Pembroke Lumber Kings end season with awards banquet 0
TINA PEPLINSKIE email@example.com Pembroke's Brandon Gagne and Petawawa's Nathan Siydock each took home two awards from Wednesday night's Pembroke Lumber Kings' year-end awards banquet. Gagne won the Jack Minns memorial hometown hero award and first Ben Reinhardt sportsmanship and ability award while Siydock won the Jim Farelli memorial trophy coach's unsung hero award and the Gale Linton memorial trophy.
Pembroke Lumber King players, staff, billets and volunteers came together Wednesday night to honour the 2011-12 edition of the team before everyone goes their separate ways.
While Kings' coach and general manager Sheldon Keefe said he would have much rather have been getting ready to open up the Central Canada Hockey League championship series against the Cornwall Colts, he was happy to get together one last time to celebrate a lot the team has to be proud of.
He feels the team left something on the table this season, so he is motivated to come back next year with a vengeance and return to championship hockey. He added the returning players have indicated their intention to build on this year as they look ahead to next season.
The informal gathering was held in Bogie's Bar at the Pembroke Memorial Centre.
Keefe thanked all of the billets who open their homes and welcome the players into their families and also the volunteers who work behind the scenes to ensure things run smoothly on game days.
"Your efforts helped us have another successful season," he said. "Hockey at this level does not happen without support at various levels, so for that we thank you."
As has become the tradition of the Kings' year-end banquet, Keefe called upon all of the graduating players to come up and receive their jerseys. This year the team bids farewell to at least eight 20-years-olds, but the coach was happy to report all graduating players will continue playing hockey next season either in Canada or the United States. Departing Lumber Kings who have decided where they will play next year are Nathan Siydock who will attend Montreal's Concordia University, Brandon Gagne will attend the State University of New York at Oswego, Tom Hilbrich will join Lumber Kings' alumni Matthew Peca at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, Justin Stevens will attend Erie Pennsylvania's Mercyhurst College and Jonathan Milley will be a member of Penn State's inaugural men's ice hockey team.
Goalie Francis Dupuis, forward Geoff Gallagher and defenceman Will Seeber are still weighing their options and considering offers.
During the ceremony a number of awards were handed out. Dupuis won the Terry Olsheski MVP award and the Sheldon Keefe MVP award for the most valuable player of the regular season and playoffs, the Ann Cochrane award as the top defensive player and Herb and Gerry Edwards Memorial trophy which is presented to a player who displays the Edwards' qualities of dedication and commitment to the team.
Petawawa native Siydock and Pembroke native Gagne were also multiple award winners. Siydock took home the Jim Farelli memorial trophy as the coach's unsung hero and the Gale Linton memorial trophy for ability and gentlemanly conduct while Gagne won the Jack Minns memorial hometown hero award, which is presented to the Ottawa Valley player who makes the most significant contribution, and the Ben Reinhardt sportsmanship and ability award.
Patrice Wren of Beachburg won the James Monsour memorial award as the most outstanding rookie and the Terry O'Neill leading scorer award went to Swann Boisvert who scored 23 goals and added 34 assists for 57 points in 61 games.
Lisa Brazeau was named the Kings' volunteer of the year.
Tina Peplinskie is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist