Former QMJHLers recognized at U Sports Awards
Simon Lafrance (Val-d’Or/Victoriaville) of the UQTR Patriotes has been named the winner of the Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy as the most outstanding player of the year in U SPORTS men’s hockey. The announcement was made on Wednesday night at the All-Canadian Awards Ceremony at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Prince Edward in Charlottetown, the host city of the 2023 U SPORTS Cavendish Farms University Cup.
The other former QMJHLers who were major award winners are goaltenders Samuel Richard (Rouyn-Noranda) of UNB, who won the Clare Drake Trophy as Rookie of the Year, as well as Matthew Welsh (Charlottetown) of Saint Mary’s, who won the Dr. Randy Gregg Award for Student-athlete Community Service.
The aforementioned players and additional QMJHL alumni were also voted to the circuit’s First, Second and All-Rookie all-star teams.
The 2023 U SPORTS Cavendish Farms University Cup got underway on Thursday afternoon at the Eastlink Centre, home of the Charlottetown Islanders, and play continues through to the gold medal game, which is set for 7 p.m. AT on Sunday. All eight games of the tournament can be viewed on CBC Sports digital platforms (English) and at usports.ca (French).
Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy (Most Outstanding Player) – Simon Lafrance, UQTR
Simon Lafrance led the OUA in scoring with 38 points in 23 regular-season games. The third-year right winger scored 16 goals and added 22 assists. His 10 power-play goals were second in the country, and his four game-winners are the most in U SPORTS this season. He was held off the scoresheet only twice this season. He was named U SPORTS men’s hockey player of the week once this season, on Feb. 1, after a seven-point weekend that allowed UQTR to clinch the OUA East pennant.
The St-Eustache product also played for Team Canada at the 2023 FISU Winter World University Games in Lake Placid, N.Y., where he tied for the team lead in assists with eight and finished with 10 points overall in seven games as Canada swept its way to a gold medal for the first time since 2013.
In the OUA playoffs, the former Val d’Or Foreur and Victoriaville Tigre scored four points in six games as the Patriotes won their second straight Queen’s Cup.
Other nominees: Liam Hawel (STFX), Riley Sawchuk (Mount Royal)
Clare Drake Trophy (Rookie of the Year) – Samuel Richard, UNB
Samuel Richard started 22 games for the UNB REDS this season, posting a 1.59 goals-against average, the lowest in U SPORTS, as he recorded a nation-leading 18 wins. His 0.933 save percentage was third in the country, and his 1319 minutes played was fourth in U SPORTS.
The Ste-Catherine, Qué., product was named U SPORTS men’s hockey player of the week on Nov. 16, 2022, after stopping 42 of 43 shots in a pair of wins over Acadia. The former Rouyn-Noranda Husky was named a Second Team All-Canadian, the only rookie to earn All-Canadian honours this year.
In the playoffs, he played every minute for UNB, posting a 2.51 GAA and a 0.885 save percentage as he led the REDS to the AUS title.
Other nominees: Jonathan Lemieux (Concordia), Jakin Smallwood (Alberta)
Dr. Randy Gregg Award (Student-Athlete Community Service) – Matthew Welsh, Saint Mary’s
Matthew Welsh of the Saint Mary’s Huskies started in 14 games this season and finished with a .904 save percentage. He was also selected to represent his country at the 2023 FISU Winter World University Games held in Lake Placid, NY, in January, where he brought home a gold medal as a member of Team Canada.
A commerce student from Halifax, N.S., aiming to pursue an MBA, Welsh, 24, has been named to the Dean’s list and is a two-time Academic All-Canadian.
Welsh is a player-ambassador for Hockey Gives Blood, an organization promoting blood, plasma and stem cell donation in partnership with Canadian Blood Services. As part of this volunteer role, Welsh has organized blood drives and promoted the organization on social media platforms.
Welsh, who spent five years with the Charlottetown Islanders, was given the Dayna Brons Honorary Award in 2020 for an individual in the hockey community who exhibits outstanding dedication towards patients who rely on blood and stem cell products in Canada.
He also won the 2021-22 Saint Mary’s University Male President’s Trophy for Academic and Athletic Achievement.
Welsh is the third Saint Mary’s player, following David Chant (2006) and Steven Gallace (2001), to win the award.
Other nominees: Duncan Campbell (Queen’s), Connor Blake (Mount Royal)
First team All-Canadians
|G||Nathan Torchia||Windsor||2||Baden, Ont.||Sociology|
|D||Connor Hobbs||Saskatchewan||4||Saskatoon, Sask.||Education|
|D||Justin Bergeron||UQTR||2||Magog, Que.||Business|
|F||Simon Lafrance||UQTR||3||St. Eustache, Que.||Physical & Health Education|
|F||Liam Hawel||STFX||2||Arnprior, Ont.||Business|
|F||Riley Sawchuk||Mount Royal||2||Prince Albert, Sask.||Business|
Second team All-Canadians
|G||Samuel Richard||UNB||1||Ste-Catherine, Que.||Arts|
|D||Matt Brassard||UPEI||3||Barrie, Ont.||Business|
|D||Noah King||Calgary||2||Winnipeg, Man.||Arts|
|F||Troy Lajeunesse||UPEI||4||Sturgeon Falls, Ont.||Arts|
|F||Jacob Roach||Brock||2||Brooklin, Ont.||Sport Management|
|F||Riley Stotts||Calgary||2||Winnipeg, Man.||Arts|
|G||Samuel Richard||UNB||Ste-Catherine, Que.||Arts|
|D||Eric Van Impe||Western||Calgary, Alta.||King’s College|
|D||Jake Lee||UBC||Sherwood Park, Alta.||Arts|
|F||Simon Pinard||UNB||Drummondville, Que.||Arts|
|F||William Rouleau||McGill||St-Basile-le-Grand, Que.||Finance|
|F||Jakin Smallwood||Alberta||Leduc, Alta.||Native Studies|
Source : U SPORTS