MJHL announces award winners and all-star team selections

Players from the Portage Terriers and Swan Valley Stampeders won four of six major Manitoba Junior Hockey League awards, Commissioner Kim Davis announced today.

Swan Valley Stampeders’ Josh Tripp was crowned the league’s most valuable player while teammate Quinton Sudom was voted top defenceman.

Terriers’ head coach Blake Spiller was named coach of the year, winning the Muzz McPherson” Award. Meanwhile, Terriers’ blueliner Owen Murray was named top rookie.

“Every player should be commended for their outstanding performance over the regular season,” said Davis. “Coaches of the league vote and make the selections. These selections are extremely difficult to make. The talent level in our league is reflective in how difficult it was to select these major awards.”

Steve “Boomer”  Hawrysh MVP Award

Josh Tripp, Swan Valley Stampeders

Tripp, 20, hails from Swan River and currently sits atop the MJHL scoring race with 76 points (32-44) in 52 games. At 5-foot-9, 165-pounds, Tripp was the RBC Player of the Month for October, in addition to winning a Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week honour.

Rookie of the Year – Vince Leah Trophy

Owen Murray, Portage Terriers

Murray, who turned 16 in December, hails from Decker, MB. He’s a shifty defenceman who plays the game at a high speed. Currently, he has 36 points (8-28) in 50 games.

Earlier this season he was named the IBAM Rookie of the Month in October and was one of five MJHL players invited to the selection camp for Team Canada West which was playing in the World Junior A Challenge.

Hockey Ability – Frank McKinnon Memorial Trophy

Ben Dalke, Virden Oil Capitals

Dalke, 20, hails from LaSalle, MB. He’s played his entire MJHL career with the Oil Capitals, now in his fourth and final season. He hopes to attend a post-secondary school next year and continue playing hockey. He’s proven to be particularly deadly when on the power play reflected in a league-high 18 power play assists.

Top Goaltender ─ Ed Belfour Top Goaltender Award

Jeremy Link, Winnipeg Blues

Link has the distinction of being the first winner of the newly minted Ed Belfour Top Goaltender Award. Belfour, who played with Winkler Flyers, went on to a distinguished NHL career, topped off when he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011.

Link, who hails from Winnipeg, was named the MGEU/MJHL Goaltender of the Month in January. He also won the Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week award in week #4.

Link, 20, is in his fourth and final MJHL season, having previously played with Neepawa Natives.

Top Defenceman – Brian Kozak Trophy

Quinton Sudom, Swan Valley Stampeders

Sudom, 20, hails from Fort McMurray, AB. Prior to joining the Stamps, he played for the Calgary Mustangs (AJHL). At 6-foot-2, 200-pounds, he currently leads all MJHL defenceman in scoring with 16 goals and 55 points in 50 games.

Twice he was named the Telus Defenceman of the Month in the MJHL (October and December).

Coach of the Year – Portage Terriers Muzz McPherson Award

Blake Spiller, Portage Terriers

Currently, the Terriers sit atop the MJHL with 41 wins after 55 games. Spiller’s accolades are many: twice named CJHL Coach of the Year, and now a four-time winner of the MJHL Coach of the Year Award. He was also GM/head coach of the Terriers when they won the RBC Cup in 2015.

Under Spiller’s tutelage, the Terriers have graduated a number of players to both NCAA and CIS hockey programs.

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1st All Star Team
Goal Jeremy Link Winnipeg Blues (Tie)
Goal Matthew Radomsky Steinbach Pistons (Tie)
Defence Quintin Sudom Swan Valley Stampeders
Defence Troy Williams Steinbach Pistons
Forward Josh Tripp Swan Valley Stampeders
Forward Bradly Goethals Swan Valley Stampeders
Forward Tony Apetagon Winnipeg Blues
2nd All Star Team
Defence Riley Shamray Dauphin Kings
Defence Tristen Cross Virden Oil Capitals
Forward Nathan Halvorsen Selkirk Steelers
Forward Ty Barnstable Portage Terriers
Forward Brendan Martin Steinbach Pistons
Rookie All Star Team
Goal Nathan Moore Portage Terriers
Defence Owen Murray Portage Terriers
Defence Colby Jaquet Selkirk Steelers
Forward Jay Bucholz Portage Terriers
Forward Reece Henry Portage Terriers
Forward Kyle Bettens Steinbach Pistons


Each all-star winner will receive their award at their home rink over the next two weeks. The MJHL’s top scorer, who will be decided upon season’s end, will receive the Mike Ridley Trophy, named after the prolific goal scorer who starred with the St. Boniface Saints and starred in the NHL.

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