As with anything in life, awards at the Junior hockey level do not include participation recognition. Hockey is not an individual sport, it requires the entire 25 player roster as well as the team staff fully taking part in order to be successful. Thank you one and all for your part, the fans and volunteers appreciate all you did for the team and the community of Chase.
In a change from past award banquets, the tail end of Covid 19 required a different format. So, staff and players met up for dinner and an awards presentation at the Escape Room in Kamloops. The recipients and awards are:
Top Scholastic Player: Matteo Bordin #23 from far flung Sorrento B.C. is a Graduating student at Salmon Arm Secondary School. “BB” is 17 years old and planning to attend the University of Victoria to obtain a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He will be joining his older brother Marino a Heat alumni member. The Bordin’s were a billet home with Jack Osmond and Braeden Huth being part of the family. Apparently pranks and cookies filled the down time. Matteo credits his supportive parents as well as team staff and team members aiding him to be a better player and person.
Fan Favourite: Who else but the red headed flash Keagan Pittendreigh, #17 the local shinny player from Chase. Voted on by the fans he clearly was the local favourite. The 18 year old was one of four players in the Pittendreigh billet home. “Pitty” enjoyed good times with the four of them finding trouble and other fun stuff. Keagan hopes to play for a couple more years on his hometown team, the Heat, “there is no where else I want to play”.
Unsung Player: Bryan Fraser #3 is 18 years old and travelled back and forth from Kamloops throughout the season. When he had the chance he worked, and that was also reflected on the ice. His hardwork and consistent effort in both games and practices was noted by team staff. “Fraz” noted he had a lot of fun and he improved a lot over the year. He made a lot of new friendships and plans on returning to the Heat next season.
Most Improved: Roderic May #35 one of the fabulous duo of goaltenders on the team. “Farmer” is from Salmon Arm, 18 years old, and lives and works on a dairy farm. He thanks Coaches Brad Fox and Colin McGill for helping him improve his abilities on the ice and boosting his confidence throughout the year. He wants to continue to play junior hockey for the next couple of years. He then wants to focus on the family dairy farm with the goal of taking it over in the future.
Rookie of the Year: Nabbed early in the season after a Junior A stint with the
Melville Millionaires of the SJHL, Dylan Handel #16 soon found a home with the Heat. “My advisor said nothing but good things about “Foxy”, and it’s a place that really develops their players for not only the game but for real life”. The 19 year old is from Beaumont Alberta. In 31 games in the regular season he finished with 17 goals and 18 assists for 35 points with 12 minutes in penalties. “Handy” wants to return to Junior A next season. “This was a great year, between my teammates, the coaches and great billets. The best memories were away from the rink hanging with my three billet brothers”.
Most Sportsmanlike & Most Dedicated (tie): Malachi Franklin #8 is a 20 year old defenceman from Cranbrook. Known as “Frankie” by his teammates he played a strong solid game within the rule book garnering only 10 minutes in penalties. At this point he is unsure about next year. “A big thanks to the entire Horton family as they blessed me with everything I needed and more in order to have a great season. Thanks to the Heat for another great season I won’t forget.”
Playoff MVP: To no one’s surprise, goaltender Jack Osmond #31 earned this award through 7 games of stellar puck stopping. “Ozzy” to his teammates is 18 years old and would like to play at the Junior A level next season. From there he hopes to earn a scholarship to continue his hockey career at the college level to further his education. “I had a very good experience in Chase. I was fortunate enough to have an extremely welcoming billet family who created an environment where I felt right at home. As for my teammates, we were a tight knit group in which I was able to create memories on and off the ice that will last a lifetime.”
Top Defenceman: Mikkel Hrechka #6 “Mickey” is an 18 year old defenceman from Moose Jaw Saskatchewan. He started the season with the Portage Terriers before the Heat nabbed him out of Manitoba and got him to come to B.C.. He plans on getting back to Junior A hockey next year. “Thank you to all the great people and my billet family who made this season such a special time”.
Warrior of the Year: Brayden Haskell #21, a 20 year old who has completed his junior hockey days. Next on his agenda is to leave Salmon Arm for the island life in Victoria. Brayden played two seasons with the Heat prior to being traded to the Sicamous Eagles. The Heat through trade brought him back for his last year, “it felt like coming home and I’m thankful for the staff, volunteers and players welcoming me back. Brad (Coach Fox) had a huge impact on me, not only improving my hockey but the life lessons he shared and taught me had a huge impact on the man I am today. I was around that locker room since I was 14 and it’s hard to put into words what he means to me”.
Most Valuable Player, Top Scorer, Doug Birks Division MVP & Top Scorer and Most Dedicated (tie): Jacob Biensch #77 Team Captain certainly earned all the awards he received. “Jibs” a 20 year old graduating player from Junior Hockey is a Marsden Saskatchewan product. He plans on receiving a scholarship and playing in the ACAC next year. His first step in post secondary education is 4 years of Kinesiology followed by Chiropractric studies somewhere in the States. Jacob spent the past 3 years billeting at the Bentley’s. It was an amazing experience as he watched three youngsters grow up while he played “Big Brother”. As Top Scorer in the Division and Heat he played in 37 games, scored 26 goals, 27 assists for a total of 53 points along with 12 penalty minutes. Through the past 3 years he has made friendships for life and stays in contact with them all.
In closing, a well written quote from one of the player’s, “As of the room, there was always something to talk about yet we always found a way to dial it in on the ice and focus on the task at hand. The boys really picked it up after Christmas and that’s when we had the most fun. Everything began to fall in place, creating an environment of building and improvement, complimentary to our consistency and determination”.