ABRAM-VILLAGE – It has been a memorable 2017-18 Island Junior Hockey League season for Jason Gallant.
The Arsenault’s Fish Mart Western Red Wings’ veteran forward led the league in points, goals scored and was recently named the regular-season’s most valuable player. In 36 games, Gallant had 37 goals and 32 assists for 69 points.
Gallant, who is in his overage season and lives in Abram-Village, was also named a first-team all-star.
“It’s a very well-deserved award,” said Red Wings head coach Nathan DesRoches. “He’s been an excellent player in the league for a long time. He moved up and down our lineup at different points of the year, and made everybody better. That is an MVP type of player right there. He probably played with everybody in the lineup at a certain point during the year, and made them better.”
The Red Wings, who play out of the Evangeline Recreation Centre, received seven individual awards. Along with the three awards presented to Gallant, Bronson Banks was named top goaltender; Calvin McRae was selected top defenceman; DesRoches was recognized as coach of the year and JC Gallant was presented with the award for manager of the year.
Banks had an 18-7-0 (won-lost-overtime losses) record and one shutout, along with a 3.52 goals-against average and .891 save percentage, during the regular season.
McRae averaged just under a point a game, recording 33 in 34 games. He had four goals and 29 assists.
Under the leadership of DesRoches and Gallant, the Red Wings were the runaway winners of the regular-season championship. Western, which compiled a 15-game winning streak from Nov. 12 to Jan. 28, finished with a 25-9-2 record, 13 points in front of the second-place Sherwood-Parkdale Metros (19-16-1).
Vipers’ Murray MIP
Garrett Murray of the Kensington Moase Plumbing and Heating Vipers was selected as the most improved player. Murray recorded 32 points – 12 goals and 20 assists – in 35 games.
The Metros’ Tanner Lund was presented with the award for the most assists (36) while teammate Cale Pierce was named most sportsmanlike player. Pierce was assessed just 12 penalty minutes in 36 contests.
Jordan Birt of the Metros was named the best defensive forward. Birt compiled 37 points – 15 goals and 22 assists – in 36 games.
Blake Jamieson, who led the Souris-based Maniacs in scoring with 44 points in 33 games, was announced as the league’s rookie of the year. Jamieson had 25 goals and 19 assists.
Spencer Compton of the Maniacs was acknowledged as the league’s most underrated player. Compton had five goals and 19 assists for 24 points in 31 games.