By Yoos, Cam on April 9, 2020.
It’s the time of the year when the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns athletics hosts its annual Blue and Gold Banquet.
But with the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down the banquet portion of the yearly awards, the Horns have moved their 53rd annual festivities online to their Twitter account.
The award winners will announced throughout this week.
With 11 first-year players in the lineup, the 2019-20 Canada West season brought some growing pains for the Pronghorns men’s hockey team.
Tied for the final playoff spot to start the second semester, the Horns went on a rough 0-10-2 slide to miss the playoffs.
First-year forwards Luke Coleman and Michael Clarke made immediate impacts. Coleman led the team in scoring with 12 goals and eight assists in 28 games. Clarke finished tied for third on the team with seven goals and nine assists.
After leading his team in scoring, Coleman earned the dual honour of MVP and Rookie of the Year. Coleman tied for second in Canada West rookie goal scoring with 12 goals, leading in power- play goals with five and sixth in rookie points with 20.
Graduating blue-liner Evan Wardley was named as the Horns Defenceman of the Year.
Wardley’s physical play made him a key contributor to team success, and earned him a pro contract with the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL.
Winning this year’s George Vaselenak Award for Sportsmanship and Ability was forward Torrin White.
Battling injuries throughout his career, White played the game with passion while also being a leader and consummate student-athlete. Away from the rink, he was an ambassador for the Pronghorn Athletics program, highlighted by his anti-bullying initiative he started this past fall.
With new head coach Doug Paisley at the helm the Pronghorns women’s hockey team got off to a quick start in 2019-20, going undefeated in six non-conference games and earning wins in six of their first eight conference games.
That put the Horns atop the Canada West for the first five weeks and also had them nationally ranked for two weeks.
But the Pronghorns slipped in the second half, battling for their playoff lives to the final day of the season before falling short.
Graduating goaltender Alicia Anderson leaves the program holding Canada West records in games played by a goaltender (121), most minutes played (7,242), most saves (3,824) and also sits fourth in career save percentage (0.9313).
Veterans Tricia Van Varenbergh and Mattie Apperson moved into the top 15 in career games played in Canada West with 139 and 136, respectively. Kyra Grieg also finished in the top 10 in Canada West scoring.
For her solid freshman campaign, Sage Sansregret was named Rookie of the Year.
Sansregret played all 28 games for the Pronghorns and established herself as a player that could be counted on in a variety of roles. A strong skater, she was effective on the penalty kill and in a checking role while still scoring four goals.
This year’s Heart Award goes to fifth-year captain Mattie Apperson. Returning from major hip surgery last off-season, Apperson was able to cap her career playing in all 28 games and leading from the blue-line.
Selected as this year’s Pronghorns MVP is Greig. The third-year forward set new career highs in goals, assists and points to lead the Pronghorns in scoring and tie for 10th in Canada West scoring with seven goals, 11 assists and 18 points.