Oil Barons hand out hardware at annual team awards

If you can believe it, 60 games are in the books and the 2019 AJHL Playoffs are just around the corner. But, before we set our sights on the Grande Prairie Storm, we took a moment to reflect on the regular season that was at our annual awards banquet on Monday night.

Leading the way with three awards on the night was second year Oil Baron Reed Morison. Morison led the AJHL in goals with 41 this season and finished third in league scoring with 79 points. Morison’s consistent play all season earned him our team’s Most Valuable Player Award and Top Scorer honours. Morison’s play was also recognized at the AJHL level, as he was nominated for the league’s Most Valuable Player Award earlier this month. 

Morison shared the Rody MacNeil Scholarship with line mate and Fort McMurrayite Kole Gable. Gable retuned home this season, after spending the past three seasons in the WHL. Gable’s consistent play all season also earned him the team’s Unsung Hero Award, where he finished second in team scoring with 24 goals and 65 points. Gable also brought a veteran presence to the team and fearlessly blocked shots on the team’s penalty kill.

Third year Oil Baron Jarred White was named the winner of the Glenn Carriere Heart and Hustle Award. White’s tireless work ethic and willingness to sacrifice his body for the team, saw his game excel in the regular season’s second half. The 19 year old from Edmonton enters the post season as one of the hottest Oil Barons, where he finished the regular season with 24 points in his final 25 games.

Second year Oil Baron Gunner Kinniburgh was named the team’s Most Defensive Player. Night after night, Kinniburgh played against the other team’s top forwards and fearlessly blocked shots on the Oil Barons penalty kill.

Hard-hitting forward Chad McLean was named the team’s Rookie of the Year. McLean was a steady centre on the MOB’s third line this season and consistently battled against the opposition’s top players both physically and verbally.

Another Fort McMurrayite also received award honours on Monday night. Jesse Burchart picked up the Terry Conroy Award for community involvement. Jesse was actively involved in on ice sessions with minor hockey players throughout the season, all while being a student at Father Mercredi High School.

Goaltender Chris Curr followed up a stellar rookie season and was the recipient of the Coach’s Award. The 19 year old from St. Albert picked up 23 wins on the year and ranked in the AJHL’s top goaltenders in both save percentage and goals against average. Curr was also a workhorse for the MOB this season, appearing in the majority of the team’s games down the stretch and making big saves at key times to help propel the MOB to big wins.

Last, but not least, fourth year Oil Baron and team captain Taner Miller was named the team’s Best Defenceman and Most Dedicated Player. The soft-spoken Miller set career highs with 11 goals and 46 points this season, while appearing in 59 of the team’s 60 games for a third straight year. 

In total, Miller played in an impressive 234 games for the Oil Barons over four seasons, only missing six regular season games in that span. Miller’s dedication to his team was also recognized by the AJHL, as he was named a finalist for the league’s Most Dedicated Player Award.

While the night focussed on the achievements of individual players, it also gave the Oil Barons an opportunity to thank and recognize our many supporters. Long time volunteer Winsor Earle was named our Volunteer of the Year. On most nights, Winsor can be found taking tickets at the main doors or helping with other tasks around the Casman Centre to ensure each game runs smoothly.

Plain and simple, our success would not be possible without the support of our staff, volunteers, sponsors, and billets. We thank you all of your continued support! 

A reminder that our first round playoff match up against the Grande Prairie Storm kicks off this week! Games 1 and 2 will take place at the Casman Centre on Thursday, March 7 and Friday, March 8. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased at the Casman Centre box office or online. Puck drop for both games is 7:30 p.m.