NEW WESTMINSTER, BC – Calgary Dinos third-year forward Iya Gavrilova is the 2014-15 Canada West women's hockey Most Valuable Player, the conference announced today.
The Krasnoyarsk, Russia native finished the regular season at or near the top of the conference leaders in goals (first with 21), assists (second with 23), game-winning goals (first with six) and plus-rating (first with +26). Gavrilova led the Dinos to a fourth-place finish and quarterfinal playoff series matchup against the defending champion Saskatchewan Huskies, opening tonight at 7:00 pm MST (CanadaWest.TV).
Manitoba Bisons forward Alanna Sharman was named Rookie of the Year. Sharman led the league in points (40) and was named to the conference First Team All-Stars, both firsts for a rookie since Calgary's Hayley Wickenheiser (2010-11).
Bisons coach Jon Rempel, back in Manitoba after guiding Team Canada to a silver medal finish at the 27th Winter Universiade in Granada, Spain, was named Coach of the Year. Regina Cougars fifth-year defenceman Triston Riemer was selected as the winner of the Student-Athlete Community Service Award.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER. In her third season as a part of the University of Calgary Dinos women's ice hockey team, forward Iya Gavrilova has made a remarkable impact on the season and the team. The captain led the league and conference for majority of the season in points, recording an outstanding 37 points in only 23 games played, finishing second overall, only three points out of first place despite having played five less games. Gavrilova led all players in the CIS with 21 goals as well as a plus-35 rating. The Russian forward also potted six game-winning goals to help the Dinos this season.
This is the third time the Canada West Player of the Year award has gone to the University of Calgary. Gavrilova is the second Dino in history to achieve this award following Hayley Wickenheiser's previous two wins for the 2010-2011 and 2012-2013 seasons. Gavrilova was also named to the First Team All-Star team for her work this season. The captain returned to the Dinos after helping lead Russia to their first-ever gold medal at the 2015 Universiade games in Granada, Spain. Gavrilova not only captains the Dinos, she also donned the 'C' for Russia at the games, a dominant force for Russia with five goals and seven assists for a total of 12 points in only four games played.
"Iya's return to the Dinos after competing with Team Russia in the Olympics in 2014 was a key factor in the success of our team this season," said Dinos head coach Danielle Goyette. It's easy to notice all the work she has done during the off season, it paid off and it showed on ice this season. She's a player that has great work ethic, always trying to find a way to improve on and off the ice. As captain, her leadership skills are an integral part to the Dinos women's hockey program."
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR & ALL-ROOKIE TEAM. The 2014-15 Canada West women's hockey season was a stunning success for Manitoba Bisons rookie forward Alanna Sharman. Sharman, 19, became the first rookie to win the Canada West conference scoring title since 2011.
Sharman finished first in conference scoring with 40 points (17 goals and 23 assist) while playing in all 28 conference regular season games. In addition, she was first in Canada West with 23 assists, second in conference goals scored with 17, tied for second with seven power play goals in Canada West, tied for second in game-winning conference goals with five, second in Canada West with two overtime goals, tied for sixth in plus/minus rating with a +19 and was 15 points ahead of the nearest rookie in conference scoring.
Sharman, a Winnipeg native who came to Manitoba from playing with the Manitoba Female Midget Hockey League Winnipeg Avros and went to high school at Nelson McIntyre Collegiate, enters her first post-season at the university level with a season-best nine-game conference point streak. The 5'8" forward had 12 multi-point games and also had a season-high five points scored against Regina at home on January 17, 2015 with a hat trick and two assists.
Sharman was also named Canada West Female First Star of the Week twice (October 19, 2014 and January 18, 2015).
Bison women's hockey head coach Jon Rempel stated, "Alanna has been one of most consistent performers game in and game out this year. Her transition from AAA Midget hockey to University has been impressive to say the least. Her energy, love of the game and team-first attitude have all been instrumental in her individual success this year."
Joining Sharman on the All-Rookie Team are Bisons teammates Erica Rieder and Lauryn Keen, Mount Royal's Emma Pincott and Shawni Rodeback, and Alberta's Hannah Olenyk.
COACH OF THE YEAR. The 2014-15 Canada West women's hockey season was another successful campaign for the Manitoba Bisons as head coach Jon Rempel, in his 11th season at Manitoba, guided the squad to a 14-5-7-2 conference regular season record and a close third place finish in Canada West despite having ten rookies in the lineup and also being ranked sixth in the conference coaches' pre-season poll at the beginning of the season.
With 15 rookies or sophomores on the Bisons' 23-person roster, Manitoba surprised many as they stayed in the hunt for first place throughout the season and being ranked in the CIS Top 10 poll for the final five consecutive weeks and reached as high as number eight. Rempel molded a balanced attack for the 2014-15 season as they boasted the conference scoring leader with rookie Alanna Sharman plus second year goaltender Rachel Dyck was second in Canada West in Goals Against Average. The team also had an eight-game conference win streak to begin the second half of the season to propel them into hosting a playoff round for the second consecutive season.
Bison Sports Athletic Director Coleen Dufresne commented, "This is a well-deserved honour for Jon as he has been tirelessly committed and dedicated to the Bison women's hockey program over the last 11 seasons. He has a great understanding of the game and he his has grown the program tremendously under his leadership as the Bison women's hockey head coach. I am very pleased that his continued coaching excellence has been duly recognized and rewarded."
Over his tenure, Rempel has been named Canada West Coach of the Year three times (2004-2005), (2006-2007) and (2014-15) and has led the Bisons to seven Canada West Finals, and five trips to the National Championships as the head coach at Manitoba. In those five trips to the Nationals, the Bisons have won bronze three times and finished fourth once and fifth once.
Rempel guided Team Canada to a silver medal performance at the 2015 Winter Universiade (World University Games) in Granada, Spain in February 2015.
STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD. Regina Cougars fifth-year defenceman Triston Riemer is the 2014-15 Canada West women's hockey Student-Athlete Community Service Award recipient after excelling both on and off the ice this year.
The White Fox, Saskatchewan native registered one goal and 11 assists this year, while being named as an Academic All-Canadian for the fifth time in five years.
The Kinesiology and Health Studies major played three seasons with the Prince Albert A&W Bears of the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League before her University career that has seen her play in 132 Canada West games.
Riemer is involved with the Cougars Mentorship program, which pairs her with a local minor hockey team to attend practices and games with them. A volunteer instructor with the Cougar Cubs program instructing children ages 3 to 7, Riemer also helps organize the White Fox Rec Hockey Tournament community fundraiser - setting up the tournament draw, refereeing games and scheduling volunteer workers.
"Triston has been a great leader on and off the ice, she leads by example and that's the kind of athlete we want here," said Cougars head coach Sarah Hodges. "In Triston's five years, she has been committed to everything. Whether it be school, hockey or giving back in the community she has done it all with a lot of effort."
FIRST & SECOND ALL-STAR TEAMS. Joining Gavrilova and Sharman on the First Team All-Stars are UBC's Sarah Casorso, Saskatchewan's Julia Flinton, and Alberta's Lindsey Post and Jessica Kampjes.
2013-14 Canada West MVP and UBC Thunderbirds forward Tatiana Rafter headlines the Second Team All-Stars, alongside fellow T-Bird Nicole Saxvik and Alberta's Tess Houston in the forward positions. Bisons goalie Rachel Dyck, defenceman Michelle Pawluk and Dinos defenceman Stephanie Zvonkovic complete the selections.
Complete list of 2014-15 Canada West Women's Hockey Awards winners:
Most Valuable Player: Iya Gavrilova, Calgary
Rookie of the Year: Alanna Sharman, Manitoba
Coach of the Year: Jon Rempel, Manitoba
Student-Athlete Community Service Award: Triston Riemer, Regina
2014-15 Canada West First Team All-Stars (repeat-winners in bold):
Lindsey Post, Alberta
Sarah Casorso, UBC
Julia Flinton, Saskatchewan
Iya Gavrilova, Calgary
Jessica Kampjes, Alberta
Alanna Sharman, Manitoba
2014-15 Canada West Second Team All-Stars (repeat-winners in bold):
Rachel Dyck, Manitoba
Michelle Pawluk, Manitoba
Stephanie Zvonkovic, Calgary
Tatiana Rafter, UBC
Nicole Saxvik, UBC
Tess Houston, Alberta
2014-15 Canada West All-Rookie Team:
Emma Pincott, Mount Royal
Erica Rieder, Manitoba
Shawni Rodeback, Mount Royal
Alanna Sharman, Manitoba
Lauryn Keen, Manitoba
Hannah Olenyk, Alberta
Image Credit: Calgary Dinos/Manitoba Bisons/Regina Cougars