Fife Flyers awards night

David Brown and Matt Delahey were the big winners at Fife Flyers awards night at the Bay Hotel, Kirkcaldy as the regular season drew to a close.

Delahey was signed last summer and earned the respect of his teammates as they voted the defenseman the Players’ Player of the Year. The Canadian said:

“It’s nice to win awards. Obviously, throughout the year you focus more on team achievements. Especially being a guy like me who maybe doesn’t put up a lot of points, plays defense and kills a few penalties. Awards are not something that I think about. However, to win one, and one that was voted for by the players means the world, so I’m thankful for that.”

It was not his only victory of the night. The Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan native dedicated his Defenseman of the Year trophy to his on-rink partner Kyle Haines. The ex New Jersey Devil said:

“Yea, I guess anytime you win, it has to do with the people around you. I mean, almost every shift I played out there was with him. He makes me look better and I owe him a lot.”

His compatriot, David Brown was honored that the supporters voted him their Player of the Year. The net minder said:

“It’s very special, It’s a big honor. The fans come out to every game. It’s an incredible fan base and to have their support is something I cherish and appreciative of.”

Hailing from Stoney Creek, Ontario, he had stiff competition from forwards Justin Fox and Ryan Dingle. The latter won Forward of the Year and was the side’s top points scorer with 57. The former NHL draft pick said:

“Those are two of our top players and performers. They are two unbelievable guys that know how to put the puck in the back of the net and it could have gone to either one of them.”

Having come to Scotland in time for the 2015/16 campaign from the now defunct Hull Stingrays, he has enjoyed his debut outing in Fife. He added:

“It has been incredible to have the support and everything here in Kirkcaldy. Being able to go to the old arena and performing in front of this fan base is special. The ‘Broonie’ chant is something that I will remember for the rest of my life, so it has been amazing.”

On that special relationship with the fans, the goalie commented:

“Yes, absolutely. It grew organically throughout the season. I appreciate it and try to acknowledge them back. It motivates me to do better and give them the victory that they deserve.”

Local lad, Stephen Gunn celebrated a decade with his hometown team by picking up British Player of the Year. The runners-up were two other Kirkcaldy-born men in the guises of Kyle Horne and Thomas Muir.

The now retired Danny Stewart was awarded Unsung Hero for his tireless effort at both ends of the rink. Stewart plied his trade as a defender or a winger and certainly put the work in for the cause.

Dingle was the recipient of Goal of the Season award for his first effort against the Edinburgh Capitals.

Ryan Dingle’s Goal of the Season

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EIHL’s end of season awards

Ice Hockey’s Elite League handed out its annual awards as part of the festivities of finals weekend.

Cardiff Devils goalie Ben Bowns was given the nod for British Player of the Year. The Rotherham born keeper also earned Netminder of the Year. This was due to him leading the league in goals-against average (2.50) and save percentage (.918).

Bowns’ teammate, Andrew Hotham was named Defenceman of the Year. He was the highest scoring defenceman for the second campaign in a row. The Barrie (not Barry Island) born skater was responsible for 16 goals and 68 points in 63 regular season and Challenge Cup matches.

Mathew Sisca of the Manchester Storm secured both the Elite League top goalscorer and leading points scorer titles. His coach, Omar Pacha collecting the trophies on his behalf.

Sheffield’s Paul Thompson earned Coach of the Year plaudits after securing back-to-back titles.

Player of the Year went to Cardiff’s Joey Martin, who notched up 31 goals and 84 points in all competitions. The Canadian’s performances were good enough to be Forward of the Year.

The All-Star teams were also announced.

Bowns and Hotham were both named to the first team. As were Steelers’s Ben O’Connor and Tyler Mosienko. Joey Martin and Nottingham’s Juraj Kolnik completed the set.

Coventry Blaze goaltender Brian Stewart was the standout on the second team. Belfast player/coach Derrick Walser made the side along with his trusted centre James Desmarais. Two Storm players also made it in the guise of Paul Phillips and Mathew Sisca. Then last year’s outstanding skater, Mathieu Roy took a step back but was good enough to be honoured.

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