Friday night, the Battlefords North Stars held their annual banquet and awards ceremony. Normally the event is held days after the season, but the coaching staff went in a different direction this time by uniting the awards with the annual Golf tournament. I had the pleasure of hosting the event, and it gives me great pleasure announcing the winners:
Most Valuable Player, Top Scorer, Rookie of the Year
Muench turned many heads during the 08/09 season and is a "slam dunk" for at least two of the three awards that he walked away with. Not only was Dane the team's only all-star, but his absence was definitely felt when he was out of the lineup. Earlier today, Blair Atcheynum defended the coaching staff's decision by saying, "We definitely were a different team without Dane in the lineup." He led the team with 24 goals in the regular season, and was a solid contributor in the playoffs too. Had Muench played in Game 5 against Humboldt, who knows what might have been..
Mitch Wall, Alex Leclerc and Troy Watt could have all been seriously considered for this award, but realistically nobody was more deserving than Birch. After an up-and-down regular season, Birch started Game One of the postseason and never really looked back. The 18-year-old showed incredible poise, and was one of the main reasons why the Stars had the playoff that they did. This award was extremely well deserved.
Other Award Winners:
Top Defenceman: Jesse Lebreton / Tom Kleidon
It's simple: Once Kleidon arrived, Lebreton became a much better player. Kleidon provided some much needed depth and experience to the backend, and both players fed off of one another. Jesse will be the first to admit that he tried to do "too much" in the early portion of the season, but once he settled down the Stars became a much more consistent team defensively.
It's midnight, and I'm off to bed. I promise I'll update the rest of the winners tomorrow. It's been a very busy day, and I'm already up way past my bedtime!
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