Photo by Sports Information

Crouse named U SPORTS Rookie of the Year

By U SPORTS

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI – Alberta forward Alex Poznikoff was honoured with the Brodrick Trophy as U SPORTS women’s hockey Player of the Year Wednesday night, as the national award winners were celebrated at the annual All-Canadian gala. 

Past Award Winners

Ryerson forward Erika Crouse captured Rookie of the Year honours while York forward Jenna Gray earned the Marion Hilliard Award for Student-Athlete Community Service for her outstanding contribution both on and off the ice. Finally, Alberta bench boss Howie Draper was named Fox 40 Coach of the Year.  

BRODRICK TROPHY (Player of the Year): Alex Poznikoff, Alberta
Alex Poznikoff is the U SPORTS Player of the Year, after helping lead the Alberta Pandas to a first-place finish in the regular season.

Poznikoff is the first Panda since Tarin Podloski in 2009 to win the Brodrick Trophy.  

Poznikoff registered 37 points this season for Alberta, narrowly edging out Moncton’s Katryne Villeneuve and teammate Autumn MacDougall for the national scoring title, as the pair were two-thirds of the nation's most prolific scoring line along with Kennedy Ganser.

Poznikoff also ranked fourth in goals (15) and second in assists (22) to capture First Team All-Canadian honours.

"Alex is the linchpin of the Pandas hockey team right now, and has been integral to the success that we've experienced as a team this season,” said Alberta head coach Howie Draper. “She contributes to all aspects of our program, as a strong student-athlete and person that we can all model ourselves after. She pushes herself to greater heights every day in everything that she does, and challenges her teammates and coaches to do the same."

Nominees
OUA: April Clark, Western
RSEQ: Jessica Cormier, Montreal
AUS: Katryne Villeneuve

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Erika Crouse, Ryerson
Erika Crouse made an immediate impact on the offence-happy squad, fitting right in with the nation’s fifth-highest scoring team. The first-year forward sat just one goal and one point off the team leads, respectively, capping her campaign with an 11-goal, 22-point bottom line. The Kirkland Lake, Ont., native made her biggest impact down the stretch, stepping up in Ryerson’s final few games – a span that included five assists against Toronto in a 6-5 win, which she then followed up with back-to-back two-goal games for the Toronto-based squad. Overall, her marks in both goals and points also placed her in the OUA’s top 10 this season.

"I am thrilled to see Erika win the U SPORTS Rookie of the Year award. From day one at Ryerson, it was easy to see she is a very intelligent and driven person,” said Ryerson head coach Lisa Haley. “She has demonstrated some great hockey talent this season, getting better with every game she played. And what I really appreciate about Erika is the respect and fearlessness she brings; whether it is blocking shots on the penalty kill or going up against the toughest defencemen in our league, she's committed to the task 100 per cent. I can't say enough how excited I am to watch her shatter all of the records at Ryerson and establish herself as a generational player in our league.”

Nominees
CW: Breanne Trotter, Mount Royal
RSEQ: Rosalie Bégin-Cyr, Concordia
AUS: Kendra Woodland, UNB

MARION HILLIARD AWARD (Student-Athlete Community Service): Jenna Gray, York
The Marion Hilliard Award winner, Jenna Gray (London, Ont.) did it all for the Lions this year, capping off her five-year university career with her best season to date. The OUA Second Team All-Star doubled her previous career-high in points with 14 (3G, 11A), which put her second on the Lions this year. Her on-ice success was highlighted by a pair of three-point games on the year, but the fifth-year defender has even more to be proud of in her final campaign.

Gray has served as a PAWS mentor and is also very involved in York’s work with HEROS Hockey, a foundation that uses ice hockey to empower at-risk youth. She has also been a leader within the York Athletics community and has spearheaded a number of community and charitable initiatives throughout her tenure with the Lions. Inside the classroom, meanwhile, Gray is an Academic All-Canadian and is graduating this year with a degree in criminology. The veteran has played a leading role in all that she has done since joining the Lions in 2014. The team captain for the last two seasons finishes her on-ice career with nine goals and 30 assists, but her tenure has been made up of so much more to impact the classroom and the community.

“Jenna has been a transformational leader during her time as a Lion,” said York head coach Dan Church. “She came in as a skilled defender who played a hard-nosed game. Over her five years she brought that every game and played in every single OUA game over five years. Off the ice, she has the heart of a lion. She leads by example in the community and the classroom. She takes care of her teammates and makes sure they all have what they need to be successful. She embodies everything that you want from a hockey player and leader - character, skill, grit, and integrity.”

Nominees
CW: Anna Purschke, Mount Royal
RSEQ: Emilia Cotter, McGill
AUS: Kiana Wilkinson, Saint Mary’s

FOX 40 COACH OF THE YEAR: Howie Draper, Alberta
More than two decades into his coaching career and Howie Draper continues to thrive with the Alberta Pandas.

The longtime coach of the Pandas is the Fox 40 Coach of the Year for a fourth time in his career, after guiding Alberta to a 23-win season and first in the Canada West standings. Draper was previously named the nation’s top coach in 2002, 2004, and 2009.

The award is the latest honour for Draper, who's enjoyed a banner season. The former Golden Bear defenceman guided Team Canada to a gold medal performance at the IIHF Women's U18 Championship earlier this year, when Canada downed the United States 3-2 in overtime to claim gold.

"What Howie has done with the Ian Reade Pandas hockey program is truly remarkable,” said University of Alberta Athletic Director. “The conference has improved tremendously over the past 20 years, and the fact Howie is still winning coaching awards shows the kind of impact he has had on this team. His lasting legacy with the Pandas will be off the ice, as he has helped countless young women become leaders and role models in the community." 

Nominees
OUA: Rachel Flanagan, Guelph
RSEQ: Isabelle Leclaire, Montreal
AUS: Peter Murphy, McGill

2019 U SPORTS WOMEN’S HOCKEY ALL-CANADIANS

First-Team
Lindsey Donovan - StFX - D - 3rd - Miramichi, N.B.
Erica Rieder - Manitoba - D - 5th - Regina, Sask.
Alex Poznikoff - Alberta - F - 4th - Edmonton, Alta.
April Clark - Western - F - 4th - St. Mary's, Ont.
Jessica Cormier - Montreal - F - 5th - Cap-Aux-Meiles, Que.
Tory Micklash - UBC - G - 3rd - East St. Paul, Man.

Second-Team
Cristine Chao - Toronto - D - 4th - Toronto, Ont.
Claudia Fortin - Concordia - D - 4th - Quebec City, Que.
Katryne Villeneuve - Moncton - F - 5th - Casselman, Ont.
Autumn MacDougall - Alberta - F - 4th - Cole Harbour, N.S.
Jade Downie-Landry - McGill - F - 3rd - St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Que.
Tricia Deguire - McGill - G - 3rd - Sherbrooke, Que.

All-Rookie Team
Rylind MacKinnon - UBC - D - 1st - Cranbrook, B.C.
Jenna MacLean - UNB - D - 1st - Wilcox, Sask.
Erika Crouse - Ryerson - F - 1st - Kirkland Lake, Ont.
Tyra Meropoulis - StFX - F - 1st - Edson, Alt.a
Breanne Trotter - Mount Royal - F - 1st - Okotoks, Alta.
Kendra Woodland - UNB - G - 1st - Kamloops, B.C.

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