Another hockey sea-son officially came to a close over the weekend, as the Uxbridge Bruins celebrated the 2014-15 campaign with their annual awards banquet on Friday, May 1 at the Uxbridge Legion.
The team marked the end of the Junior ‘C’ season by handing out awards, and honouring the team’s graduating overage players.
General Manager Ron Archibald thanked the players, parents, executive and staff for another exciting season of Bruins hockey, that saw the team reach the COJHL Finals for the third consecutive season after a dramatic late-season surge to finish atop the regular season standings, only to fall to the Clarington Eagles.
“Our late season rush to finish in first place was exciting and big picture-wise, we had a good year,” Archibald said. “It’s a team effort and I appreciate all of you putting your hearts and soul into this hockey club and doing things the Bruins’ way.”
Archibald also noted the remarkable leadership shown by the team’s three overage players: Carter Vahey, Tyson Eastgate and Jarett Smith throughout the season.
“Those are the guys that we really looked to for leadership, and they showed that that’s why those players stick around for that overage season, and do things the right way, on and off the ice.”
The team honoured several players for their contributions over the course of the season, including a trio of local products. Second-year defenceman Thomas Sheedy was named Most Improved Player. Rookie of the Year went to Connor Evans. Dylan Locke walked away with the team’s Most Sports-manlike Award.
As well, two of the graduating players earned individual aw-ards, with Carter Vahey named Defence-man of the Year, and Tyson Eastgate earning the Coach’s Award.
The Bruins’ staff was split on Most Valuable Player, ultimately naming co-MVPs in Marco Mastrangelo and Branden Francey.
Head Coach Geoff Hodgkinson spoke about the memorable moments in his second year behind the bench.
“Finishing with a record of 30-9-3 and not giving up 10 regulation losses is a great achievement,” Hodgkinson said. “Our penalty kill being number-one in the league is a testament to how we bought into the defensive philosophy.”
As well, Hodgkinson noted a bright spot for his charges in the Battle of North Durham against the rival Port Perry MoJacks.
“Scoring four shorthanded goals in less than two-and-a-half minutes has got to be some sort of a record,” Hodgkinson said of the team’s offensive output during the Jan. 18 game in Port Perry, in which Uxbridge prevailed by a score of 6-1.
As well, the coach made special mention of team’s road trip to Apsley in a blizzard on Jan. 3
“Our first father’s road trip to North Kawartha was probably the worst weather I’ve ever gone through to get to a game.”
The team is already busy preparing for next season, and the Bruins’ 2015 Prospect Evaluation Camp will hit the ice at Uxbridge Arena, starting four nights of action on Monday, May 11.
For more information on the team, including volunteer opportunities
for the 2015-16 COJHL season, please visit the team’s web site at www.uxbridgebruins.com.