Pistons named as finalists for MJHL awards
Despite earning nominations in four of the six categories in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s (MJHL) awards for the season, no Steinbach Piston walked away with hardware after the league announced the winners March 5.
The finalists for the awards were announced March 2, with Travis Hensrud, Dominik Wasik and Warren Clark all earning recognition.
Hensrud was named one of the four finalists for the Frank McKinnon Memorial Award for hockey ability and the Steve “Boomer” Hawrysh Award for the league’s most valuable player.
Hensrud is second in the league in points, only behind MVP winner Lucas Brennan from the Selkirk Steelers.
Ryan Botterill of the Portage Terriers won the Frank McKinnon Memorial Award. The 2003-born player has the most points on the league-leading Terriers.
Wasik was a finalist for the Ed Belfour top goaltender award, which was won by Swan Valley’s Kobe Grant. Grant’s incredible 0.931 save percentage is even more impressive considering he also leads the league in games played by a wide margin. He’s the only goalie with more than 32 games played with a save percentage above 0.920.
Wasik has had an impressive season of his own, posting a better goals against average and a 0.924 save percentage, but has only appeared in 31 games this season, 11 less than Grant as of March 7.
Warren Clark was nominated for the Kim Davis award, given to the league’s top rookie. The defenseman has put up big minutes on the back end for the Pistons, while chipping in 36 points in 49 games. That strong season wasn’t enough to overcome Carter Cormier’s season for Selkirk. The 2004-born forward scored 51 points in 41 games for the Steelers, and was the only rookie scoring more at more than a point-per-game pace as of March 7.
The Brian Kozak Award, given to the MJHL’s top defenseman, went to Winkler Flyers captain Trent Sambrook. Sambrook has played in all 53 of Winkler’s games this season, scoring 51 points, while only racking up 14 penalty minutes.
Tyson Ramsey, coach of the Virden Oil Capitals, was named the Muzz Macpherson Memorial Award given to the league’s top head coach. Ramsey’s capitals were at the bottom of the west division standings to start 2023, but rattled off an excellent run of play in the new year, and now sit second in the division.