Monday, 19 March 2012

Ice Wolves Award Winners

The Ice Wolves held their 14th Annual Awards Banquet this weekend.  I'm sure if I had been around this team for the last 14 years I'd be saying, "Man, fifteen years coming up.  Where did the time go?", but I wasn't, so I'll leave that to someone else.  As expected, my MC'ing was much less deadly without the fireworks show.  If you're reading this and thinking, "there wasn't a fireworks show last year."  You're clearly just blocking it out.

It was a great night, highlighted by the players' address given by Captains Aaron Enns and Matt Weisensel.  They were heartfelt and grateful, not to mention, hilarious when both delivered their speeches off of cellphones and problems arose.  Including Skyler Hladun calling Weisensel while he was in the middle of his talk.  It was a pleasure to work with both Weisensel and Enns this season, and really, all of the players.

Bob Beatty took the time to put an emphasis on community support for the team.  While he pointed out he was preaching to the converted, he implored people to spread the word about the Ice Wolves around town.  Attendance wasn't exactly impressive in the playoffs this season, making it clear that support needs to be there all the time, not just when the team is winning Championships.  Beatty said the focus in the dressing room this post season was becoming a difference maker, and he applied it to the community as well.  Beatty also made sure to mention the great billets in town as the players highlighted their impact in exit interviews.

Team President Terry Helary found himself reiterating the previous talks to some degree as he thanked everyone around the organization.  Helary spoke about the team's scouting staff as well as the board and volunteers who make it all happen.  He also invited everyone to come out to the AGM which will likely take place in May.

The Wolves handed out 15 Awards on the evening.  Here they are:

Award for Sportsmanship and Dedicated Play: Pat Tran
Diamond in the Rough: Brennan Ritchie
Fan's Choice: Aaron Enns
Rookie of the Year: Jared Iron
Most Improved Player: Louis-Joseph Sawyer and Brett Hope
Top Defenceman: Matt Weisensel
Most Dedicated: Matt Weisensel and Pavlo Zerebecky
Community Minded: Myles Hovdebo and Franklin Cook
Most Valuable Player (Regular Season): Alex Rajotte
Most Valuable Player (Playoffs): Byron Sorenson
Bob Graas Memorial Bursary: Byron Sorenson
Mr Hustle: Nathan Boyer
Best Playmaker: Marc-Andre Carre
Top Scorer: Skyler Hladun
George Walker Memorial Award for Heart and Determination: Graham Smerek

Myron Schmalz talking really fast
The Wolves also held their annual Jersey Auction on the evening in conjunction with a Silent Auction.  There were some great pictures of all the 20 year olds on the team.  You can see a couple of them in the picture of the awards above.  Also, a really nice chair that I would have loved to bid on if I actually had space in my apartment.

Myles Hovdebo "selling himself"
The Wolves jerseys brought in just shy of $24,000 for the organization.  I don't have the numbers from the Silent Auction or big draw from the night, but the outlook is pretty good on the fundraising from the evening.

Marc-Andre Carre's jersey was the big seller on the evening at $3,750 with Nathan Boyer's coming in at an even $3000 as the second highest earner.

To cap things off, here's a video of Myron Schmalz of Schmalz Auction Houses (pictured above) selling Matt Weisensel's number eight jersey.

Later in the evening, there was a great moment during the dance portion of the night.  A Ukrainian Dance Party broke out, which was pretty awesome.  There were some really impressive moves put on during the the whole thing.  If anyone reading this happens to have video of the dance, I'd love to get my hands on it seeing as my phone had died by that point of the night.


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