The Salmon Arm Silverbacks have wrapped up another season, and with it comes another lineup of awards for members of the team who excelled on and off the ice.
Hosted at the Elk’s Hall in Salmon Arm, the awards night banquet is a yearly tradition for Silverbacks’ players to reflect on the past season and recognize key performers from the year. Awards range from the coveted MVP and top scorer to recognizing community involvement and academic efforts.
During the awards ceremony, five players were wished the best of luck during their future endeavours in the hockey world as they hit the age limit for playing in the BCHL this season. Andy Stevems, Sam MacBean, Justin Wilson, Darren Rizzolo and Jack Sampson played their last junior A season with the Silverbacks, and were recognized for their commitment to excel on the ice during their final season in the BCHL.
This season was full of ups and downs for the Silverbacks, showcasing some big winning streaks and a record-breaking performance in away games despite being plagued with injuries. Several players landed scholarships and future opportunities in university hockey during the season, and a number of alumni skaters started their career in the NHL.
Their division was widely proclaimed as the toughest in the league, but the Silverbacks pushed through to the first playoff round, facing the Vernon Vipers as they did the year before. Their playoff series was a nail-biter from start to finish, with a majority of games ending in overtime – including the longest playoff game in Silverbacks history which ran for over four hours.
The 2018-19 Silverbacks awards were given to the following players:
Most Valuable Player: Matthew Verboon
Top Scorer: Matthew Verboon
Scholastic Player of the Year: Justin Wilson
Most Improved Player: Nick Unruh
Most Dedicated Player: Trevor Adams
Rookie of the Year: John Little
Fan Favourite Award: Matthew Verboon and Nick Unruh
Top Defenceman: Akito Hirose
Unsung Hero: Ethan Langenegger
Hit Man of the Year: Sol Siebel
Most Sportsmanlike Player: Andy Stevens
Outstanding Citizen Award: Logan Shaw
Wellness in Action Award: Sam MacBean
Score for School Scholarship: Andy Stevens