Tuesday night saw the official conclusion to the 2018-19 South East Athletic Club season with the annual awards banquet at Higdon Hall on the Stampede Grounds.
The yearly event gives SEAC club members one additional chance to get together to celebrate what was another very successful season for the organization. This year saw the Bantam AAA squad make the playoffs for the second season in a row and advancing to the second round while the Midget 15's earned a spot in the top 8 of the Sutter Cup South playoffs.
Due to Medicine Hat Tigers recent inclusion into the WHL postseason, guest speaker and Tigers assistant coach Joe Frazer was unable to attend the evening's proceedings. However, his absence did little to dampen the spirit, as MC and CHAT 94.5fm radio host Lance Doll had the crowd laughing with his hastily researched jokes and tales of his minor hockey days in Medicine Hat.
SEAC President Brent Sauer spoke and doled out thank you's and congratulations for another terrific season before giving way to Medicine Hat Minor Hockey's General Manager Kris Schultz. Kris's impassioned speech with it's message of a longstanding commitment to hockey in our city and an appreciation for what the players in attendance have accomplished was well-received and provided the perfect bookend to an excellent season overall.
It was then on to the year end awards, with Head Coach Jason Bartram taking to the mic on behalf of the Bantam AAA Tigers, while Midget 15's bench boss Chad Baron did the honours for his club. Here are your 2018-19 South East Athletic Club award recipients:
Top Defenseman: This award goes to the defenseman who competed consistently every day in practice and games. This player also put the team first and helped make the players around him better throughout the season. This year’s award goes to Tyler Miller. Top Forward: This award goes to the forward who was reliable in all situations. He could be used in a variety of positions and was leaned on heavily. His consistent play all over the ice makes him the top forward. This year’s award goes to Shane Smith.
Most Dedicated: This award goes to a player who rarely gets recognition and plays in relative obscurity, however, developed into a reliable team player that could be used in any situation. Most of the time his contribution to the team went unnoticed. This player always put the team first on and off the ice. This year’s award goes to Josh Drefs. MVP: This recognition goes to a player who judged to be the most valuable to his team. They bring an unparalleled level of commitment for working hard on and off the ice. This player is relied upon for rigorous and consistent effort in all team situations. This year’s award goes to Tyler Broesky.
Top Defenseman: This award goes to the defenseman who competed consistently every day in practice and games. This player had the largest impact on the defensive aspect of the game with a focus and priority that allowed the team to be successful. The player that we chose for this award had a huge impact for us defensively while also contributing offensively as well. He was focused on preventing goals while having the ability to transition to offence when the opportunity arose. Calm and cool under pressure with the composure to use his puck-handling talent and body position to get out of trouble. He never seemed to have any panic in his game no matter what the situation. He has a quiet and composed way about him that gave us the confidence to rely on him in any situation at any time in any game. Consistent, dedicated defensive play from a player who for the entire season never had a game where he didn’t play his best. He loved to play physical, took pride in preventing goals, blocking shots, and was one of those “sneaky” dirty players that knows how to get under the opponents skin without the ref noticing a thing. When I looked at the stats I couldn’t believe he only had 18 pims! A real magician with his stick with or without the puck. Top defenseman for all these reasons and more Tanner Gold. Top Forward: A player reliable in all situations, leaned on heavily and used in a variety of positions. The player that receives this award lived up to and exceeded all the criteria. He was always a strong presence for us when he was in the lineup and he put up a lot of points in a short amount of time. He had a big role in our successes this season and when he missed some time, there was a noticeable shortage of offence as well as wins in the face-off circle. A big physical forward who could dominate in the corners and use his size to protect the puck. A great shooter with surprisingly good hands that could score but also took pride in setting up his teammates for scoring chances. He lead the team in goals with 17, put up 28 points all while playing just 23 games with some of those in February he maybe shouldn’t have played. He was determined to return to the lineup and contribute to the team in any way he could as soon as he could and came back early from a major injury. Who knows what might have been if his bones weren’t so brittle haha! The top forward award goes to Ethan Machan. Most Dedicated: This award goes to a player who rarely gets recognition and plays in relative obscurity, however, developed into a reliable team player that could be used in any situation. Most of the time his contribution to the team went unnoticed. This player always put the team first on and off the ice. We had the good fortune of having a lot of players that met the criteria for this award. We were very lucky that way. One stood out among his peers though. This player was reliable from the start and is a true leader in every sense both on and off the ice. Always willing to do whatever it took to make his teammates better players and better people. We relied on him to be a voice in the dressing room, on the bus as well as on the ice and the bench. He was always positive with the desire to motivate his teammates when we things weren’t going our way. A very coachable, polite, smart, driven, talented, unselfish, and hard-working player who always worked to make everyone feel like part of the team. He did everything he could to help us win, never gave anything less than his best and was a solid, reliable player every game for an entire season. He never let a group text message go unanswered and we appreciate his dedication to making this season a success. This award goes to Carsyn Good. Riley Martin Memorial: Awarded to the player whose performance best exhibits a strong desire to compete, that plays with a team first attitude and goes above and beyond to excel through hard work, perseverance, and commitment to the game.Again we were very lucky here that we had so many players that met these criteria. The player that we chose for the award had to be one of the hardest working players in the league and not just our team. He was another player that was committed to making everyone around him better through his work ethic, attitude, and willingness to sacrifice for the good of the team. He played through injury and never showed he was hurting because his style of play never changed. He was always willing to be first to the puck, never shying away from taking a hit no matter how big the opponent. It’s hard to remember him even having a bad shift let alone a bad game and he could play any role in any situation. His consistency was unmatched, with us coaches, and his teammates coming to rely on him to get the energy level up whenever we needed it. He used his strength and body position to win those crucial puck battles along the boards and in the corners. He was another player who never seemed to panic and never let his emotions get the best of him. A quiet, coachable, calm, and composed player with an outstanding work ethic who made anyone he played with better. If you had 17 skaters with the same attitude, work ethic, and consistency as this player, you might never lose! The Riley Martin Award goes to Vaughn Strutt.
MVP: This recognition goes to a player who is judged to be the most valuable to his team. This player had the largest impact on the team both on and off the ice in a positive way. Winning this award reveals the dedication to the team, putting teammates and coaches first and their unwavering effort to the overall success of the team. The player chosen for this award made a huge impact on our success when he was in the lineup. He was always the guy getting everyone pumped up on the bench. He encouraged his teammates to stay positive and focused while supplying the necessary energy on and off the ice. A leader in the room, on the bench and on the ice through his work ethic and desire to compete. You knew you were going to get his best effort no matter the score, the time left in the game or how he was feeling. He could play in any situation with a dedication to helping his teammates find success. A great player with great hands, a good shot and the ability to set up his teammates for scoring opportunities. He worked hard to get the puck to the net not just because he wanted to score but because he knew it would help us be successful. I was reminded of a quote by Brian Burke “Sometimes you do the hard work and set the table and someone else eats the meal.” I believe that to be true about this player and that is why he led our team in assists as well as points. It was never about being a goal scorer, it was about doing whatever he could to make his team better and be successful. He was always pushing everyone to work harder and brought out the competitiveness of his teammates. Our MVP this season is Hayden Prosofsky.