LAKEHEAD'S SCHERBAN NAMED CIS PLAYER OF THE YEAR

EDMONTON (CIS) - Joel Scherban of the Lakehead University Thunderwolves is the Tissot Canadian Interuniversity Sport men's hockey player of the year.

TISSOT PLAYER OF THE YEAR (Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy): Joel Scherban, Lakehead University Thunderwolves
Scherban, a fourth-year centre from Thunder Bay, Ont. received the Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy, awarded annually to the player of the year. The Thunderwolves captain becomes the second Lakehead representative to claim the award, some 25 years after forward Vince Friyia (1979-80). A former captain of the London Knights in the OHL, Scherban captures a CIS major award for the third straight year, after receiving the R.W. Pugh Award as most sportsmanlike player in 2003-04 and 2002-03.

This season, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound forward averaged 1.35 points per outing, collecting 16 goals and 11 assists for 27 points in 20 regular-season games to finish second in team scoring behind linemate Jeff Richards (12-19-31). The dynamic duo led the Thunderwolves to second place in the OUA Far West division and to the OUA West final. Named to the first all-Canadian team for the first time, the four-time OUA all-star also lived up to his gentleman's reputation in 2004-05 as he did not draw a single penalty in regular-season play. Scherban also became the first player in team history to reach the 200-point career mark in overall games during the campaign. In January, the 24-year-old business student captained the Canadian team at the 2005 Winter Universiade in Austria, where he tied for first in overall scoring with Oleg Smirnov of Russia (5-6-11).

\"Joel is the heart and soul of Thunderwolves hockey,\" commented Lakehead head coach Pete Belliveau. \"He has displayed the best work ethic on the team during the last four years at every practice and game. I knew he was the kind of player you build a new program around and he proved me right. He is our true leader on and off the ice.\"

TISSOT ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (Clare Drake Award): Mathieu Poitras, McGill University Redmen
Gatineau, Que. native Mathieu Poitras is the second Redmen to receive the Clare Drake Award as CIS rookie of the year after Patrick Jeanson, also a netminder, in 1991-92. The mechanical engineering student, who attended the Anaheim Mighty Ducks rookie camp last fall, received the OUA East conference's most valuable player and rookie-of-the-year honours, marking only the second time in OUA history that both awards went to the same recipient. In 22 regular-season games, the 6-foot, 185-pound netminder posted a 16-5-1 record with four shutouts, a stellar 1.99 goals-against average and a stingy .934 save percentage. He led the conference and tied for first in the nation for shutouts and wins, and led the conference in GAA, establishing McGill records in each category. His save percentage was also the best in the country, while his 1,327 minutes played ranked seventh.

Poitras, a 6-foot, 185-pound netminder who attended the Anaheim Mighty Ducks rookie camp last fall, was named OUA East MVP and maintained a 1.99 goals against average and a .934 save percentage in his rookie season with the Redmen en route to claiming the Clare Drake Award.

\"Mathieu is very strong technically and always appears calm and concentrated on the task at hand,\" said McGill head coach Martin Raymond. \"He has shown an exemplary work ethic, is well-respected by his teammates, and is also a top-notch student majoring in mechanical engineering.\"

The 2005 TELUS University Cup, hosted by the University of Alberta, gets under way on Thursday, March 24 with round-robin match-ups between the No. 5-Saskatchewan Huskies and No. 2-Moncton Aigles Bleus at 1 p.m. MST, and the No. 6-Manitoba Bisons and No. 4-UQTR Patriotes at 7 p.m. MST. The championship final is scheduled for Monday at 7 p.m. MST (TSN: Tuesday, March 29, 8 p.m. EST).

For all the info on the 2005 TELUS University Cup: www.universitycup.ca

2004-2005 CIS MEN'S HOCKEY ALL-CANADIANS FROM THE OUA
FIRST TEAM
Position - Athlete - University - Year - Home Town
Forward - Joel Scherban - Lakehead - 4 - Thunder Bay, Ont.

SECOND TEAM
Position - Athlete - University - Year - Home Town
Defense - Erik Lodge - Lakehead - 4 - Red Deer, Alta.
Forward - Jeff Richards - Lakehead - 3 - Kenora, Ont.

ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
Position - Athlete - University - Year - Home Town
Goalie - Mathieu Poitras - McGill - 1 - Gatineau, Que.
Defense - Matt Manias - Western - 1 - Toronto, Ont.

(Source: Michel Belanger, CIS Communciations)
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