Canada West Communications
NEW WESTMINSTER – For a second consecutive season, University of Calgary forward Iya Gavrilova is the Canada West Women’s Hockey MVP, as announced Wednesday ahead of this weekend’s Canada West women’s hockey final between the UBC Thunderbirds and Manitoba Bisons.
Gavrilova highlights the Canada West women’s hockey award winners, who were selected by the conference’s eight head coaches at the conclusion of the regular season.
Also earning awards were Regina’s Jaycee Magwood and Sarah Hodges as Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year respectively, and Alberta’s Janelle Froehler, who took home the Student-Athlete Community Service Award.
All four award recipients will now go onto represent Canada West as nominees for their respective awards at the CIS level.
University of Calgary Dinos
Gavrilova led the nation in scoring this year, potting 20 goals and adding 23 helpers to finish eight points ahead of her closest competition in teammate Sasha Vafina. The fifth-year forward from Krasnoyarsk, Russia was a CIS-best +28 on the season and led the Dinos on an inspired run into the playoffs in the second half of the season. The opposition held Gavrilova off the scoresheet just once in the Dinos’ last 18 games of the season, a run that included a 12-game point streak.
The Russian national team member, who has competed in the last three Winter Olympics, was the lone CIS women’s hockey player to crack the 20-goal plateau this season. She finishes her four-year CIS career with 69 goals and 66 assists for 135 points to set a new school career scoring record, edging Hayley Wickenheiser by a single point.
Gavrilova is the first back-to-back winner of the Canada West MVP award since Alberta’s Danielle Bourgeois in 2003 and 2004. Her selection marks the fourth time in the last six years that a Dino has captured the honour, with Wickenheiser earning it in both 2011 and 2013.
Gavrilova is now looking for her second consecutive Brodrick Trophy as CIS women’s hockey top player.
“It is such a great accomplishment to win this award two years in a row,” said Dinos head coach Danielle Goyette. “It shows what kind of player she is, that she still wants to be better year after year. Her work ethic and passion for the game show every time she steps on the ice. It has been a pleasure to coach her for the last four years.”
Rookie of the Year
University of Regina Cougars
Killarney, Man. product Jaycee Magwood is the conference Rookie of the Year, after leading Canada West first-year players in scoring with 26 points in 28 games. Magwood’s offensive production was good for fourth overall in the conference and second amongst CIS rookies behind only Ottawa’s Melodie Bouchard, who tallied 32 points.
Additionally, Magwood was the lone Canada West hockey rookie – men’s or women’s – to be named a conference all-star, making the women’s second team.
“We were very impressed with Jaycee’s rookie season, but we weren’t surprised. We knew what we were getting as a player, and her transition to the CIS level was seamless,” said Regina head coach Sarah Hodges. “I expect her to keep growing as a player - she’s a very hard worker and will be demanding of herself to improve her game. Obviously she was a big part of our success this season and she’ll definitely help build the program moving forward.”
Coach of the Year
University of Regina
In her 18th season at the helm of the Cougars, Hodges guided a turnaround season in Regina, leading the Cougars to a 12-10-5-1 (W-L-OTW-OTL) record – good for third place in the conference. That record came after a sixth place finish a year ago in the ultra-competitive Canada West.
During her time with the Cougars, Hodges has led her team to one Canada West title (2001) and a trio of national championship berths (2001-2003).
While Hodges has built Regina into a Canada West women’s hockey mainstay, 2015-16 marks her first conference Coach of the Year award.
"I am so pleased Sarah has been recognized as the Canada West Coach of the Year. She works incredibly hard in all aspects of the job and is so deserving of this recognition. Sarah devotes countless hours to putting her student-athletes in the best position to be successful,” said acting University of Regina athletic director Curtis Atkinson. “All of her hard work is shown in the success they have achieved on the ice, in the classroom, and in the community. Sarah always puts her athletes and the program first, and it is wonderful to see her recognized for her commitment to excellence."
Student-Athlete Community Service
University of Alberta
Fifth-year forward Janelle Froehler is the 2015-16 Canada West Women’s Hockey Student-Athlete Community Service Award winner.
The Physical Education and Recreation student served as Alberta’s captain this season, helping lead the Pandas to first place in the regular season standings, with a 16-9-3 record, and she also collected seven goals and 13 points in 28 games.
It was her work off ice, however, that earned her the conference recognition this year, as the native of Red Deer gave her time to the Steadward Centre for Personal and Physical Achievement, read-in week at local elementary schools, the Edmonton Girls Hockey Association, and helped organize a fundraising game to benefit student-athlete mental health.
“Janelle's strength as a hockey player lies within her relentless work ethic, determination and perseverance. These attributes have helped elevate her to among the best penalty killers in our conference and the top PK player on our team,” Pandas head coach Howie Draper said. “She’s also the most consistently highest performing student on our team. She is a tremendous role model to her teammates, maintaining an outstanding balance between school, hockey and life.”
Canada West Women’s Hockey Final schedule (best-of-three)
Friday, March 4
Manitoba at UBC / 7:00 PM PST / CW Final Game 1
Saturday, March 5
Manitoba at UBC / 7:00 PM PST / CW Final Game 2
Sunday, March 6
Manitoba at UBC / 3:00 PM PST / CW Final Game 3 (if necessary)
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