Three hockey Axemen and head coach named in AUS awards release
2019-20 AUS men’s hockey major awards and all-stars announced
Acadia’s Logan Flodell named AUS MVP
(HALIFAX, N.S.) – Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2019-20 AUS men’s hockey major award winners and all-stars as selected by the conference’s seven head coaches following regular season play.
Second-year Acadia Axemen goaltender Logan Flodell (Regina, Sask.) has been named the AUS MVP.
Other major award winners include Saint Mary’s Mitchell Balmas of Sydney, N.S., who was named rookie of the year; Moncton’s Vincent Deslauriers of Blainville, Que., who was selected as most sportsmanlike player; Acadia’s Liam Maaskant of Clinton, Ont., the recipient of the Godfrey Award for student-athlete community service; and Acadia head coach Darren Burns who was named AUS coach of the year for the fourth time in his career.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER (Kelly Trophy): Logan Flodell, Acadia Axemen
The Atlantic University Sport men’s hockey most valuable player is Logan Flodell of the Acadia Axemen.
Flodell, a second-year goaltender from Regina, Sask., played in 26 games for the Axemen this season. He led the conference with a save percentage of .918. His goals against average of 2.79 was the third best in AUS.
Acadia finished the regular season with a 19-9-2 record, good for second place in the conference standings, securing a bye through to the semi-final round of the Subway AUS Men’s Hockey Playoffs.
In addition to being named AUS MVP, Flodell earned a place on the AUS first team all-star squad for the first time in his career.
Flodell now becomes the AUS nominee for the for the U SPORTS Senator Joseph A. Sullivan trophy as the nation’s top player.
The Atlantic conference has claimed nine of the past 16 national player of the year awards.
Former Axemen standout Liam Heelis is the most recent player from an Acadia team to be named national MVP. He won the award in 2013-14.
Philippe Maillet of UNB is the most recent player from the Atlantic conference to earn the national honour. He won the award in 2016-17.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (A.J. MacAdam Trophy): Mitchell Balmas, Saint Mary’s Huskies
The Atlantic conference rookie of the year and recipient of the A.J. MacAdam Trophy for the 2019-20 season is Saint Mary’s forward Mitchell Balmas.
In just his first year with the Huskies program, Balmas scored the second most points in the conference—amassing 17 goals and 26 assists for 43 points on the season.
A commerce student from Sydney, N.S., he was also named an AUS first team all-star and earned a place on the conference’s all-rookie team.
Before joining the Huskies, Balmas played most recently for the QMJHL’s Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Prior to that, his QMJHL career included seasons with the Acadie-Bathurst Titans, the Gatineau Olympiques, and the Charlottetown Islanders.
This season, he led the Huskies to a 17-12-1 regular season record and a third-place finish in the conference standings.
Saint Mary’s went on to sweep the UPEI Panthers in their best-of-three quarter-final series, with Balmas contributing a goal and an assist in Game 2.
He now becomes the Atlantic conference nominee for the U SPORTS rookie of the year award.
AUS players earned the national honour the last two consecutive seasons—with Moncton’s Étienne Monpetit winning it in 2018-19 and UNB’s Kris Bennett earning it in 2017-18.
The national award has yet to be won by a Saint Mary’s player.
MOST SPORTSMANLIKE PLAYER (Don Wells Trophy): Vincent Deslauriers, Moncton Aigles Bleus
In his third season with the Aigles Bleus, forward Vincent Deslauriers has been chosen as the Atlantic University Sport most sportsmanlike player and recipient of the Don Wells Trophy.
A business student from Blainville, Que., Deslauriers finished the regular season with nine goals and 15 assists for 24 points.
Deslauriers is the third player from a Moncton team to be named the conference’s most sportsmanlike player and the first since the 2011-12 season when former Aigles Bleus standout Dean Ouellet earned the honour.
The only other Moncton player to win this award is Jean-François Grégoire who won it in 1996-97.
Deslauriers now becomes the Atlantic conference nominee for the U SPORTS R. W. Pugh Award.
The only Moncton players to have earned the national honour are Grégoire in 1996-97 and Claude Gosselin in 1989-90.
The most recent Atlantic conference recipient of this award was UNB’s Randy Gazzola in 2018.
STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD (The Godfrey Award): Liam Maaskant, Acadia Axemen
Acadia’s Liam Maaskant is the 2019-20 Atlantic conference recipient of the Godfrey Award and is the AUS nominee for the prestigious Dr. Randy Gregg Award.
The Godfrey Award, named after Dr. Bill Godfrey, is given annually to the player who best represents the spirit of intercollegiate hockey by his leadership both on and off the ice and by his conduct throughout the season.
A fifth-year engineering student from Clinton, Ont., Maaskant has served as team captain for two consecutive seasons.
He played in 28 games this season, anchoring the Acadia defence and scoring 15 points (four goals, 11 assists).
In the classroom, Maaskant is a three-time academic all-Canadian.
Despite the heavy demands of being a student and a varsity athlete, he also contributes in the university and wider Wolfville communities, volunteering in a number of capacities.
He serves as the co-president of the Acadia Players’ Association and is actively involved with the S.M.I.L.E. program (Sensory Motor Instructional Learning Experience) as a leader and program buddy.
Maaskant has volunteered his time to a number of fundraising and minor hockey events, including Acadia’s Hearts on Ice which raises money for the Valley Cardiac Rehab Society and the Hannah Miller Memorial Tournament, which gives back to the local hockey community.
Maaskant is the third player from the Axemen to take home the Godfrey Award and the first since 2010-11 when Kristopher Westblom earned the honour for Acadia.
He now becomes the AUS nominee for the Dr. Randy Gregg Award. No Acadia player has ever won the national award.
UNB’s Randy Gazzola is the most recent player from the Atlantic conference to earn the honour. He was awarded the Dr. Randy Gregg Award last season.
COACH OF THE YEAR (Bob Boucher Trophy): Darren Burns, Acadia Axemen
In his 19th season at the helm of the Axemen program, Darren Burns has been selected by his peers as the 2019-20 AUS coach of the year for the fourth time in his career.
After finishing in sixth place last season with a 10-18-2 record, Burns guided the Axemen to a much-improved 19-9-2 record this season, a second-place finish in the conference standings, and a first-round playoff bye through to the AUS semifinals.
The Axemen posted an impressive 12-3 home record this season and the second-best goals against average in the conference (2.80).
This marks the fourth time Burns has been honoured as AUS coach of the year. He also won the award in 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2013-14.
He now becomes the Atlantic conference nominee for the Father George Kehoe Memorial Award as the U SPORTS coach of the year. Burns won the national honour once before in 2004-05.
An AUS coach has claimed this award in five of the past 10 seasons. StFX’s Brad Peddle is the most recent Atlantic conference recipient of the national honour. He was named U SPORTS coach of the year in 2015-16.
FIRST AND SECOND TEAM ALL-STARS AND ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
The Atlantic University Sport first and second team all-stars were also announced today, along with this year’s all-rookie team.
First Team All-Stars:
Goaltender: Logan Flodell, Acadia (2nd year – Regina, Sask.)
Defence: Nicholas Welsh, Saint Mary’s (2nd year – Halifax, N.S.)
Defence: Owen Headrick, UPEI (4th year – Garden River, Ont.)
Forward: Mitchell Balmas, Saint Mary’s (1st year – Sydney, N.S.)
Forward: Tyler Boland, UNB (2nd year – St. John’s, N.L.)
Forward: Maxime St-Cyr, Moncton (4th year – St-Didace, Que.)
Second Team All-Stars:
Goaltender: Étienne Monpetit, Moncton (2nd year – Valleyfield, Que.)
Defence: Matt Murphy, UNB (4th year – Woodstock, N.B.)
Defence: Garrett McFadden, Acadia (2nd year – Kincardine, Ont.)
Forward: Kris Bennett, UNB (3rd year – Brampton, Ont.)
Forward: Kameron Kielly, UPEI (3rd year – Charlottetown, P.E.I.)
Forward: Stephen Johnson, Saint Mary’s (4th year – Moncton, N.B.)
Goaltender: Samuel Harvey, UNB (Alma, Que.)
Defence: Francis Thibeault, Moncton (Val-d’Amour, N.B.)
Defence: Connor Hall, UNB (Cambridge, Ont.)
Forward: Mitchell Balmas, Saint Mary’s (Sydney, N.S.)
Forward: Kyle Maksimovich, UPEI (Oakville, Ont.)
Forward: Brady Gilmour, UNB (Grafton, Ont.)
The semi-final series of the 2020 Subway AUS Men’s Hockey Playoffs, presented by Keep It Social, are set to begin tomorrow night. The two best-of-five playoff series will see the UNB Reds face off against the Moncton Aigles Bleus, while the Acadia Axemen take on the Saint Mary’s Huskies. The schedule is as follows:
Semifinal #1 (Best 3-of-5): Moncton (4) vs. UNB (1)
Game 1: Moncton at UNB, Thursday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.
Game 2: Moncton at UNB, Friday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m.
Game 3: UNB at Moncton, Monday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.
Game 4: UNB at Moncton, Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m.* (*if necessary)
Game 5: Moncton at UNB, Thursday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m.* (*if necessary)
Semifinal #2 (Best 3-of-5): Saint Mary’s (3) vs. Acadia (2)
Game 1: Saint Mary’s at Acadia, Thursday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.
Game 2: Saint Mary’s at Acadia, Saturday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m.
Game 3: Acadia at Saint Mary’s, Monday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.
Game 4: Acadia at Saint Mary’s, Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m.* (*if necessary)
Game 5: Saint Mary’s at Acadia, Thursday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m.* (*if necessary)
All matches of the AUS semifinals will be webcast live at www.AUStv.ca.
The winners of each series will advance to the Subway AUS Men’s Hockey Championship best-of-three final series.
AUS is guaranteed three berths in the 2020 U SPORTS University Cup, which is being hosted by Acadia at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, N.S.
Should the Axemen advance to the AUS finals, a best-of-three consolation final series will be held to determine the third team from the Atlantic conference to compete in the national championship.
The 2020 U SPORTS University Cup will be held March 12-15.