The Yk Minor Hockey Association is one of the biggest sports organizations in the North. Imagine having to give out awards to the best among so many people.They managed to do it, though, earlier this month at the association’s annual awards banquet. Several of the association’s players, coaches and volunteers were honoured for their work over the past season, such as Dakota Earle, who was named the Elaine Whitford Memorial Trophy recipient. The award is given to the most valuable female player who is not only an outstanding player but who also promotes the sport in the city through various avenues.

Dakota Earle, left, and Regan Bulger were two
of the many award winners at the Yk Minor Hockey Association’s awards banquet earlier this month. Earle won the Elaine Whitford Memorial Trophy while Bulger was named the winner of the Shawn Cadieux Memorial Award. NNSL file photo

The Ruby Young Memorial Trophy went to the most valuable male player and this year’s winner was Logan Debogorski.

One of the special awards of the evening is the Joe Walsh Award, which recognizes someone who has shown a long-time commitment to hockey in the city and this year’s winner was Alan

Denroche, who has been a coach for many years, most of them with the Expedite North Explorers of the atom division.

Denroche said he’s been around for so long, even after his son, Nathan, aged out of minor hockey because he loves to do it.

“I’m in it for fun,” he said. “I’m a firm believer that if you aren’t having fun doing something, you shouldn’t be doing it. I’ve always enjoyed doing
it and it’s a bit more relaxed now that I don’t have a kid playing so there’s no bias.”

Denroche said he’s an example of the old saying that those who can, play and those who can’t, coach.

“I only played minor hockey for one year and I realized that I couldn’t skate very well,” he said with a laugh. “I watched my son play and I was of the mindset that if you don’t like what you see, don’t complain and get involved so I did.”

The one thing Denroche said he likes the most about coaching at the atom level is the ability to have an impact on the development of a young player as he’s growing into the sport.

“It’s all about basic instruction,” he said. “I always tell my players that I can’t skate for you or shoot the puck for you. It’s all about giving them the confidence and I like the atom age group because it’s fun to work with.”

Kacee MacLean was named the Volunteer of the Year. You might remember her for being the driving force behind the charity game in April for the Humboldt Broncos.

The Wade Hamer Scholarship Award recipient was Logan Shupe as he was judged to be the player who best exemplified Hamer’s qualities of excellence, sportsmanship, congeniality and potential.

Shupe received a miniature trophy and a $500 scholarship.

One of the more fitting awards of the evening came when Regan Bulger was awarded the Shawn Cadieux Memorial Award, which is given to a player who has demonstrated determination and perseverance under challenging circumstances. Bulger’s father, Carl Bulger, died earlier this year but she was able to continue on.

FACT FILE: Award winners

Atom Awards

  • Forward of the Year: Malachi Ramsay
  • Defenseman of the Year: Hendrix Balmer
  • Goaltender of the Year: Kai Walden
  • Most Valuable Player of the Year: Michael Rogers
  • Peter Langois Award: Brett MacKinnon
  • Wade Hamer Award: Grayson Mueller

Junior Development Awards

  • Forward of the Year: Ben Carr
  • Defenseman of the Year: Matthew Mackay
  • Paul Davis Junior Goaltender of the Year: Jamie Cluff
  • Most Valuable Player of the Year: Alex Cordero

Senior Development Awards

  • Forward of the Year: Carter McLeod
  • Defenseman of the Year: Thomas Matesic
  • Paul Davis Senior Goaltender of the Year: Jean-Luc Amirault
  • Most Valuable Player of the Year: Tyler Caines

PeeWee Awards

  • Forward of the Year: Dylan Cummings
  • Defenseman of the Year: Brooklyn Helyar
  • Goaltender of the Year: Spencer Miller
  • Most Valuable Player of the Year: Gavin Pellissey
  • Jim Hall Award: Ty MacWilliams
  • Wade Hamer Award: Lennox Mutford

Bantam Awards

  • Forward of the Year: Alex Riou
  • Defenseman of the Year: Dawson Craig
  • Goaltender of the Year: Tyson Clark
  • Most Valuable Player of the Year: Evan Round
  • Clinton Talbot Award: Gavin Craig
  • Wade Hamer Award: Liam Carroll

Midget Awards

  • Forward of the Year: Ben Toner
  • Defenseman of the Year: Braeden Cordero
  • Goaltender of the Year: Liam Tereposky
  • Most Valuable Player of the Year: Matthew Szarkowicz
  • Wade Hamer Scholarship Award: Logan Shupe

Junior Female Awards

  • Forward of the Year: Sam Noyce
  • Defenseman of the Year: Chloe Brown
  • Goaltender of the Year: Ellie Loutitt
  • Most Valuable Player of the Year: Brooklyn Helyar

Senior Female Awards

  • Forward of the Year: Emma Wicks
  • Defenseman of the Year: Regan Bulger
  • Goaltender of the Year: Jamie Cluff
  • Most Valuable Player of the Year: Sarah Fleming

Other Awards

  • Elaine Whitford Memorial Trophy: Dakota Earle
  • Shawn Cadieux Memorial Trophy: Regan Bulger
  • Ruby Young Memorial Trophy: Logan Debogorski
  • Coach of the Year: Rob Carey
  • On-ice Official of the Year Junior: Nathan Hamm
  • On-ice Official of the Year Senior: Rob Hart
  • Joe Walsh Award: Alan Denroche
  • Volunteer of the Year: Kacee MacLean

James McCarthy

I've been hanging around the office as the sports editor for the better part of the last 16 years. In August 2022, NNSL Media decided to promote me to the managing editor's position, which I accepted after...

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