Minor Hockey: TBMHA hands out hardware

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By Lincoln Galbraith
The Thunder Bay Minor Hockey Association’s bantam A and B and midget A award announcements were finalized this week, with the most valuable player, best defenseman, best goaltender, best defensive forward, most improved player, most sportsmanlike player and rookie of the year trophies being presented for each division.
The coaches of the bantam B division recognized three players of the regular season and playoff champion Volunteer Pool Bearcats. The division’s most valuable player was presented to Donald Cook while Cameron Waddington was named the best defenseman. The Bearcats’ Tyler Hill was acknowledged as the best defensive forward within Bantam B.
The second place and playoff runner-up Westfort Rangers had the division’s best goals against statistics and Anjelina Badanai was selected as the top goaltender.
Walker Vanderwey of the South End Junior Stars was tagged the most improved player in the Bantam B division while the Thunder Bay Elks’ Alex Wood was voted as the most sportsmanlike player. The rookie of the year for the division was Bailey Thompson of the Nipigon Elks squad.
The bantam A division’s seven awards were spread out over six teams. The lone team to win two awards was the Westfort Rangers. The Rangers’ Cole Jacobson was chosen as the top goaltender while teammate Hunter Beda was dubbed the best defensive forward for the division.
The regular season and playoff champion North End Flames’ Dylan McRury won the most valuable player award. Jayme Koski of the Norwest Stars was recognized as the best defenseman.
The Current River Comets’ Nicholas Zappitelli seized the most improved award while Carter Adams of the Fort William Hurricanes was the division’s most sportsmanlike player. The rookie of the year for the division was Jordan Lem of the Neebing Hawks.
In the midget A division, the regular season champion Westfort Rangers were awarded with two of the division’s honours. The Rangers’ Chad Kennedy was tagged the top player in the division while goaltender Daniel Racco snagged the best goaltender.
The Thunder Bay Elks were well represented on the awards list, taking three acknowledgments. Goaltender Devon Durack grabbed the most improved player while Michael Tyska picked up the most sportsmanlike award. The top rookie was also awarded to the Elks’ Christian Ward.
Jody Lawson of the Thunder Bay Beavers was presented with the best defenseman award. Steve Delorenzi of the Westfort Maroons earned the best defensive forward selection.
The Massaro Don’t Quit award, which is presented annually to a bantam B player who displays the most desire, dedication and determination to play the game of hockey was presented to Bryce Foster of the Westfort Rangers. Foster was honoured with this award for his positive attitude on and off the ice despite facing obstacles that would prevent most from playing the sport. Foster was described as an inspiration and a great teammate and perfectly fit the intent of the award.
The Danny Cox Memorial Sportsmanship Award was presented to David Evans of the Thunder Bay Elks midget A team. The award is presented annually to a midget aged player that shows and exemplifies sportsmanship towards the game of hockey. Evans, his team’s captain this past season, was noted for his leadership and intensity but also for showing respect to his opponents and the game of hockey.
Over the past month, players have been recognized for their efforts and successes during TBMHA’s 700-plus games. Acknowledgement is also warranted to the numerous on-ice and off-ice officials, coaches and volunteers who make a significant contribution to the sport of hockey and provide an opportunity to more than 600 players to play the game of hockey.
As the organizations under the TBMHA umbrella have completed their annual banquets, the organizations will begin looking toward to the upcoming 2014-2015 season as registration begins in August and the puck drop on the season is expected early in October.

Lincoln Galbraith is a volunteer with the Thunder Bay Minor Hockey Association.