Cowichan Valley Capitals 2016-17 award winners. Back row from left: Rhett Kingston, Max Newton, Chris Harpur, Lane Michasiw, Ayden MacDonald, Ben Verrall, Ty Pochipinski. Front row from left: John Sladic, Simon Chen, George Sennott. (Klaus Maier/KJ Graphico)

Cowichan Valley Capitals 2016-17 award winners. Back row from left: Rhett Kingston, Max Newton, Chris Harpur, Lane Michasiw, Ayden MacDonald, Ben Verrall, Ty Pochipinski. Front row from left: John Sladic, Simon Chen, George Sennott. (Klaus Maier/KJ Graphico)

Cowichan Capitals honour their best of 2016-17

Goalie Lane Michasiw leads the way with three awards at hockey team’s banquet

Lane Michasiw was the big winner as the Cowichan Valley Capitals held their annual awards banquet at the Cowichan Golf &Country Club on Monday evening.

The 20-year-old goaltender was named the team’s Most Valuable Player (sponsored by White Spot) and also received the Vivian Young Academic Achievement Award (sponsored by the Duncan Rotary Club) and 3-Star Award (sponsored by National Bank Financial).

In his third and final season with the Caps, Michasiw backstopped the team to 16 wins and posted a goals-against average of 3.13 and save percentage of .913, the best numbers of his career in all categories.

Michasiw wasn’t the only multiple winner on the night as Rhett Kingston, Max Newton and Ben Verrall all took home two awards apiece.

Kingston was named the Most Inspirational (sponsored by Tim Hortons) and received the vaunted Coaches Award (sponsored by Jeff Young). In his first year with the Caps, the 19-year-old forward had 30 points on 16 goals and 14 assists in 55 games.

Newton was honoured with the Leading Scorer (sponsored by Duncan Lions Club) and Faceoff Award (sponsored by the Cowichan Valley Capitals) awards. Also in his first year with the Caps, the 19-year-old forward recorded 59 points on 25 goals and 34 assists, all team highs, while playing all 58 games.

Verrall was named the Top Defensive Defenceman (sponsored by the Cowichan Valley Capitals) and shared the Unsung Hero Award (sponsored by 89.7 Juice FM) with forward Ty Pochipinski.

Verrall, a 20-year-old defenceman, missed 18 games due to injury, and recorded 14 points on three goals and 11 assists while playing on the top defence pairing when he was in the lineup. Pochipinski, an 18-year-old rookie forward, played in 57 games, scoring six goals and assisting on six more for 11 points while playing an energetic game.

Verrall’s regular defence partner, Chris Harpur, received the Top Gun Defenceman award (sponsored by Cowichan Collision). The 20-year-old team captain led all Cowichan blueliners with seven goals, 32 assists and 39 points. Harpur is also the only Capital to date to commit to a post-secondary school, having inked with NCAA Div. 1 Niagara University.

John Sladic was named the Most Sportsmanlike Player (sponsored by the CVRD). Another 18-year-old forward, Sladic joined the team a few weeks into the season, then battled injuries and was limited to 22 games. When in action, he was effective, recording six goals and seven assists for 13 points, while getting dinged for only 14 penalty minutes.

The Most Improved Player (sponsored by Royal Bank) was Simon Chen. Another BCHL rookie, the 19-year-old defenceman, who learned the game in China and played high school hockey in the U.S., scored one goal and added two assists in 52 games.

Ayden MacDonald was named Most Popular Player (sponsored by the Cowichan Valley Citizen). In his second year with the Caps, the 20-year-old winger was second to linemate Newton in goals, assists and points with 24, 28 and 52 respectively.

The Rookie of the Year (sponsored by B&H Tire) was George Sennott, who led all first-year players on the team with 16 assists and 22 points, and tied fellow freshmen Pochipinski, Alec Zawatsky and Justin Perron for the team rookie lead with six goals.

Not all the awards presented Monday went to players. Terry and Tanya Lindsay received the Jeff Price Memorial Award for Volunteer of the Year. Jeff Price’s daughter, Julie Robichaud, received a Special Recognition Award, as did Dr. Harwood (Woody) Reimer, Tony Spencer, and the Duncan Lions Club.

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