CW hockey awards: Keen makes Manitoba history as Outstanding Player

CW hockey awards: Keen makes Manitoba history as Outstanding Player

Canada West Communications


  • Manitoba Bisons forward Lauryn Keen’s breakout season earned her the 2016-17 Canada West Women’s Hockey Outstanding Player Award Thursday
  • Bisons head coach Jon Rempel is the conference’s top coach for a fourth time in his 13-year career
  • Alberta’s Kennedy Ganser is the Canada West Rookie of the Year, while Mount Royal’s Sarah Weninger is the Student-Athlete Community Service honouree
  • The Canada West Women’s Hockey Final opens Friday in Vancouver, when the UBC Thunderbirds host the Alberta Pandas in the best-of-three series 

EDMONTON – For the first time in program history, the Manitoba Bisons can claim the conference’s top player as their own. 

Bisons forward Lauryn Keen was named the Canada West Women’s Hockey Outstanding Player of the Year Thursday, becoming the first Manitoba player in the two-decade history of Canada West women’s hockey to earn the title. 

Keen registered a Canada West-leading 34 points this season, which was good for fifth nationally and was seven points clear of UBC’s Casandra Vilgrain for the conference lead. 

Along with Keen, Manitoba head coach Jon Rempel was also honoured by the conference as this year’s best, being named 2016-17 Coach of the Year. 

Rounding out the award winners are Mount Royal’s Sarah Weninger as the Student-Athlete Community Service Award winner, and Alberta’s Kennedy Ganser as Rookie of the Year.

Ganser and the Pandas take to the ice this weekend in Vancouver, where they’ll meet in the defending conference champion UBC Thunderbirds in the best-of-three Canada West Women’s Hockey Final. Games are slated for 7 p.m. PT Friday and Saturday, with Game 3 (if necessary) on Sunday set for 3 p.m. PT. 

All Canada West Women’s Hockey Final games can be seen live on


2016-17 CW Women’s Hockey Award Winners

Outstanding Player of the Year

Lauryn Keen




Manitou, Man.

CW First Team All-Star Lauryn Keen is the 2016-17 Canada West Women’s Hockey Outstanding Player of the Year after leading the conference in scoring with 34 points. The third-year player more than tripled her point total from a year ago, bursting onto the scene as one of Canada West’s top play makers.

Keen’s 34 points was tied for fifth nationally – seven points more than Canada West’s second leading scorer in UBC’s Cassandra Vilgrain. The Manitou, Man. native is the first Manitoba player to claim the conference’s top award. 

The Agricultural and Food Sciences student now moves forward as the Canada West nominee for the U SPORTS Brodrick Trophy as the nation’s top player. 

“Lauryn had a fantastic year and was perhaps our most consistent performer game in and game out the entire season. She has incredible hockey intellect, an amazing ability around the net and is very creative and supportive of her teammates and line mates. Being named the Outstanding Player is a huge accomplishment in a conference that boasts a lot of really talented, hard-working players. Our team and program are very happy for Lauryn as she rightly deserves this award." – Manitoba head coach Jon Rempel


Rookie of the Year 

Kennedy Ganser




Provost, Alta. 

Kennedy Ganser, a forward for the University of Alberta Pandas hockey team, is the 2016-17 Canada West Women’s Hockey Rookie of the Year. She becomes the first Alberta Panda to earn the honour since Jessica Kampjes won the award in 2012-13. 

The first-year Panda led all Canada West rookies with 17 points this season, suiting up in all 28 games. Ganser’s 17 points were two more than UBC Thunderbird Mairead Bast, while her seven goals were tied with Manitoba Bison Sheridan Oswald for tops among rookies. 

The Provost, Alta. product also showed her potential as a strong two-way forward, adding 84 shots and a +13 rating this season.

Ganser will now be the Canada West nominee for the U SPORTS Rookie of the Year.

“Kennedy has been a tremendous addition to our roster. She is the kind of player that coaches can build a program around. She has a high degree of skill and a hockey IQ to match. These abilities have made her a strong addition to all of our specialty situations. Despite her smaller stature, she competes like a giant on both sides of the puck. She is already and will continue to be a tough player to play against in the next four years of her career.” – Alberta head coach Howie Draper


Student-Athlete Community Service

Sarah Weninger

Mount Royal



Lethbridge, Alta.

Veteran forward Sarah Weninger is the Canada West Student-Athlete Community Service Award winner. Weninger finished tied for MRU’s scoring title this season, registering nine goals and four assists in 25 games.

Off the ice, Weninger is involved in several volunteer initiatives, including Hockey Alberta’s Hockey Education Reaching Out Society (HEROS) program, which uses the game of hockey to teach life-skills and empower Canada’s marginalized youth. In addition to her involvement with HEROS, Weninger also attended Hockey Alberta’s Future Leaders Camp, which helps prepare coaches to play an active role in Hockey Alberta programs and within their communities. Academically, Weninger has achieved a combined GPA of 3.66 over her last two academic semesters and is on pace to be an Academic All-Canadian this season. 

Weninger now moves forward as the conference nominee for the Marion Hilliard Award as the nation’s top student-athlete. 

“Sarah is extremely committed to try and better those around her, whether it is in the hockey community, or life in general. Her relationship with HEROS is truly remarkable. Sarah has brought other players from our team out to work with them and many are continuing to build their own relationships with these kids on a weekly basis and are having a true impact in their lives. We raised over $3,000 and created an evening for these kids that most have never experienced and it was in large part to all the work that Sarah has put in.” – MRU head coach Scott Rivett


Coach of the Year

Jon Rempel


Now 13 seasons into his tenure as the head coach of the Manitoba Bisons, Jon Rempel has emerged as one of the top women’s hockey coaches in the country. With 173 career regular season wins to his name, Rempel has built Manitoba into a perennial contender for the Canada West title and guided the Herd to a 16-7-3-2 record in 2016-17. 

The win marks Rempel’s fourth conference Coach of the Year title. He now moves forward as the Canada West nominee for the U SPORTS Coach of the Year award, where he will be looking to claim the national award for the first time in his career. 

"The selection of Jon Rempel as Canada West Women’s Hockey Coach of the Year is an honour for Bison Sports, and deserved recognition of his contribution. He is a dedicated and passionate coach and a true servant of our women’s hockey program. His impact is especially noticeable in the number of Bison athletes selected for the Canada West all-star teams.  We are proud of his achievement." – Manitoba director of athletics and recreation Gene Muller