March 17, 2013 - Western Hockey League (WHL) - Brandon Wheat Kings
Brandon, Manitoba - For the second straight season it was the Captain that was the big winner as the Western Hockey League's Brandon Wheat Kings hosted their Annual Awards Night before 4,400 fans at Westman Communications Group Place on Saturday night.
One year after Mark Stone walked away with five trophies, first-year Captain Ryan Pulock matched him this year as the Wheat Kings brought the curtain down on their 2012-13 Western Hockey League season.
Of the five, the 18-year old Grandview product needed to share one with rookie center Tim McGauley. The two finished the season with 45 points to close out the campaign as co-winners of the Brandon Sun Trophy. While Pulock wound up with fourteen goals and 45 points, McGauley had 45 points, including seventeen goals.
In addition to sharing the club's scoring title, Pulock also took home the Meighen Haddad LLP Most Valuable Player, the Manitoba Hydro Turk Broda Memorial as Top Manitoba Born Player, the Coca Cola Rob Stouffer Most Inspirational as well as Top Defenceman honours.
By being named the Wheat Kings' Top Defenceman, Pulock became a 2-time winner of the Brad McCrimmon Memorial Trophy, which is named after the former Brandon blueliner who was lost in a tragic plane crash in Russia in 2011.
McCrimmon was the only 3-time winner of the club's Top Defenceman honour, capturing what had been previously called the Wheat Kings' Executive Trophy in 1977, 1978 and '79.
As for McGauley, he also took home the Dennis Truscott UCT Trophy as the Wheat Kings' Most Improved Player in 2012-13 and joined veteran Tyler Yaworski and 16-year old Jayce Hawryluk as the only other multiple winners on Saturday night.
While Yaworski was named the Precision Toyota Unsung Hero and Art Marshall Top Graduating Player, Hawryluk was chosen the MNP Rookie of the Year and picked up the Shoppers Drug Mart Fans Choice Award.
Rounding out the list of winners this year were veteran Jason Swyripa (Canad Inns Hardest Working Player), netminder Corbin Boes (Manitoba Blue Cross 3 Stars Award), Minnedosa's Chad Robinson (Keystone Centre Most Sportsmanlike Player), rookie defenceman Colton Waltz (Maggie Janz Scholastic Player of the Year) and veteran Jens Meilleur (McDonalds Frank King Trophy for Most Community Minded Player).
For the fourth consecutive season, the Wheat Kings awards were given out during the club's final regular season game, which was won by Brandon 2-1 in an Overtime Shootout. After 19-year old Rene Hunter tied the score with just over two minutes remaining in regulation time, 20-year old Nick Buonassisi - in his 339th and final Western League game - scored the Shootout game winner.
Brandon finished the season with a record of 24-40-4-4 and wound have missed the playoffs for the first time in thirteen years and only the second time since 1992.