This past weekend the Thunder Bay Minor Hockey Association announced their full complement of league-wide awards for the 2019-2020 season.
Unfortunately, with the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations have been unable to have their year-end windups, but an online presentation of the awards was hosted on Sunday evening.
Dave Gibbs was recognized as the 40th annual recipient of the Louis Matarazzo Memorial Humanitarian Award. Gibbs has been a long-time member of the Thunder Bay Beavers, has been active at both their team and executive level and has committed a significant amount of time, effort and energy to the sport of hockey.
Wayne Fortes, a veteran coach with the bantam AA Westfort Maroons, was presented with the Tom Friday Good Guy Award. Friday was a volunteer and treasurer of the association. After Friday passed away in 2007, TBMHA started presenting an annual award to a deserving coach who promotes fair play, is a good role model and has a genuine commitment to the sport.
Kade Armstrong of the Westfort Rangers midget A team was named the Danny Cox Memorial Sportsmanship Award recipient. The Award is presented annually to a midget aged player who exemplifies sportsmanship towards the game of hockey.
The final association-wide award was presented to Andrew Makela of the Knights of Columbus (KC) Sabres bantam A team. Makela was tagged as the Massaro “Don’t Quit” Award winner which is presented annually to a bantam player who displays desire, dedication and determination to play the game of hockey.
The remaining league awards are voted on by the coaches of each division with coaches not being able to vote for their own players. Individuals in seven categories across all four of the divisions receive awards.
In the bantam A loop, Cooper Cocks of the Nipigon Elks was named the most valuable player.
A pair of members of the Westfort Maroons were award winners, as Devon Roy earned the best goalie recognition while teammate Parker Pennell received the most improved acknowledgment.
The Norwest Stars’ Alex Isherwood was named the top defenceman while the best defensive forward award went to Angelo Marino of the KC Sabres.
Cooper Yesno of the Thunder Bay Elks was recognized as the most sportsmanlike player in the division while the rookie of the year went to the Thunder Bay Beavers’ Maccus Kuokkanen.
The most valuable player of the division was presented to Jonathon Beaucage of the Westfort Maroons.
A fellow member of the Maroons, Nolan Desando, earned the best defensive forward trophy.
A trio of South End Rangers received accolades for their season, as defenceman Adam Kukko and goaltender Kolton Bourret were named best at their positions, while Luke Roberge was announced as the most improved player.
Emery McKay of the Thunder Bay Beavers picked up the most sportsmanlike award while the Norwest Stars’ Matthew Lysak was named rookie of the year.
In the midget A circuit, the Westfort Maroons and Westfort Rangers each received three awards.
The Maroons’ Carter Hargreaves was named the most valuable player while Noah Ducharme and Ensign Otway were tagged as the best defenceman and best goaltender respectively.
Owen Keene of the Westfort Rangers was presented the best defensive forward recognition while teammate Morgan Fish was the most improved player.
Fellow Rangers’ member Lucas Romeo earned the rookie of the year trophy.
The most sportsmanlike player went to Matthew Caccamo of the KC Sabres.
Mason Hachey of the Fort William Hurricanes picked up the most valuable player award for the division.
The Fort William Canadiens’ Collin Wiseman was named the best defenceman while the Hurricanes’ netminder Stephan Bourgeois grabbed the best goaltender award.
The best defensive forward recognition went to Tyler Lewis of the Current River Comets while the West End Bruins’ Adam Belluz was recognized as the most improved player.
Jordan Van Elburg of the Volunteer Pool Bearcats earned the most sportsmanlike player for the division.
The Fort William Canadiens’ Manerplaw Winning was awarded the rookie of the year trophy for the midget AA loop.
Lincoln Galbraith is a volunteer with the Thunder Bay Minor Hockey Association.