MVP honours for Mistele, Doggett highlight astounding award-winning contingent on the ice

Photo by Alex D'Addese
Photo by Alex D'Addese

Burlington, Ont. – Another season of hockey has come to a close, but several conference standouts made sure they left their mark on the campaign. And whether it was a colossal career accomplishment or an outstanding one-off campaign, there is plenty to celebrate from the season that was. Ontario University Athletics (OUA) is pleased to announce the 2018-19 men’s hockey major award winners and all-stars, highlighted by a pair of offensive stars taking home Most Valuable Player honours.

When a team ranks first offensively, they are bound to have a standout option or two helping to spark that production. For the Ryerson Rams, they had several such players hit the ice for them as part of their 4.75 goal-per-game pace this season, but at the forefront of this talented group is the West Division Player of the Year, Matt Mistele (Whitby, Ont.).

An electrifying offensive weapon, Mistele was the lone player in the conference to rank in the top five in both goals (20) and assists (30; T1st in OUA); marks that led him to be the OUA’s lone 50-point producer. His 20 goals, which ranked him fourth overall, were highlighted by a sizzling start to the season that saw him find the back of the next six times in his season-opening five-game goal streak. His 16 multi-point games, which included a trio of four-point affairs, were a sign of how consistent Mistele was this season as part of the vaunted Ryerson attack, and whether he was lighting the lamp himself or setting up one of his talented teammates, Mistele proved his value time and time again in his award-winning season.

Fellow forward Mathew Santos (Toronto, Ont.) joins the major award winner on the first team roster, and he’ll do so as the conference’s top goal-scorer this season. Santos bulged the twine 23 times for the Rams, while also ranking seventh with 20 assists, and was only outdone in total points by his teammate, Mistele. Santos seemed destined for a special season after debuting with a hat trick in the team’s season opener, and he went on to find the scoresheet in all but three of the 26 games he suited up for this season. Rounding out the team’s award-winning forward group is their fourth-ranked scorer, Hayden McCool (Whitby, Ont.), who turned a 12-goal, 30-point freshman year into an all-rookie nod.

While this trio sparked the forward group offensively, the team also saw a big boost from the blueline thanks to Alex Basso (Toronto, Ont.), the West Division’s Defenceman of the Year. The talented two-way player was the leader at his position in both assists and points, racking up 30 helpers en route to his 37-point season. The fifth-year rearguard also quarterbacked the Rams’ special teams attack and was a key part of their 25% success rate on the powerplay. The decorated first team all-star and Rams captain has seen great success during his tenure in the OUA – which included a Player of the Year and Defenceman of the Year selection a year ago as well – and will wrap up his university career as one of the best to ever wear the Rams jersey.

The East Division’s top honour, meanwhile, is another celebration of the offensive ability that can be seen across the conference, as Queen’s Gaels forward Slater Doggett (Oakville, Ont.) claims the Player of the Year award. The now three-time all-star, who also claimed first team honours a year ago, once again showed why he is one of the best to sport the Tricolour on the ice. Doggett, who moved into the program’s top-10 in all-time scoring this season, ranked third in the conference with 21 goals and ninth with 34 points, anchoring the Gaels championship-bound squad with his leadership both on and off the ice as well.

The fourth-year forward, who has seen play among the best and brightest of university hockey over his career after playing for Canada at the 2017 Winter Universiade in Kazakhstan – coming away with a bronze medal – and suiting up for the 2018 U SPORTS All-Stars to play against Hockey Canada’s World Junior Prospects, saw another slew of highlights during his latest OUA season. Only three times was the first-team all-star held off the scoresheet this season, thanks in large part to a pair of six-game goal-scoring streaks and eight multi-point efforts for the Kingston squad. But while his accolades on the ice can go on and on, his work off of it is just as celebratory.

Doggett’s overall portfolio of contributions as a student-athlete have helped garner him this year’s East Division Randy Gregg Award. Among the many initiatives he contributes to is the Autism Mentorship Program (AMP), which pairs autistic youth and adults in meaningful, one-on-one mentoring relationships designed to provide support for the present and future. Doggett has also contributed to Nightlight Kingston throughout his university career, volunteering his time with those who are less fortunate. He has also spent time with the Running and Reading Program during his time at Queen’s, volunteering once a week at the Molly Brant Public School to support the initiative.

Joining Doggett on the division’s first team all-stars is veteran defenceman Spencer Abraham (Campbellville, Ont.), who finished his elite university hockey career as the program’s leader in points by a defender after totaling six goals and 13 assists in his fifth and final season. Justin Fazio (Sarnia, Ont.) picks up both an all-star and all-rookie nod in his first year after proving to be one of the most reliable goaltenders to hit the ice. The second team selection topped the conference with a .936 save percentage, while finishing just outside the top-10 in goals-against average (2.50; 11th in OUA). The rookie’s 13 wins, which he amassed in just 19 appearances (17 starts), placed him in a tie for fifth.

While the offensive stars enjoyed terrific success this season, their counterparts between the pipes – like Fazio – were up to the task as well, with several standing tall for their respective squads. It’s never easy to protect that blue paint, but two of the conference’s best are being recognized for their ability to do just that.

In the West Division, the Goaltender of the Year award goes to first-year backstop Logan Thompson (Calgary, Alta.), who not only topped the goaltending class, but also the rookie class. The Brock Badgers star doubled down on his award haul with a Rookie of the Year nod as well, capping off what was a fantastic foyer into the university game. Thompson found himself at the forefront of the puck-stopper brigade thanks to his third-ranked 2.22 goals-against average and second-ranked .934 save percentage. He was by no means an afterthought in any of his team’s games, as he was peppered with shots at every turn. He turned away a second-best total of 770 in his 24 starts, which led him to a sparkling 18 wins and .750 win-percentage.

The first-team all-star and all-rookie was invited to the Washington Capitals development camp prior to the season, and shortly after the campaign began for the St. Catharines squad, he was signed by the New Jersey Devils’ ECHL affiliate, the Adirondack Thunder. Needless to say, the talent is very much at the forefront for the Calgary native and he will be one to watch between the pipes for the foreseeable future. Fellow first-year Connor Walters (Welland, Ont.), who helped patrolled the back end for the Badgers this season, is another reason that Brock can look forward to a bright future, but it doesn’t stop there for the West Division’s second seed.

Behind the bench, Marty Williamson earned his second straight Coach of the Year selection for the West Division in just his second season with the team. A year ago, Williamson led the Badgers to a 14-win performance and a trip to the Queen’s Cup final, and while the postseason result wasn’t matched this season, the team’s regular season saw results the program had not yet seen in their history. Brock collected 19 wins under Williamson this season to set a school record and finished just one-point shy of the division’s top spot. Beyond the efforts on the ice, much of this success comes from Williamson’s presence behind the bench; as not only do his players enjoy playing for him, but he has created a winning culture in just two seasons at the helm.

While one Badger was able to nab both the top goalie and top rookie honours in the West, a pair of Ravens – Francois Brassard (Gatineau, Que.) and Jacob Smith (Oshawa, Ont.) – combined to earn the same honours in the East, respectively. The former, a fourth-year goalie for Carleton, turned in a 14-win campaign for the black birds, backed by top-10 ranks in save percentage (.914), saves (581), and goals-against average (2.33). His 22 starts were tied for fourth, but the heavy workload was nothing the senior couldn’t handle, as he played his way to an award-winning campaign and first team all-star selection.

Smith, meanwhile, made an immediate impact with the squad from the nation’s capital, and was a key contributor to their second-place finish in the division and consistent presence among the U SPORTS Top-10. His 17 goals – including a league-high five of the game-winning variety – and 35 points led the Ravens this year and both totals were good enough to place him in the conference’s top-10 as well. He ended his rookie campaign on a six-game point streak, five of which were multi-point performances – after starting off his university career with a nine-game streak as well.

Just behind Smith in both goals and points was Alexandre Boivin (Ottawa, Ont.), as the fourth-year forward parlayed his 34-point campaign (15G, 19A) into a spot on the East Division’s second team. He is joined therein by blueliner Joshua Burnside (Brampton, Ont.), who ranked third among conference defencemen with 18 helpers and tied for third with 21 points. Fellow defender Darian Skeoch (New Liskeard, Ont.) rounds out the Raven’s award-winning contingent this season.

Turning to the top seed in the division, the Gee-Gees certainly reaped the rewards of a successful campaign; as they galloped their way to a group of award winners as well. It starts with their coach, Patrick Grandmaitre, who has sparked steady improvement for the Garnet and Grey over his three seasons, with the most recent result placing them at the top of the conference (22-2-1-3). Under Grandmaitre’s tutelage, Ottawa led the East Division in both goals per game (4.18) and goals-against (2.25) during their dominant regular season. Beyond their impact on the scoreboard, Grandmaitre’s group also rallied around their teammate, Jean-Robin Mantha, as he underwent chemotherapy treatment for cancer, and the local community after tornadoes hit areas of Ottawa in September and directly affected assistant coach Brent Sullivan.

Overall, Grandmaitre, who picks up his first Coach of the Year selection and first for the program in nearly two decades, has helped build the Gee-Gees into a nationally ranked program, reaching the No. 4 spot for 11 weeks this year, and has done so with a strong contingent in net and a total of six players boasting 20 or more points this season.

One such player, Brendan Jacome (Caledon, Ont.), managed to set a career-high with 29 points (13G, 16A), but also took home the division’s Most Sportsmanlike Award. The third-year forward stayed out of the penalty box this season, but his sportsmanlike play is nothing new. The Academic All-Canadian won the uOttawa President’s Award last year as the student-athlete who best combines academics, athletics, and community involvement, and is also a past winner of the OJHL Most Gentlemanly Player Award.

The additional three Gee-Gees that turned in award-winning seasons represent the first, second, and all-rookie team, respectively. Kevin Domingue (Laval, Que.) earned his spot on the first team after his sixth-ranked 18 goals and a career-high 19 assists. The former all-rookie turned in his best season to-date, while a current all-rookie recipient, Yvan Mongo (Gatineau, Que.) got his university career off on the right foot as well. He netted eight goals and 20 points in 27 games, all while playing a responsible 200-foot game. Cody Drover (Grand Falls-Windsor, NL), meanwhile, was another all-around force for Ottawa. His 15 goals easily eclipsed his previous career-high of six in his rookie season and his 25 assists contributed to a new personal best 40 points to top the offensively-gifted Gee-Gees. The second team selection is Drover’s first provincial nod after being named the team’s MVP last year.

Another of the East Division’s most responsible players mans the blue line for Concordia, as the sophomore Carl Neill (Lachute, Que.) continues to thrive for the Stingers in all facets of the game. The reigning first team all-star and all-rookie selection in 2017-18 was a dominating presence on the ice, and despite playing on the back end, was always a threat offensively. Neill was the leading scorer on the Stingers with 33 points (4G, 29A) and was second in the OUA scoring race at his position. The team’s assistant captain, who is currently playing in Russia for Team Canada at the 2019 FISU Winter Universiade, is known for his great vision, strong decision-making, and keen offensive instincts; all of which have established the now two-time all-star as one of the premier defenders across the country.

Neill is joined by fellow defenceman Bradley Lalonde (Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Que.) as provincial honourees, as the first-year player garnered an all-rookie selection this season. Another rookie Stinger standout, Hugo Roy (Cookshire, Que.), also earned a spot among the division’s top rookies, as well as a second-team selection in his debut season. The forward racked up 19 goals (5th in OUA) and 26 points on the year – leading his team in the former – which included a sizzling 10 markers on the powerplay to co-lead the conference.

The remaining two all-star selections from the East also come from the conference’s Quebec cluster, as UQTR forward Christophe Boivin (Québec, Que.) and McGill defenceman Nikolas Brouillard (St. Hilaire, Que.), round out the first and second team, respectively. The former was his team’s second-ranked point-producer, racking up 22 goals (2nd in OUA) and 19 helpers for a 41-point season (4th in OUA). The latter ranked atop the conference’s defence corps with 12 goals – four clear of the second-place finisher – and tied for third at the position with 21 points overall.

The final member of the West Division’s first-team forward triumvirate, meanwhile, is Guelph captain Scott Simmonds (Uxbridge, Ont.), who caps off his five-year university career with another all-star selection. The senior, beyond his intangible values while sporting the ‘C’, also led by example with his play on the ice, racking up nine goals and 16 assists to lead the team with 25 points. The veteran is joined by first-year Connor Bramwell (Hamilton, Ont.; 10G, 11A) as a 2018-19 honouree, earning his accolade as an all-rookie.

Waterloo’s Mike Moffatt (Waterloo, Ont.) wraps up the first team lineup on the blue line, churning out a strong two-way game that, beyond his defensive ability, included five goals and 11 assists on the year, but he isn’t the only member of the black and gold to be recognized. Warriors forward Michael Morgan (Scarborough, Ont.) takes home the West Division’s Randy Gregg Award as someone who gives back in several ways beyond the rink.

Morgan leads a weekly exercise class for people that have developmental and intellectual disabilities, was a leader in a 12-week program for cancer patients, and was part of the Team-Up community outreach program wherein student-athletes speak at local schools. He has been a mentor to several first-year student-athletes in their transition to university and has also helped the next generation of players hitting the ice by assisting with a Learn to Skate and Learn to Play hockey program for three to six year-old girls. The accolades go on and on and, coupled with his 90+ average in the school’s kinesiology program, goes to show that Morgan has been a key part of the Waterloo athletics department in several facets and is a deserving recipient of this year’s award.

Like Morgan, York’s Scott Feser (Red Deer, Alta.) made his mark with more than just his on-ice numbers, as the Lions’ forward played his way to the West Division’s Most Sportsmanlike Award. The second-team all-star represented his team, and the game as a whole, well this season, and did so as squad’s captain and leading scorer (13G, 19A). This point total doubled his previous career-high set last year and was highlighted by a four-point performance against the division-winning Rams in January.

Feser wasn’t the only Lions player to make his all-star debut this season, as fifth-year forward Reid Jackman (Etobicoke, Ont.) also picked up a second-team selection. He also set a career-high with 30 points (15G, 15A), which included a trio of hat tricks on the year. The graduating player will continue his hockey career in the professional ranks, having signed a contract with the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL last week. Rounding out the team’s recognized players is first-year defender Bradley Forrest (Calgary, Alta.), who claims a spot on the all-rookie team after a 14-point debut season with York.

The final member of the West Division’s all-rookie corps comes from Western, as Ethan Szypula (London, Ont.) completes the forward trio. The freshman forward was the ‘Stangs lone double-digit goal scorer (10), and combined with his 10 assists, he finished second on the team in points (20) in his first season.

Western also sees representation from two second-teamers, including defenceman Jonathan Laser (Mississauga, Ont.) and goaltender Luke Peresinni (Nobleton, Ont.). The Mustangs’ captain buoyed the blue line for the purple ponies this year, while the team’s all-star netminder was a leading force for the West Division finalists, picking up 13 wins on the year behind a sixth-ranked save percentage (.925) and goals-against average (2.34).

Windsor’s Kyle Hope (Blenheim, Ont.) racked up 28 points (11G, 17A) in 27 games during his final campaign and Laurier’s Kyle Jenkins (Brampton, Ont.) finished the season among the top-10 defenceman in passing (13 assists). These productive performances have earned the pair second-team recognition to complete the West Division’s all-star contingent.

The complete list of 2018-19 men’s hockey major award winners and all-stars is below:

East Division Awards

Most Valuable Player – Slater Doggett, Queen’s
Defenceman of the Year – Carl Neill, Concordia
Goaltender of the Year – Francois Brassard, Carleton
Rookie of the Year – Jacob Smith, Carleton
Randy Gregg Award – Slater Doggett, Queen’s
Most Sportsmanlike Award – Brendan Jacome, Ottawa
Coach of the Year – Patrick Grandmaitre, Ottawa

West Division Awards

Most Valuable Player – Matt Mistele, Ryerson
Defenceman of the Year – Alex Basso, Ryerson
Goaltender of the Year – Logan Thompson, Brock
Rookie of the Year – Logan Thompson, Brock
Randy Gregg Award – Michael Morgan, Waterloo
Most Sportsmanlike Award – Scott Feser, York
Coach of the Year – Marty Williamson, Brock

First Team All-Stars

F – Slater Doggett, Queen’s
F – Christophe Boivin, UQTR
F – Kevin Domingue, Ottawa
D – Carl Neill, Concordia
D – Spencer Abraham, Queen’s
G – Francois Brassard, Carleton

Second Team All-Stars

F – Cody Drover, Ottawa
F – Alexandre Boivin, Carleton
F – Hugo Roy, Concordia
D – Nikolas Brouillard, McGill
D – Joshua Burnside, Carleton
G – Justin Fazio, Queen’s

All-Rookie Team

F – Hugo Roy, Concordia
F – Jacob Smith, Carleton
F – Yvan Mongo, Ottawa
D – Bradley Lalonde, Concordia
D – Darian Skeoch, Carleton
G – Justin Fazio, Queen’s

First Team All-Stars

F – Matt Mistele, Ryerson
F – Mathew Santos, Ryerson
F – Scott Simmonds, Guelph
D – Alex Basso, Ryerson
D – Mike Moffat, Waterloo
G – Logan Thompson, Brock

Second Team All-Stars

F – Scott Feser, York
F – Reid Jackman, York
F – Kyle Hope, Windsor
D – Jonathan Laser, Western
D – Kyle Jenkins, Laurier
G – Luke Peresinni, Western

All-Rookie Team

F – Hayden McCool, Ryerson
F – Ethan Szypula, Western
F – Connor Bramwell, Guelph
D – Connor Walters, Brock
D – Bradley Forrest, York
G – Logan Thompson, Brock