They played their hearts out and grew individually and as a team throughout the entire year, right up until game seven of the third round of playoffs. While that may not have ended the way they all had hoped, and with several of them in crutches, the Kimberley Dynamiters had a lot to be proud of this season, and on Sunday, Mar. 27 they gathered together at The Stemwinder for their annual awards ceremony.
The event is usually held at the Conference Centre, but as it was unavailable, they had a smaller dinner and ceremony event at the Stemwinder. The event was hosted by long-time commentator Jim Scott.
Head Coach/General Manager Derek Stuart, President James Leroux and Captain Ryan Bennett began the evening by thanking all of the staff, volunteers, billet families, sponsors and the players themselves for all of their remarkable achievements and contributions that made the season possible.
Numerous players received awards throughout the night, and a few received more than one. It was no surprise that Trystan Self, for example, was named MVP by the team and the Eddie Mountain Division as well as Top Goaltender by the Eddie Mountain Division and the KIJHL.
Stuart said Self had a breakout year and that this is the first time in many years the team’s MVP was awarded to a goaltender.
He led the KIJHL in wins with 22 and save percentage at .932 and he tied for the KIJHL lead for shutouts with six and was second in goals against average at 1.83.
At the most critical point of the regular season when the team needed to win out in order to finish first in their division, Self was named KIJHL Goalie of the Month for February and went 7-0 with a 1.34 goals against average and a .937 save percentage.
“He made numerous highlight reel saves right up to our last game which was one of his best all season, once again when we needed him the most, Selfie was there,” Stuart said. “To me what made him so good was his consistency and reliability. The team was very comfortable when he was in the net and he gave us a chance to win every time he was called upon.”
Throughout the year Austin Daniels was impressive both on and off the ice and he therefore was not only named the Playoff MVP, but managed to secure the awards for the most Sportsmanlike and the award for Scholastic Achievement. Daniels achieved an A-average in his classes at the College of the Rockies while consistently being a star player on his team.
Cam Reid, who came back to the team a bit later in the season after a stint with the Cranbrook Bucks, was both the fan-voted Most Popular Player, but also selected Top Defenseman by the Team and the Division. Cash Regan, with his 16 goals, 33 assists and 10 points in the playoffs, was named Top Forward and Top Scorer.
Derek Stuart was named Coach of the Year by both the Eddie Mountain Division and by the KIJHL.
This year, another person who has been invaluable to the team for around 30 years was recognized by the league, as Neil Rye was honoured with the distinction of KIJHL Volunteer of the Year.
“The closest we can find he’s been with the team since 1993 for sure, maybe even earlier, so he’s been on more bus trips and eaten more pizza than any of us combined probably,” Stuart said. “I don’t even think we have enough time to say all the things that he actually does day to day in the rink but I can just tell you that we would be severely screwed if he wasn’t a part of our team and a big part of our organizing everything and keeping the players in check.
“He’s done a lot of work in the past 30-plus years for this team and it’s about time he got recognized.”
Neil wasn’t able to be there in person as he was sick with the flu, but his award announcement was met by thunderous applause from the whole room.
Austin Daniels and Tyler Russell were also honoured as this year’s outgoing 20-year-olds as they move on to the next chapter of their lives.