Acadia’s Heelis named player of the year
Story courtesy of Sportsnet.ca March 19, 2014, 9:16 PM
SASKATOON – Liam Heelis, a third-year forward from Acadia University, was named the CIS player of the year in men’s hockey, Wednesday night.
The Georgetown, Ont., native became the second Axemen player in three seasons and the fourth in program history to claim the Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy. He follows in the footsteps of forwards Andrew Clark (2012), Kevin Baker (2006) and Duane Dennis (1994).
Other winners announced during the SaskTel All-Canadian Presentation at TCU Place in Saskatoon were McGill rearguard Ryan McKiernan, who was named CIS defenceman of the year; Calgary netminder Jacob DeSerres, selected as the country’s best goaltender; Queen’s goalie Kevin Bailie, who received the Clare Drake Award as rookie of the year; UNB forward Chris Culligan, who claimed the R.W. Pugh Award as the nation’s most sportsmanlike player; Queen’s head coach Brett Gibson, who captured the Father George Kehoe Memorial Award; and Alberta defenceman Ben Lindemulder, who merited the Dr. Randy Gregg Award recognizing his excellence in hockey, academics and community involvement.
The PotashCorp University Cup presented by Co-op gets under way on Thursday at the Credit Union Centre and culminates Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Local Time (3:30 p.m. Eastern) with the gold-medal final, live on Sportsnet.
SENATOR JOSEPH A. SULLIVAN TROPHY (player of the year): Liam Heelis, Acadia
Heelis is the third straight AUS player – and sixth in the past seven years – to win the Sullivan Trophy. Saint Mary’s forward Lucas Bloodoff was the recipient last season.
The six-foot-one, 195-pound sniper exploded in his third university season as he won the AUS scoring title with 42 points, including a CIS-leading 24 goals, in only 26 league games, a significant improvement from his 10-12-22 mark as a sophomore a year ago. A terrific special teams player, he tied for the CIS lead with four short-handed markers and was second in the Atlantic conference with seven power play goals. He also potted three game-winners and ranked second in the Maritimes with 117 shots.
Thanks in large part to his stellar play, the Axemen took second place in the ultra-competitive AUS conference with a 21-4-3 record and were ranked in the top five nationally for most of the season.
A former OHL player with Owen Sound and Peterborough, Heelis has now accumulated 86 career points in 81 regular season games with the Axemen. Last December, the arts major played an integral part as a team of AUS standouts claimed gold for Canada at the FISU Winter Universiade in Trentino, Italy.
“We are extremely proud of Liam’s accomplishments, not only on the ice this year, but as a leader in the community at Acadia,” said Axemen head coach Darren Burns. “His determination, leadership and commitment as a person showed every day in practice and in games, enabling him to be a very dominant player for our team this year. I would be hard pressed to say that I have witnessed a player improve as much as Liam has in the AUS. His outstanding season was no doubt instrumental in our team’s success.”
The other finalists for the Sullivan Trophy were forwards Zach Harnden of Western and Derek Hulak of Saskatchewan.Read more »