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Hockey's Terriers Best Curling Calvert Foursome in 2015 Team of the Year Voting

Friday Jan 22 2016

Manitoba has a five-time winner of the Male Athlete of the Year award in the province.  JONATHAN TOEWS of the Chicago Black Hawks was selected for the third straight year in 2015, and for the fifth time in his outstanding career.  Sharing the honours with Toews is swimming star CHANTAL VAN LANDEGHEM, who won her second Manitoba Female Athlete of the Year award, and the PORTAGE TERRIERS of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, named the 2015 Manitoba Team of  the Year for their RBC Cup victory as Canadian Junior A hockey champions.

 Members of the Manitoba sports media voted for their choices of five finalists in the three categories, and the winners were announced by the Manitoba Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association at the 60th annual awards dinner (Friday night) at the Delta Winnipeg Hotel. 

Toews had 66 points, scoring 28 goals along with 38 assists in the regular 2014-15 NHL season.  The captain of the Stanley Cup champions added 10 goals and 11 assists in 23 playoff games, including the game's first two goals in Chicago's 5-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks in the seventh game of the Western Conference final. He also won the league's Mark Messier leadership award.  His previous selections as Manitoba's top male athlete came in 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2014. 

In the voting, Toews was selected first on 22 of the 34 sports media final ballots, and had a decisive total of 148 points on the one-to-five point voting process. Manitoba Bison David Onyemata, who won the J.P. Metras trophy as the most outstanding down lineman of the year in CIS football, was the runner-up with eight first place votes and 117 points.  Other finalists for the Nott Autocorp Award were Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings, archery's Jay Lyon, and Manitoba amateur golfer of the year Devon Schade.

Van Landeghem was a double gold medallist in the Pan American Games last year, setting a personal best and a Games swimming record while upsetting American legend Janet Evans in the 100 metre freestyle  event.  She also led the Canadian team to an unexpected victory in the 4x100 freestyle relay.  At the world  championships, she was a bronze medallist in the mixed 4x100 relay and finished fifth in Canadian record time in the individual 50 metre freestyle.  Van Landeghem, a previous Female Athlete of the Year winner in 2011, had 24 first place votes and a runaway total of 154 points.  Manitoba Bison Rachel Cockrell, selected as CIS volleyball's player of the year, was second with 104 points. Other finalists for the Labatt award were soccer star Desiree Scott, cyclist Leah Kirchmann, and excellent Bison hockey rookie Alanna Sharman. 

The Portage Terriers won the RBC Cup with playoff wins over Melfort and 5-2 over Carleton Place in the national Junior A tournament final.  Earlier, the team  dominated the regular season in the MJHL with 53 wins, the third highest total in league history.  The Terriers won a close race over Braden Calvert's world junior curling champions for the Winnipeg Free Press Maurice Smith Memorial Award in the team category.  Portage received 19 first place votes and 154 points, to 13 and 137 points for Calvert.  Other finalists were the WHL regular season leading Brandon Wheat Kings, the Manitoba ringette Canada Games gold medallists,  and the WinMan Wesmen, 18 and under boys national volleyball champions.

In other presentation features at the MSSA dinner, the drive to an NHL playoff position by the Winnipeg Jets was the selection for the 2015 Cactus Jack Wells Memorial Award for the premier impact on the provincial sports scene, and "Dancing Gabe" Langlois received the Winnipeg Free Press Dallis Beck Memorial Good Guy Award for his promotional efforts in the sports community.

The MSSA also inducted CTV sports director Shawn Churchill, and former Winnipeg Sun sports editor Dave Komosky into the Manitoba Media Roll of Honour for their dedicated service in sports journalism.

The Jack Matheson Memorial Award, established to provide financial support to sports media aspirants, honours the memory of the former Winnipeg Tribune and CJOB commentator.  This year's recipient is Danielle Doiron, a student in the joint Creative Communications program at Red River College and the University of Winnipeg.

Dennis Beyak, the television play-by-play voice of the Winnipeg Jets, was the dinner emcee, and the headline guest was Jets owner Mark Chipman on the night when Manitoba paid tribute to its outstanding athletes and teams for the 60th time.

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