Men’s hockey garners accolades

Gibb wins MVP, Gibson earns coach of the year after milestone season

Brett Gibson motivates the troops in a Nov. 17 game against McGill at the Memorial Centre. The Gaels lost the game 6-2.
Brett Gibson motivates the troops in a Nov. 17 game against McGill at the Memorial Centre. The Gaels lost the game 6-2.

Members of the men’s hockey team received some individual recognition Wednesday after the team’s best season in 25 years.

Second-year head coach Brett Gibson was voted OUA East Coach of the Year by his peers. Goalie Ryan Gibb was named the OUA East’s Most Valuable Player, while leading scorer Brady Olsen won the OUA’s Most Sportsmanlike Player Award. Gibb was named a first-team OUA East All-Star and Olsen was named a second-team All-Star.

Gibson led the team to their first ever Mid-East Division title with a record of 13-12-3. The Gaels lost to the McGill Redmen in the playoffs.

Gibson said his award represents how far the Queen’s hockey program has come in a short period of time.

“This was a process. This didn’t happen overnight. We’re still not there but we’re a lot further than I thought we would be at this point,” he said.

“To see the transition in the program is really rewarding. You have to believe in yourself, but I wonder, ‘Am I setting the bar too high? Am I pushing the guys too hard?’ … When you see the results you know you’re doing the right thing for the right reasons.”

Gibson said stepping in as an associate coach to Kirk Muller in 2005-06 helped his development as a head coach. Muller’s now an assistant coach of the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens.

“When I first took over with Kirk we were working together because I knew he was moving on to bigger and better things, and I was learning from him,” he said. “It’s great to learn the inside track before you get thrown right into it.”

Gibb, last year’s OUA East Rookie of the Year, built on his outstanding first season by earning 11 of the Gaels’ 13 wins and leading the CIS with a .929 save percentage. Gibb fought off competition from newcomer Brady Morrison, who had been a starter for the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67’s. Gibson said he’s glad Gibb is receiving the credit he deserves.

“He’s the reason we’re in the majority of the games and allows us to play a defence-first system,” he said. “He wants to be the best. It’s a cliché, but his actions speak for themselves. He hates getting scored on in practice, he hates getting scored on in the warm-up and he hates pucks in his net.”

Olsen, who led the Gaels in scoring with 19 goals and 13 assists this season, had only 13 minor penalties all season.

“Brady is a special kid,” Gibson said. “He was what made you come to the rink, to have him do something and say ‘how did he do that?’ He’s going to be missed.”

The women’s hockey team also received some individual accolades, with forward Liz Kench named to the OUA East’s first All-Star team and rookie defender Michelle Hunt named to the All-Rookie team.

Kench was fourth in OUA scoring with 13 goals and 14 assists.

For a complete list of the Golden Gaels’ individual awards, please see page 34.

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