberta Golden Bears (University Cup Champions) – 30 votes
  5. Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs (Frozen Four Champions) – 29 votes
  6. Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL Champions) – 22 votes
  7. Nipawin Hawks (SJHL Champions) – 14 votes
  8. Wellington Dukes (OJHL and Dudley Hewitt Cup Champions) – 12 votes
  9. Edmundston Blizzard (MHL Champions) – 10 votes
  10. US NTDP (USHL Semi-Finalist) – 10 votes
  11. Chilliwack Chiefs (RBC Cup Champions) – 8 votes
  12. Wenatchee Wild (BCHL and Doyle Cup Champions) – 8 votes
  13. Finland Under-18 Team (World Under-18 Champions) – 7 votes
  14. Longueuil College Francais (QJHL Champions) – 4 votes
  15. Canada Under-18 Team (Ivan Hlinka Champions) – 1 vote
  16. Ottawa Jr. Senators (CCHL and Fred Page Cup Champions) – 1 vote

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Coach of the Year – Mario Pouliot (Acadie-Bathurst Titan)

Back in the 2012-13 season, Pouliot was fired partway through the campaign by the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, who would then go on to lose back-to-back QMJHL finals. After being hired by the Titan four seasons ago, Pouliot has played a key role in helping this core develop from the ground up as they became the top major junior hockey team in the country. As of writing, he’s expected to return to Bathurst next year as they start the rebuilding process towards making another run to the top.

  1. Mario Pouliot (Acadie-Bathurst Titan) – 63 votes
  2. Manny Vivieros (Swift Current Broncos) – 37 votes
  3. Drew Bannister (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) – 33 votes
  4. John Gruden (Hamilton Bulldogs) – 33 votes
  5. Dennis Williams (Everett Silvertips) – 32 votes
  6. John Druce (Wellington Dukes) – 30 votes
  7. Brian Maloney (Chilliwack Chiefs) – 27 votes
  8. Dominique Ducharme (Drummondville Voltigeurs) – 18 votes
  9. Scott Sandelin (Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs) – 12 votes
  10. Joel Bouchard (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada) – 10 votes
  11. Seth Appert (US NTDP Under-18 Team) – 9 votes
  12. John Wroblewski (US NTDP Under-17 Team) – 9 votes
  13. Bliss Littler (Wenatchee WIld) – 8 votes
  14. Tyler Deis (Okotoks Oilers) – 6 votes
  15. Dale Hawerchuk (Barrie Colts) – 6 votes
  16. Doug Johnston (Nipawin Hawks) – 6 votes
  17. Paul Dyck (Steinbach Pistons) – 5 votes
  18. Tim Hunter (Moose Jaw Warriors) – 5 votes
  19. Grant Poltuny (Northern Michigan Wildcats) – 5 votes

Game 7 Celly

Game of the Year – Sault Ste. Marie 4 Kitchener 3 (OHL Semi-Final Game 7 – Double Overtime)

With the Rangers having held off a Greyhounds rally to win Game 6 in Kitchener a night earlier, the stage was set for a humdinger of a finish to the OHL’s Western Conference final. This one certainty delivered as Logan Stanley scored late in the third period to force a pair of dramatic extra frames before Jack Kopacka fired a shot home four minutes into the second overtime to send the Greyhounds to the league final for the first time since 1993. Granted, the championship series didn’t go as I had hoped, but this game certainly tops the lot when it comes to my favourite moment with my hometown team since their Memorial Cup title. I’m forever jealous of my brother that he got to attend this one, though he was a bit bummed out that his Rangers ended up on the losing end.

  1. Sault Ste. Marie 4 Kitchener 3 (OHL Semi-Final Game 7 – Double Overtime) – 67 votes
  2. Nipawin 6 Humboldt 5 (SJHL Semi-Final Game 4 – Triple Overtime) – 42 votes
  3. Moose Jaw 3 Swift Current 2 (WHL Quarter-Final Game 6 – Triple Overtime) – 40 votes
  4. Swift Current 4 Everett 3 (WHL Final Game 2 – Overtime) – 34 votes
  5. Everett 6 Tri-City 5 (WHL Semi-Final Game 6 – Overtime) – 17 votes
  6. Hamilton 2 Swift Current 1 (Memorial Cup Round-Robin) – 17 votes
  7. Moose Jaw 5 Prince Albert 4 (WHL First Round Game 3 – Overtime) – 16 votes
  8. Canada 3 Sweden 1 (World Junior Gold Medal Game) – 15 votes
  9. Kingston 6 North Bay 5 (OHL First Round Game 5 – Triple Overtime) – 13 votes
  10. Wellington 2 Wenatchee 1 (RBC Cup Semi-Final) – 13 votes
  11. Kitchener 4 Sault Ste. Marie 3 (OHL Semi-Final Game 6 – Overtime) – 10 votes
  12. Notre Dame 4 Michigan 3 (Frozen Four Semi-Final) – 10 votes
  13. USA 5 Russia 4 (Five Nations Cup Round-Robin) – 10 votes
  14. Denmark 5 Belarus 4 (World Junior Relegation Round Game 1) – 7 votes
  15. Regina 4 Hamilton 2 (Memorial Cup Semi-Final) – 7 votes
  16. Sault Ste. Marie 4 Hamilton 3 (OHL Final Game 4 – Overtime) – 7 votes
  17. St. Francis Xavier 5 New Brunswick 4 (University Cup Semi-Final – Overtime) – 6 votes
  18. Sault Ste. Marie 3 Kitchener 2 (OHL Semi-Final Game 1) – 5 votes
  19. Slovakia 3 United States 2 (World Junior Round-Robin) – 3 votes
  20. Lethbridge 5 Brandon 4 (WHL Quarter-Final Game 2 – Overtime) – 1 vote
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