(Picture: Justin Bowen, Ben Bailey and Jeremy Church pose with lucky little fan Koddy).
The Chester Clippers held their 5th annual awards banquet on Saturday night at the Atlantica Oak Island Hotel in Western Shore, to honour their players and volunteers on another successful year of hockey.
20-year old defenseman Brock Hamilton was presented with the first award of the night, taking home the Best Sportsmanship award. Brock is a very well liked teammate and someone who always brought a positive attitude into the dressing room, he will be a core veteran member of the team next season.
Jeremy Church, of Lunenburg, took home the two statistical awards for most goals and points. Church scored 20 goals and 63 points in 26 regular season games.
Goaltender Doug Barrier, from Bridgewater, won the team's Rookie of the Year award. Barrier had a solid first year of junior hockey and will be a big part of the team going forward.
Defenseman Nick Ferguson was selected by the coaching staff as this year's Unsung Hero award winner. Ferguson also took home the Fans Choice Award.
New Germany's Matt Lohnes was presented with the Most Improved Player award. Lohnes is the type of player who every team loves to have, he battles hard every shift and brings a great attitude. He began playing with the Clippers late last season as a midget affiliate and has grown immensely since then.
The Best Defensive Forward award was presented to veteran player Alex Armstrong. Armstrong was one of our best forwards both in the offensive and defensive zones, becoming a strong leader for the Clippers.
Kyle Dilosa was presented with the George MacDonald Award for Most Outstanding Athletic Performer. Dilosa was a top offensive producer for the Clippers this year, posting 36 points in 13 regular season games and 28 points in 17 playoff games.
Dilosa also split the Top Overager award with goaltender Ben Bailey of Lunenburg. Both Bailey and Dilosa earned this award by showing true leadership and commitment to the team. They have both been major contributors to the organization's success over the past 4 seasons.
Captain Mathieu Bourgeois was named the team's top defenseman. Bourgeois, who is in his third season with Chester, also was named the league's top defenseman earlier this year. He will be returning to lead the Clippers again next year as captain.
Bourgeois and Ben Bailey were both named as the team's Most Valuable Players. As veteran leaders, both these players earned the respect of their teammates and team staff. They have both represented the Clippers with honour and always put the team first before themselves; their commitment to the team this season is why they are truly our most valuable players.
The team also honoured long-time medical trainer Barry Studley with the Michael "Beaker" Broome Award for Volunteer of the Year.
Every year the Clippers present their overage players with their jersey and this season was no different. Graduating players Ben Bailey, Kyle Dilosa, Jeremy Church and Justin Bowen were each presented with their jerseys for their service to the organization. These four young men will be a great loss to the Clippers, as they have not only been top producers on the ice, but the leadership and dedication that they have provided to the team will be sorely missed. The Clippers thank them for their amazing contribution and wish them all the best in their future endeavours.