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NOJHL announces 2018-19 award recipients

SUDBURY, Ont. – The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League announced Friday its 2018-19 regular season award winners as well as its first and second all-star team recipients.

Earning the NOJHL’s Carlo Cattarello Trophy as league Most Valuable Player is Hearst Lumberjacks goaltender Nicholas Tallarico.

The veteran netminder from Vancouver, B.C., played the second-most minutes in the league season at 2,479 as he helped backstop the Hearst to their first-ever East Division title.

Tallarico also tied for second in the NOJHL in wins with 24, third in goals-against average at 2.49, fifth in save percentage at .921 and third in shutouts with three.

His 1,304 shots faced was the most of any NOJHL netminder among those in the Top 10 in GAA.

The following is the list of the 2018-19 NOJHL award winners:

CARLO CATTARELLO TROPHY – NOJHL MVP: NICHOLAS TALLARICO, (G) HEARST LUMBERJACKS – The Vancouver, B.C., product played the second-most minutes in the league season at 2,479 as he helped backstop the Hearst to their first-ever East Division title. … Tallarico also tied for second in wins with 24, third in goals-against average at 2.49, fifth in save percentage at .921 and third in shutouts with three. … His 1,304 shots faced was the most of any NOJHL netminder among those in the Top 15 in GAA.


NOJHL TROPHY – BEST DEFENCEMAN: STEVEN BELLINI, SOO THUNDERBIRDS – Bellini was a stalwart on the blueline all season long, on both ends of the ice, for the regular season title-winning Thunderbirds. … He tied for the league-lead in points among NOJHL defencemen in 2018-19 with 46. … Also topped all blueliners in assists with 37. The 18-year-old Bellini hails from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.


JOHN GRIGNON TROPHY – ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (1ST YEAR PLAYING JR. HOCKEY): NOAH MINNS, ELLIOT LAKE WILDCATS – Skating in his initial campaign in the NOJHL, the 18-year-old Baxter, Ont., product finished second in rookie scoring with 58 points on 20 tallies and 38 assists. … His five game-winning goals were also second-most in league play among rookies while his 17 power play points led first-year NOJHL skaters.


GILLES LAPERRIERE TROPHY – MOST IMPROVED PLAYER: LUCAS THERIAULT, (F) SOO THUNDERBIRDS – An incredible second season in the NOJHL saw Theriault, who turns 19 next week, lead the league in goals with 40 and tie with teammate Noah Boman for most points at 76. … He also notched a league-best nine game-winning goals this season. … His offensive totals for his hometown side saw him produce a 53-point improvement from the 2017-18 campaign.


MITCH TETREAULT MEMORIAL TROPHY – TOP DEFENSIVE FORWARD: AUSTIN WHELAN, COCHRANE CRUNCH – The veteran two-way forward continued his stellar play on both ends of the ice this season. … His five shorthanded markers paced all league skaters. … The 20-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont., supplied a career single-season-best 29 tallies in all for Cochrane. … In 149 league contests, Whelan has scored 55 times, added 46 assists for 101 assists while incurring just 24 minutes in penalties.


WAYNE CHASE MEMORIAL AWARD – BEST GOALS-AGAINST AVERAGE: DAWSON RODIN, KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS – Rodin wrapped up the campaign with a league-best goals-against average of 2.34. … Also boasted a .928 save percentage, 16 wins and four shutouts in 1,771 minutes of game action. … Hails from Chilliwack, B.C., and is in his final year of Jr. A hockey.


NOJHL TEAM GOALTENDING AWARD (FEWEST GOALS ALLOWED) – COLIN AHERN/WILLIAM ANDERSON, SOO THUNDERBIRDS – The Thunderbirds tandem allowed just 145 goals against this season to help lead their side to first overall in the standings and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.


JIMMY CONNORS MEMORIAL TROPHY – NOJHL SCORING CHAMPION: LUCAS THERIUALT, (F) SOO THUNDERBIRDS – Theriault actually finished in a tie with teammate Noah Boman for most points on the campaign with 76, however Theriault is declared the winner after accumulating more goals this season with 40.


DAVID HARRISON TROPHY – MOST GENTLEMANLY PLAYER: TOMAS YACHMENEV, (F) POWASSAN VOODOOS – Garnering the David Harrison Trophy is Powassan forward Yachmenev, who turns 19 Saturday. … In 54 outings this season, the Nashville, Tenn., product, incurred just three minor penalties while finishing second in scoring on the Voodoos with 54 points, including 23 tallies.


NOJHL TROPHY – BEST OVERALL TEAM PLAYER: STEVEN BELLINI, (D) SOO THUNDERBIRDS – Bellini was a rock on the blueline all season long, on both ends of the ice, for the regular season title-winning Thunderbirds. … He tied for the league-lead in points among NOJHL defencemen in 2018-19 with 46. … Also topped all blueliners in assists with 37. The 18-year-old Bellini hails from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.


MIRL “RED” MCCARTHY MEMORIAL AWARD – NOJHL COACH OF THE YEAR: MARC LAFLEUR, HEARST LUMBERJACKS – Lafleur earns his second league top coach honours after also winning the award back in 2012-13 while with the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners. … The Hearst product guided the second-year Lumberjacks to their first-ever NOJHL East Division title with a 33-16-6-1 overall record. … Their 73 points was a 24-point improvement over last season.


THE JOE DRAGO TROPHY – NOJHL DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR: JONATHAN BLIER, HEARST LUMBERJACKS – Blier’s efforts has helped Hearst become a big success in the league as well as their community, both on and off the ice, with tremendous fan support and quality play home and away.

 

JAMES ASPIN TROPHY – NOJHL REGULAR SEASON CHAMPIONS: SOO THUNDERBIRDS – They clinched the league’s regular season crown for the first time since the 2015-16 campaign. … This year saw them end up with a league-best record of 44-11-0-1 and 89 points. … Their efforts also saw them slotted eighth in the final Canadian Junior Hockey League Top 20 rankings of 2018-19.


GARY HALL MEMORIAL AWARD – NOJHL EAST CHAMPION: HEARST LUMBERJACKS – Hearst earned their first NOJHL East Division banner by going 33-16-6-1 on the campaign.


 

WILLIAM SIDNEY JONES MEMORIAL TROPHY – NOJHL WEST CHAMPION: SOO THUNDERBIRDS – Claimed their fifth West Division title in the past six seasons. … This year saw them end up with a league-best record of 44-11-0-1 and 89 points.


The NOJHL also announced Friday its first and second all-star team recipients with the players and team staff members being recognized for their achievements, efforts and contributions with their respective clubs this season.

1ST ALL-STAR TEAM

CENTRE: DEREK SEGUIN, TIMMINS ROCK – Seguin finished second in the league in goals scored with 34. … Was sixth overall in scoring with 64 points. … The 18-year-old from South Porcupine, Ont., produced 13 power play markers and as many man advantage assists along with a trio of game-winning tallies. … Earlier this season, he was selected by NHL Central Scouting to participate in the Canadian Junior Hockey League Prospects Game in Okotoks, Alta., where he scored one of the goals for Team East in the contest.

LEFT WING: JAKE DESANDO, HEARST LUMBERJACKS – Desando wrapped up the regular season just one point shy of a share of the overall scoring lead with 75 points. … He paced all skaters in power play points with 37 as well in man advantage assists at 26. … The 19-year-old hails from London, Ont.

 

RIGHT WING: NOAH BOMAN, SOO THUNDERBIRDS – Boman produced a stellar season for his hometown Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., side. … He tied for the league lead in points with 76 and topped the NOJHL in assists with 52. Was only held off the score sheet in eight outings in 2018-19 and boasted point streaks of seven games, or more, on four separate occasions.

 

DEFENCE: STEVEN BELLINI, SOO THUNDERBIRDS – He was a rock on the blueline all season long on both ends of the ice for the regular season title-winning Thunderbirds. … Bellini tied for the league-lead in points among NOJHL defencemen in 2018-19 with 46. … Also topped all blueliners in assists with 37. The 18-year-old hails from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

 

DEFENCE: ALEC JOHNSON, HEARST LUMBERJACKS – Played at over a point-per-game clip for the Lumberjacks this season with 43 in 33 outings. … Led all NOJHL defencemen in point-per-game average at 1.30. … Was fourth in total points among blueliners, just three points shy of the league lead. … The 19-year-old D-man is from Maple Grove, MInn.

 

GOALTENDER: NICHOLAS TALLARICO, HEARST LUMBERJACKS – Was also named NOJHL Most Valuable Player. … The Vancouver, B.C., product played the second-most minutes in the league season at 2,479 as he helped backstop the Hearst to their first-ever East Division title. … Tallarico also tied for second in wins with 24, third in goals-against average at 2.49, fifth in save percentage at .921 and third in shutouts with three. … His 1,304 shots faced was the most of any NOJHL netminder among those in the Top 15 in GAA.

GENERAL MANAGER: MARC LAFLEUR, HEARST LUMBERJACKS – Lafleur helped build an impressive roster that was highly competitive on a nightly basis. … Was also named Coach of the Year after also winning the award back in 2012-13 with the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners. … The Hearst product guided the second-year Lumberjacks to their first-ever NOJHL East Division title with a 33-16-6-1 overall record. … Their 73 points was a 24-point improvement over last season.

COACH: MARC LAFLEUR, HEARST LUMBERJACKS – Lafleur earns his second league top coach honours after also winning the award back in 2012-13 while with the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners. … The Hearst product guided the second-year Lumberjacks to their first-ever NOJHL East Division title with a 33-16-6-1 overall record. … Their 73 points was a 24-point improvement over last season.

 

TRAINER/EQUIPMENT MANAGER: DERRICK BATES, BLIND RIVER BEAVERS – A solid contributor to the Blind River program is Bates. He is recognized with all-star honours for his efforts with the Beavers all season long.

 

2ND ALL-STAR TEAM

CENTRE: LUCAS THERIAULT, SOO THUNDERBIRDS – An incredible second season in the NOJHL saw Theriault, who turns 19 next week, lead the league in goals with 40 and tie win teammate Noah Boman for most points at 76. … He also notched a league-best nine game-winning goals this season. … His offensive totals for his hometown side saw him produce a 53-point improvement from the 2017-18 campaign.

LEFT WING: AUSTIN WHELAN, COCHRANE CRUNCH – The veteran two-way forward continued his stellar play on both ends of the ice this season. … His five shorthanded markers paced all league skaters. … The 20-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont., supplied a career single-season-best 29 tallies in all for Cochrane. … In 149 league contests, Whelan has scored 55 times, added 46 assists for 101 assists while incurring just 24 minutes in penalties.

RIGHT WING: CALEB SERRE, BLIND RIVER BEAVERS – Skating for his hometown team, the Blind River Beavers, Serre set single-season marks for assists and points with 36 and 61 respectively. … The 20-year-old forward also notched 25 goals this season to give him 70 in his 155-game NOJHL career. … Serre was sixth in league offensive production with 61 points in total in 50 outings.

 

DEFENCE: BRENDAN BLAIR, SOO EAGLES – The 19-year-old from Fenton, Missouri led all league rearguards in goals with 17 and tied for the overall points lead among rearguards with 46. … Blair set personal season bests in tallies, helpers and points this season and was only held pointless four times in contests since mid-December.

 

DEFENCE: JOSH ANDERSON, TIMMINS ROCK – Rock solid on the blueline for Timmins, Anderson led all defenceman on his squad in offensive numbers with 43 in 52 games, including 11 goals. … His point total placed him third-best among NOJHL D-men. … His 33 assists were the second-most provided by league rearguards. … Anderson is 19 and hails from Nestleton, Ont.

 

GOALTENDER: TYLER MASTERNAK, TIMMINS ROCK – Masternak set a NOJHL record for shutouts in a season with six. … The 18-year-old from Oshawa, Ont., topped all league netminders in wins with 29, finished sixth in goals-against average at 2.51 and led the way in minutes played at 2,610.

 

GENERAL MANAGER: BRUNO BRAGAGNOLO, SOO EAGLES – The veteran hockey man continued his diligent efforts in building the Eagles’ roster once again this season. … He is also a key cog in an organization that is always near the top in attendance in league play as well as one that is heavily involved in a multitude of community endeavours.

 

COACH: DOUG LAPRADE, SOO EAGLES – In his first year behind the Eagles bench, Laprade led his club to a solid 28-24-3-1 regular season finish. … Since the New Year, the Michigan Soo went 13-6-1 in their final 20 games.

 

TRAINER/EQUIPMENT MANAGER: GINETTE TROTTIER, RAYSIDE-BALFOUR CANADIANS – As an athletic trainer for Rayside-Balfour, Trottier was a vital component to the Canadians success this season in aiding along with the rest of the club’s staff.