Photo Credit - Chad Goddard:
CALGARY, AB – The Canadian Junior Hockey League announced Friday the finalists for its Top Goaltender Award for the 2017-18 campaign. The finalists were determined through balloting by each of the CJHL’s 10-member leagues for their respective efforts during the course of the regular season.
Listed alphabetically, by league, are the five nominees for the CJHL’s Top Goaltender Award:
Riley Morris, Okotoks Oilers (AJHL)
BIO: Named the AJHL’s Top Goaltender for 2017-18 and was the recipient of the Friends of AJHL Trophy. The Top Goaltender Award is presented to the goalie who demonstrated the greatest ability in his position throughout the season. Morris finished 2017-18 season with 18 consecutive wins. Overall Morris posted a record of 31-2-2 and recorded 4 shutouts. He was second overall among all AJHL goaltenders with a 1.98 GAA. The 21-year-old from Calgary, Alta., is in his fourth and final AJHL season as a member of the Okotoks Oilers. In his final season, he set new franchise records for Career Shutouts (10), Games Played by a Goaltender (141) and Career Wins (88). Morris was also a finalist for the AJHL goaltending award in 2016-17.
Ty Taylor, Vernon Vipers (BCHL)
BIO: Vernon’s Ty Taylor led the BCHL in nearly every statistical goaltending category this year, so he was a no-brainer for the league’s Top Goaltender Award at the end of the season. On Jan. 16 against the West Kelowna Warriors, the native of Richmond, B.C. tied the BCHL record with his seventh shutout of the season in a 5-0 victory. He finished the season with a league-best .931 save percentage and a 1.87 goals-against average. The 18-year-old split duties with the Vipers other goaltender Anthony Yamnitsky and they combined to win the Wally Forslund Trophy for the top goaltending tandem with a combined 1.98 goals-against average. From Dec. 9 to Jan. 16, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound keeper posted five shutouts in seven games. Taylor finished the year with a record of 23-5-3. Next season he will play for the University of New Hampshire in the NCAA D-I ranks.
Troy Martyniuk, Winkler Flyers (MJHL)
BIO: For the 37th consecutive season, Winkler Flyers qualified for the MJHL playoffs ─ thanks in large part to the outstanding play of tireless goaltender Troy Martyniuk. The native of Winnipeg was a workhorse for the Flyers, leading all MJHL goaltenders in minutes played: 2,797. He also recorded a league-high 28 wins. Nicknamed “Marty”, the 20-year-old was recently voted the league’s top goaltender, in addition to being voted to the league’s second team all-star team. Among his many accomplishments, he was named the MGEU-MJHL goaltender of the month for November. He broke into the MJHL when he was 16 with Dauphin Kings. He would also play with Wayway Wolverines before finding a permanent home with the Flyers. He’s a second generation MJHLer following his father Wayne who played defence for the St. James Canadians.
Fraser Kirk, Newmarket Hurricanes (OJHL)
BIO: The Burlington, Ont. native was tabbed the 22-team OJHL’s Goaltender of the Year for 2017-18. Kirk, 20, The October 2017 Kewl OJHL goaltender of the month went on to record 27 wins and have a 1.86 average, which were both second-best in the league. He tied for seventh in save percentage at .923. His goals against (1.84) and save percentage (.937) were both tops in the OJHL playoffs before Newmarket fell in seven games to the eventual Buckland Trophy champion Wellington Dukes. Kirk has committed to Bentley University in Waltham, Mass. Kirk on an NCAA Division 1 scholarship to play for the hockey Falcons beginning this fall.
Declan Hobbs, Nipawin Hawks (SJHL)
BIO: Was named co-recipient of the SJHL Top Goaltender Award. The 19-year-old Hobbs appeared in 29 games with the Hawks in the regular season recording a 22-4-1-2 record. His goals-against average of 2.20 was the second-best mark in the league and he tied for fourth in save percentage at .919. Last season he went 9-3-0 in 13 appearances with a 1.94 GAA and .929 save mark. His strong play this year also got him another opportunity in the WHL as Hobbs was called up by the Spokane Chiefs for two games in December. His return to Nipawin, however, gave the Hawks one of the best tandems along with rookie netminder Jake Anthony.
Earning honourable mention for the CJHL Top Goaltender Award were: Liam Lascelle, Cornwall Colts (CCHL); Jeremy Belisle, Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJAAAQ); Dominik Tmej, Summerside Western Capitals (MHL); Carter McPhail, Soo Eagles (NOJHL) and Brandon Bodnar, Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL).
The CJHL Top Goaltender Award recipient will be announced later this month.
Also of note, the finalists for the CJHL Coach of the Year will be named at a later date while the RBC Hockey Canada/CJHL Player of the Year and the RBC Scholastic Player of the Year will be presented at the RBC Cup Awards Banquet, May 10, in Chilliwack, B.C.