Brock’s Kelly Walker (Brampton) has been named the 2010-11 Ontario University Athletics Player of the Year for hockey.
The fifth-year veteran is only the second Badger to win the award. In the last five years, it has been swept by the Wilfrid Laurier Lady Hawks. Walker scored the most goals and the most points in the regular season over any other university women’s hockey player in Canada. Her 20 goals and 21 assists even beat out Olympian and famed hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser.
Walker helped lead the Badgers to a No. 5 national ranking and to a second place OUA playoff berth. She was also named a First-Team All-Star.
Laurier’s Laura Brooker (Fergus) was named the Rookie of the Year. The first-year Hawk finished fourth in scoring overall in OUA with 19 goals and eight assists for 27 points. She earned top 10 status in scoring throughout the country and was second in OUA for goals scored. Her average of scoring a point per game helped the No. 2 nationally ranked Laurier Lady Hawks leverage themselves to another first place finish in regular season rankings.
Brooker was also named a Second-Team OUA All-Star and to the OUA All-Rookie Team.
The OUA nominee for the Canadian Interuniversity Sports Marion Hillard Award is York University’s Autumn Mills. The award is given to a student-athlete for outstanding achievement in hockey, academics and community involvement. The fifth-year athlete is the first York Lion to be nominated for the award in OUA women’s hockey history.
Mills was named a CIS Academic All-Canadian last season for the third time in her career. Last year, the London native was the recipient of the York Lions Sport Excellence Award as well as the Kenaiden Contracting Award, given to individuals who demonstrate leadership in the community and excellence in athletics and academics. In her spare time, Mills volunteers as a coach for a men’s baseball team.
The 2011 Coach of the Year distinction was awarded to Brock’s Jim Denham. In his first year as the interim head coach, Denham has led the Badgers to a successful season and a No. 5 national ranking. His Badgers defeated the defending champion Laurier Golden Hawks twice this season and will look to lead his team to Brock’s first OUA title.
Forwards joining Walker on the First-Team All-Star list include Laurier’s Katherine Shirriff (Carrying Place). The fourth-year forward was ranked third overall in OUA for points. The playmaker scored seven goals and had a league high 25 assists for the Hawks. This was Shiffiff’s first All-Star award. Forward Kelsey Thomson (Martintown) of the Queen’s Gaels was also named a First-Team All-Star for the first time in her career. The fifth-year veteran finished off the regular season with 15 goals and 18 assists, good for second in OUA and seventh in the country.
First-Team All-Stars on defence were both from the Lady Hawks. Fiona Lester (Peterborough), only a second-year, had a plus minus rating of zero and scored 16 points from the back end this season. She was joined by teammate Alicia Martin (Etobicoke) on the First-Team All-Star list. In Martin’s fourth-year, she scored 12 points and was the veteran leader in Laurier’s defensive structure.
Brock’s goaltender, Beth Clause (Hamilton) was named a First-Team All-Star for the first time in her career. After two consecutive seasons of being named to the Second-Team All-Star list, the fifth-year finally earned First-Team status after her stellar career. The veteran recorded more than 3,000 saves in her career with the Badgers and blocked 623 shots just this season. Her save percentage was good for third in the country at 0.941 and she recorded four shutouts this season.
The Second-Team All-Star forward joining Brooker is Queen’s Gaels forward Morgan McHaffie (Guelph). The second-year finished fifth overall in OUA for points with 15 goals and 12 assists in the regular season. In her fifth and final year, Guelph Gryphons forward Jessica Zerafa (Mississauga) also made the list. She finished sixth overall in OUA in point scoring with eight goals and 19 assists.
Joining teammate Zerafa on the Second-Team All-Star list was defenceman Jacalyn Sollis (West Vancouver, B.C.). This was the second time in her career being named a Second-Team All-Star. Brock’s Maja Samborski (Toronto) was also a key to the Brock defence this year and was named a Second-Team All-Star for the first time. The Second-Team All-Star goalie was Laurier’s Liz Knox (Stouffville). The illustrious goaltender has been named an All-Star four of five years and was named OUA Player of the Year in 2010. She has represented Canada as well as won an OUA Championship for every year she has played for Laurier.
The 2011 OUA All-Rookie Team showcases a variety of talent for the years to come. Rookie of the Year, Brooker is joined by Brock’s Leigh Vanderveen (Niagara-on-the-Lake) and Windsor’s Courtney Spoors (Kingsville) as forwards. Vanderveen was a standout for the Badgers this season making the top ten in OUA point getters. The rookie scored 10 goals and added another 15 assists to her first season in OUA. Spoors was third highest in scoring of all rookie this year with 13 goals and 10 assists, and helped keep the Lancers within the national rankings throughout the season.
Another Lancer named to the All-Rookie Team was defenceman Adalena Tridico (Windsor). The rookie scored 13 points this season. Laurier’s Alannah Wakefield (Pickering) was also an All-Rookie for the 2011 season. She was second in OUA for defenceman scoring with six goals and eight assists. Rookie goalie Nicole Kesteris (Aurora) recorded over a thousand minutes of ice time in her first season with the Blues and had two shutouts.