Acadia Centre Clark Named CIS Men’s Hockey Player of the Year

story courtesy of March 21, 2012FREDERICTON — Acadia centre Andrew Clark was named the top player in Canadian university men’s hockey Wednesday.

andrew_clark_actionThe native of Brandon, Man., became the third player in school history to claim the Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy.

Other CIS award winners announced during the All-Canadian Gala were McGill’s Marc-Andre Dorion as the top defenceman, Alberta’s Real Cyr as top the goaltender, Western forward Zach Harnden as the rookie of the year and Saskatchewan forward Kyle Ross as the most sportsmanlike player.

Moncton’s Serge Bourgeois earned top coaching honours and UNB’s Kyle Bailey won the Dr. Randy Gregg Award recognizing his excellence in hockey, academics and community involvement.

This year’s Cavendish University Cup starts Thursday.

Clark won the AUS scoring title in his third season with the Axemen thanks to his 15 goals and 24 assists for 39 points in 28 games.

Named an all-Canadian for the first time in his career, the five-foot-10, 180-pound forward tied for the league lead with four game-winning goals, led the conference with 129 shots and was an important part of Acadia’s power play and penalty kill units.

The kinesiology student has 99 in 83 career games with Acadia. Prior to joining the Axemen, Clark spent four seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League, recording 40 goals and 78 points in 72 games in his final major junior season in 2008-09.

“We are very proud of Andrew’s accomplishments this year. He is a tremendous leader for our hockey club. To be in on over 40 per cent of our goals is truly a remarkable statistic,” said Acadia coach Darren Burns. “His approach to the game is very refreshing as he is a very unselfish player whose only concern is our team’s success. Even more impressive was his ability to help so many first year players get acclimatized to university life and the game itself.”

The other finalists for the Sullivan Trophy were forwards Keaton Turkiewicz of Western and Blair Macaulay of Manitoba.

Dorion, a five-foot-11, 185-pound native of St. Hubert, Que., earned first-team all-Canadian status for the third consecutive year after guiding McGill to a league-best 22-4-2 record in conference play. Dorion topped all CIS blue-liners with 39 points, including seven goals, in 28 games.

“Marc-Andre is an elite CIS defenceman,” said McGill coach Kelly Nobes. “He is exceptional at both ends of the ice and a key component to our power play. He’s also an academic all-Canadian and a well-respected leader within our team.”

Acadia’s Chris Owens and Manitoba’s Jeremy Schappert were also in the running for the award.

Cyr, an education student from Victoire, Sask., led the country in goals against average (1.59) and save percentage (.935) while earning a conference-best 13 wins against only four losses in 18 league games.

Prior to joining the Bears, Cyr spent four WHL seasons with the Prince George Cougars, playing alongside current NHLers Dustin Byfuglien and Devin Setoguchi.

“Real has proven himself to be an excellent leader for us this season. From his play in goal to his role as a leader in the dressing room, he has been one our team’s best players,” said Alberta coach Stan Marple.

The other nominees for top-goalie honours were Anthony Peters of Saint Mary’s and Riley Whitlock of Queen’s.

Harnden, who is from Thunder Bay, Ont., led all OUA freshmen with 17 goals, including a pair of game-winners, and 31 points.

St. Francis Xavier forward Michael Kirkpatrick and Calgary defenceman Teigan Zahn were also nominated.

Ross, a native of Regina, had a career-best season with 16 goals, including eight on the power play, and 33 points in 28 games to finish tied for third in the Canada West scoring race behind linemates Derek Hulak (44 points) and Kyle Bortis (39 points).

Forwards Dean Ouellet of Moncton and Chris Ray of Waterloo were also up for the Pugh Award.

Bourgeois, a native of Saint-Paul-de-Kent, N.B., coached his team to third place in the ultra-competitive Atlantic conference with an 18-9-1 record, one year after the Aigles Bleus missed the playoffs with a 10-15-3 mark. Moncton was ranked nationally in 16 of 18 weekly polls in 2011-12, reaching a season-high No. 3 in late November.

UBC’s Milan Dragicevic and Western’s Clarke Singer were also in the running for the top coach award.

Bailey finished fourth in AUS scoring with 16 goals and 33 points in 27 games, including three game-winners and a league-leading 10 power-play markers.

He wrapped up his varsity career with 65 goals, 88 assists and 153 points in 138 regular season games.

Bailey is currently enrolled in the MBA program, after earning his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in April 2011.

Queen’s Jonathon Lawrance and Saskatchewan’s Kyle Ross were also nominated for the Dr. Gregg Award.

The all-Canadian teams were also announced on Wednesday.

Joining Clark, Dorion and Cyr on the first squad were Acadia defenceman Chris Owens, Western forward Keaton Turkiewicz and Saskatchewan forward Derek Hulak, all of whom became first-time CIS all-stars.