Ancaster Avalanche’s Ryan Kuwabara is the recipient of the Tom Kelly Memorial Trophy as the Golden Horseshoe Conference Junior B coach of the year.
The 41-year-old Hamilton native is in his fourth season as general manager and coach of the Avalanche (the former Stoney Creek Warriors). During his tenure the club has risen from seventh place in the GHC to fifth place this season.
Kuwabara beat out Mike Bullard of the Caledonia Pro-Fit Corvairs, Chris Johnstone of the Fort Erie Meteors, Terry Masterson of the Niagara Falls Canucks, Yvan Charrios of the Port Colborne Pirates, Frank Girhiny of the St. Catharines Falcons, Ed Pizzo of the Thorold Blackhawks, and Keith Osborne of the Welland Junior Canadians.
Kuwabara played for the Hamilton Kilty B’s Junior B team in 1988-89 before embarking on a three-year Junior A stint with the Ottawa 67s of the Ontario Hockey League. He went on to play in the American and the East Coast hockey leagues before launching a 15-year professional career in Japan. During that time he played as a member of the Japanese National Team in the 1998 Nagano Olympic Games in Japan plus six World Hockey Championships between 1999 and 2003. He played for the Senior AAA Dundas Real McCoys in 2009-10.
Other GHC awards included:
Cecil Jones Memorial Trophy – Most Gentlemanly Player – Kevin Lavoie, Thorold Blackhawks. Runner-up: Max Balinson, Ancaster Avalanche.
JP Thomas Memorial Trophy – Most Improved Player – Carson Johnstone, Fort Erie Meteors. Runner-up: Luke Zupan, Ancaster Avalanche.
Brent Rubel Trophy – Rookie of the Year – Jack Fitzgerald, Welland Junior Canadians. Runner-up: Chris Klack, Ancaster Avalanche.
Dave Dunham Trophy – Most Valuable Defenceman – Kyler Nixon, Caledonia Pro-Fit Corvairs. Runner-up: Harris Domagala, Ancaster Avalanche.
Russell Masterson Memorial Trophy – Most Valuable Player – Cody Brown, Caledonia Pro-Fit Corvairs. Runner-up: Zach Nieminen, Ancaster Avalanche.
Corporal Tyler Crooks Trophy – Player of the Year – Connor Murphy – Caledonia Pro-Fit Corvairs. Runner-up: Eric Eustace, Ancaster Avalanche.
GHC Volunteers of the Year Awards (one for each team honoured) – Tyler Aird, Ancaster Avalanche.
Rob Judge Memorial Trophy – Most Regular Season goals – Cody Brown, Caledonia Pro-Fit Corvairs, 38 in 41 games.
Pat Murphy Memorial Trophy – Most Regular Season Points – Connor Murphy, Caledonia Pro-Fit Corvairs, 96 points in 49 games.
Golden horseshoe Trophy – First place regular season – Caledonia Pro-Fit Corvairs, 45-3-1.
Tony Bloomfield Trophy – Best goals-against-average regular season record – Colin Furlong and Curtis D’Ortenzio, 2.04.