PHOTO CREDIT: Kyle Robinson Photography
See more photos of the awards night: http://www.kylerobinsonphotography.com/p947724381
The Victoria Grizzlies players, staff, owners, billet hosts, families and many volunteers gathered at the Olympic View golf course banquet hall to dine together, say a final goodbye to the graduating players and to reflect on the Grizzlies successful hockey season and playoffs.
The following awards were presented:
With this award Nick proves just how valuable a player he was for the Victoria Grizzlies last season. Nick is not only a point producing offensive player but also a smart and cagey defensive specialist that was always a reliable player on the ice.
UNSUNG HEROES – Drayson Pears (Defense) and Lucas Clark (Forward). Award presented by Grizzlies Head Coach/GM Craig Didmon
Drayson Pears and Lucas Clark are two Victoria Grizzlies players that quietly went about their job each and every night. Both players bring a ton a physicality to the lineup and they had a timely knack for offense.
Pears filled the voids for the Grizzlies defense core, killing penalties and shutting down the other team’s line when asked of him. Pears was always hard to play against and did a great job at wearing down the opponent’s top forwards.
Clark who, as well, did a good job offensively with the team posting very good first year numbers, was also the backbone of the Grizzlies great defensive play from the forwards. Clark was always up for the challenge of a big penalty kill, a key face off, shutting down the other teams top forward, or a timely goal.
The unsung hero title suits these two well, as they’re both players who asked for nothing in return for their relentless work ethic and commitment to their team’s success. One thing is for sure – they have the ultimate respect of their teammates, coaching staff and Grizzlies’ fans.
BROADCASTERS MOST EXCITING PLAYERS presented by the Voice of the Grizzlies, Scott Didmon
Mokhtari raised the fans out of their seats time and time again with his speed and finesse; a constant threat on the rush and the recipient of some timely and memorable goals. The “Roadrunner’ is an enigma on the ice and Grizzlies fans are thankful to have him our team.
Stirling brought excitement with a combination of size, physicality and finesse. Always pushing the envelope offensively when the team needed it the most, thIS solid rock of D man in the defensive zone was a constant. He can do it all in all situations and all areas of the rink. Need muscle – check, need finesse – check
LEADING SCORER – Cole Pickup. Award presented by Grizzlies president L.A. (Lance) Black, CFP, and Cole’s dad Dean Pickup.
Cole Pickup was the Grizzlies leading scorer this season, recording 27 goals and 38 assists for a total of 65 points. Pickup also lead the way for the Grizzlies in the playoffs with another 7 goals and 11 assists.
After his fourth and final season with the Grizzlies, Pickup’s regular season numbers include 71 goals 85 assist and 156 points; which sets a new franchise record for points by a Victoria Grizzlies player.
Pickup will don the black and red for the NCAA Div. 1 Omaha-Nebraska Mavericks next season.
MOST VALUABLE DEFENSEMEN – Jake Stevens, Cody Van Lierop, and Brett Stirling. Award presented by Grizzlies assistant coach Greg Smith.
If you’d ask the three of them, they wouldn’t have it any other way. For the first time in Grizzlies history the Most Valuable Defenseman award went to three members of the Grizzlies formidable defense core.
20 years olds and captains Jake Stevens, Cody Van Lierop, and Brett Stirling shared the MVD honour, as all three players demonstrated their value night in and night out all season. They played big minutes in key situations all season, putting up great point totals as well as solid plus minus numbers.
The trio were much responsible for the team stats of 2nd least Goals Against in the league during regular season and the 2nd best Penalty Kill overall as well; not to mention the three combined for a total of 116 points over that time.
Nathan Looysen is this years recipient of the Governor’s Award (AKA) the Road Warrior award. This honour is well deserved for Looysen, as he had a team leading 15 regular season goals on the road; including another 3 rather timely goals in the playoffs.
The 20 yr. old is headed to Brock University next season where he will suit up for the Badger’s and attend full time studies.
AL PRICE MEMORIAL MOST POPULAR PLAYER “VOTED BY THE FANS” – Cole Pickup. Award presented Cliff Lequesne, 100.3 The Q! The Island’s Rock
The former Juan De Fuca Minor Hockey product is a familiar face in the community and a role model for youth in the Westshore. Pickup will be remembered by the Grizzlies faithful for his timely goals, his high energy play, and his consistent passion when donning the Grizzlies uniform.
The organization and the fans of the Grizzlies as well, wish Cole the very best of luck with his future endeavors and we can’t thank him enough for his continual devotion and promotion of our hockey club on and off the ice.
Nolan Welsh is our well deserved recipient of our Scholastic Achievement award. Attending Grade 12 at Belmont Secondary school Welsh recorded top marks which will hopefully help lead him down the Ivy League College route like his brother Tyler who heads to Yale next season.
Congratulations to Nolan who showed great perseverance and dedication not only on the ice, but also in the classroom
Tyler Welsh, who is headed to play for the Yale Bulldogs next season, is a well deserved recipient of the Victoria Grizzlies Citizenship award. A leader on the ice and off as well as in the community, Welsh was always there for his teammates and fans.
Welsh who is known for his relentless work ethic in games and practices; was also a work horse in the community, always giving his best effort to those that needed it the most.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER – Matthew Galajda. Award presented by GM/Head Coach Craig Didmon and Assistant Coach Jason Reimer.
Matthew Galajda took home Most Valuable Player Honor for the Victoria Grizzlies this season. The BCHL runner up for MVP garnered one of the best Goals Against averages in the league as well as Save Percentage.
Galajda boasted 3 regular season shutouts and another three in the playoffs, 43 regular season wins, and another 9 wins in the playoffs over his two seasons with the Grizzlies.
Next season Galajda will play in goal for the Cornell Athletics Big Red NCAA Div 1.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – Jamie Rome. Award presented by Grizzlies Assistant Coach Jason Reimer.
This years Rookie of the Year honors went to Calgary native Jamie Rome. The power forward had solid first year numbers with 20 goals 23 assist in regular season and another 9 goals and 6 assists in the playoffs.
Rome’s impressive season attracted the attention of NHL scouts and as well the eyes of Western Michigan University Athletics where he will play for the Broncos beginning 2018/19 season.
MOST INSPIRATIONAL PLAYER – Cody Van Lierop. Award presented by Grizzlies GM/Head Coach Craig Didmon
When anyone looks for inspiration they do not have to look any further than this guy. A leader on the ice, in the dressing room and in the community, Cody inspired all those around him for three great seasons with the Grizzlies.
Our captain and leader in battle, Van Lierop had the knack for big hits at key times and then great defensive plays when needed most. He also had the calming voice when he needed the bench to settle down and focus on the task at hand.
The Victoria Grizzlies Organization are truly thankful for Van Lierop’s contributions to our hockey team and community during his tenure with the Grizzlies.
JASON GOW MEMORIAL AWARD – Dayne Finnson. Award presented by Grizzlies Play by Play broadcaster, Scott Didmon
Dayne Finnson did a marvelous job on the ice during his rookie season with the Grizzlies. He played big minutes and excelled in all situations. On top of that though, we quickly learned what a great young man and teammate Finnson is.
A trusted warrior on the ice and helping hand in the community, Finnson is a trusted mate that has the time and patience for all those in the organization. For these great qualities and his stellar performance on the ice, we look forward to another great year for Finnson coming up next season.
MOST DEDICATED – Jake Stevens. Award presented by Grizzlies president L.A. (Lance) Black, CFP
Jake Stevens has worked extremely hard to develop his game. His relentless and consistent work habits on and off the ice has not only made him the premier defenseman in our league but also made the Grizzlies a better hockey team as well.
Scholarship to NCAA Div1 next season – ✔️. MVP Defenseman in theBCHL Live league – ✔️. Part of an Island Division Championship Regular Season and Playoffs – ✔️. I guess hard work and dedication does pay off. Thank you, Jake, for your tireless hard work and dedication to our hockey club
Cole Pickup and Brett Stirling are two players that will be forever missed and never forgotten. Their professionalism and work ethic day in and day out was an inspiration to their teammates.
We know Tony would be very proud to have these two warrior’s names engraved on his memorial trophy. Thank you Tony Burrows, Cole and Brett
PLAYOFF PERFORMER – Matthew Galajda. Award presented by Grizzlies NCAA Advisor, Butch Boucher
Matthew will be the first agree that this could have gone to almost any of the Grizzlies rostered players as the whole team was tremendous throughout this playoff season. However, you can’t deny #35’s stellar performance through out the playoffs.
Galajda recorded a shutout in each round as well as accumulating 9 wins and kept his Save Percentage well over 90%.
AL GILLIES MEMORIAL AWARD FOR VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR – Roy Anthonisen. Award presented by L.A. (Lance) Black, CFP and Scott Didmon
Each year we pick a volunteer of the year in honour of the late Al Gillies who was a volunteer for our organization for many years. This year’s winner has been a member of our organization since the team’s inception into the BCHL and he is a former friend of Al’s.
Roy crafts his skills every game on the camera and is the creative talent behind many of the promotional videos and highlight reels for the Grizzlies social media. A great person to have around whether at home or on the road Roy Anthonisen is a staple in the Grizzlies organization and we are so proud to have such a talented videographer on our staff and are very grateful for his time and energy
Graduating players receive scrapbooks
Each graduating 20 year old received a book from them that was a collection of all the newspaper articles, photographs, editorials, player profiles and more, lovingly and creatively arranged. Heather and Regina spent countless hours putting these works of art together throughout the Grizzlies regular season and playoff run.
The scrapbooks were presented to the players at the awards banquet and as a special surprise the ladies also gave a scrapbook to Head Coach/GM Craig Didmon this year.
What an amazing keepsake for the players and their families to treasure for years to come to reminisce about the great season we had!