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Midget Trackers hand out year-end awards during camping trip

Reid Arberry chosen as team MVP; Evan Baker, unsung hero
NEBC midget Trackers' team MVP Reid Arberry shovels the puck around the boards while being chased by Peace River Royals' Raiden Duchesneau in a game Jan. 22, 2022 at the Pomeroy Sports Centre.

Following in the footsteps of the Fort St. John Huskies, the Northeast BC/Yukon midget Trackers' year-end awards were a relatively quiet affair - the Trackers deciding to present their team awards during a weekend camp out across the line in Alberta June 4-5.

Seven different awards were handed out.

Forward Reid Arberry, who had 25 goals and 26 assists through 27 games, was chosen as the team's Most Valuable Player.

"He had a heck of a year. He really stepped up as a leader on the team," said head coach Gerard Dicaire.

"He was challenged this year to strive to make it to junior A or major midget next year and I believe he accomplished that."

Sam Loewen was chosen as the Provincials MVP, a key part of the team's silver-medal finish in Surrey back in late March.

"That was (the award) really a combination of all year. Sam really grew as a person and a player," said Decaire. 

"You know, we don't get to that final game without him scoring that winner in overtime. He really stepped up his play down there."

Both the Top Defenceman and Top Defensive Forward awards resulted in ties.

Ethan Hofstrand and Kaden Arberry were co-winners of the Top Defenceman.

"We couldn't decide between the two of them. Very different styles of play. Kaden - big, physical, uses his speed. Used in all kinds of situations, especially the penalty kill," said Decaire. "Ethan, on the other hand, we utilized him more in offensive situations like the power play."

Mason Loewen and Landon Alexander shared the Top Defensive Award trophy for 2021-22.

"Same thing with those guys," added Dicaire. "It could have went to a number of guys but we thought with two 15-year-olds coming in. As soon as we got a penalty, I would look no further than those two to get us started on that penalty kill. They did a heckuva job."

The Most Improved award went to Zack Ryan.

"Zack's been with us for two years. This one was more growth as a person than a hockey player. He was known be an agitator, take bad penalties but this year, he knew what his role was on the team and he did everything we asked of him."

Kash Pittam was named the Most Sportsmanlike Player.

"It wasn't about who took the fewest penalties. It was about who was always on the ice. Seeing the game in a positive light, good with other teams...always had a positive attitude," said Dicaire.

And, the Unsung Hero award was given to goaltender Evan Baker.

"As a coaching staff, we leaned on him pretty hard as a 15-year-old goalie. Knew he had the potential to handle the minutes. Wasn't a lot of praise throughout the year. It was just expected, but he did the job and he did it well. Well-deserved!"

The Trackers, who finished tied atop the Northern Alberta Midget Hockey League's standings with a record of 23 wins, four losses, and five ties, return to the ice for training camp in late August.