Presenting the 2013 VRH Awards
Each year, the denizens of Burton Hockey celebrate their own with the annual Burton Hockey Awards. While BUSH voters didn't exactly show up in droves, VRHers sure did – and they couldn't agree on anything. The only unanimous choices for awards came in Organiser of the Year and in one of the First All-Star spots. Not only are there the awards players voted on, but there are also the statistical awards for which both leagues are eligible and the highest honour in Burton Hockey: the Most Dedicated Team. Enough blab; let’s get to the results!
Voting schematic: 1st place=10 pts; 2nd place=7; 3rd place=5; 4th place=3; 5th place=1
Statistically-based awards, of course, are those that are don’t have to be voted on as they are inherently decided by statistics.
Scoring Champion: Andrew Smart, VRH (195 points, 2nd title)
Smart grabs the title for the second time in three years, although Rob Hajdu made it a battle all the way to the wire thanks to not missing a session all year. Had BUSH played in July or August, we could easily be talking about Oliver Koth-Kappus here, too. That said, Smart was easily the leader in PPG this year and the title should stay with him as long as he plays regularly.
Goaltending Champion: Justin Gordon, BUSH/VRH (.851 save percentage, 2nd title)
A full 12 years after his first goaltending title, the man who was in goal for the first-ever session of Burton Hockey finally wins number two. This was Justin's first year back as a regular presence in Burton, and he impressed in both leagues, capping his return with a stunning .906 session in BUSH's September session. It was enough to prevent Bron Mach from taking back-to-back titles for the first time in his stellar career by just four points.
Ironman of the Year:Dominik Voser (77 games played, 2nd title)
After being beaten out last year by Bernie Koth-Kappus, Dom returns to take his second Ironman title over Rob Hajdu by a single game, giving Rob the dubious distinction of not being named Ironman despite not missing a session all year. Rob missed a handful of games this year by showing up late or leaving early, leading to this strange situation. Over in BUSH, Seamus O'Connor was the only person to play all 25 games.
Now we get to the awards that YOU voted on!
Organiser of the Year: Bernie Koth-Kappus (4th award)
Runner-up: Dominik Voser
As always, a pretty obvious choice. Bernie has spent the past ten years organising sessions on a near-weekly basis. This award could almost be considered his private property.
Comeback Player of the Year: Ian Bock (1st award)
Runner-up: Nick Jornitz; Other receiving first place votes: Justin Gordon, Stuart Bell
No one really knew who to vote for here to the point where some people didn't even bother. Ultimately, the most votes went to Ian, who took 2012 and returned successfully as a semi-regular this year. Justin Gordon's long-awaited VRH return was also acknowledged here with a vote.
Most Sportsmanlike Player:Dominik Voser (1st award)
Runner-up: Jordan Barlow; Other receiving first place votes: Bernie Koth-Kappus, Ryan Disterheft
In a league like VRH, where everyone's always a pretty good sport, it's always tough to narrow it down to one person. Maybe that's why 14 different players were named on the various ballots. Still, it's hard to go wrong with perennial MVP candidate and Burton Hockey's most dedicated player over the past three seasons, Dom Voser. Always friendly, always jovial, always ready to play.
Most Improved Player: TIE – Darrel Voser (2nd award); Dominik Voser (1st award)
Other receiving first place votes: Johanna Goodyear
Voters agreed in general that Voser should win; they just couldn't decide on which one. Ultimately, the award gets split between both Voser brothers. For Darrel, it's his second consecutive award in this category, which places him alongside Burton original Ryan Adshead in a rather unique category. For Dom, his play between the pipes has always been top-notch, but he has also become quite the dual threat as his play on skates continues to improve.
Rookie of the Year: Riley Webb
Runner-up: Johanna Goodyear
He may have only played two sessions this season, but Riley led both of them in PPG, showing himself to be the most talented rookie of the year and finishing second in PPG overall. Others chose to acknowledge Johanna for her dedication in the first half of the season. Neil Spencer also picked up some votes in third.
Dual Threat of the Year: Dominik Voser (3rd award)
Runner-up: Sam Lam
As usual, Dom and Sam Lam battled all season long for the dual threat title, and it nearly ended in another tie. By just one first-place vote, Dom claims his third consecutive award in this category.
Most Outstanding Defenceman: Jordan Barlow (4th award)
Runner-up: Oliver Koth-Kappus; Other receiving first place votes: Andrew Smart, Darrel Voser
While Barlow and Ollie finished 1-2 for the fourth straight season, it was a much tighter race this year as many voters opted for the power-play-style quarterbacking of VRH's assist king Andy Smart. Also notable here is the arrival of Darrel Voser as a top-level force in VRH. Could a changing of the guard be in store for 2014?
Most Outstanding Goaltender:Bron Mach (3rd award)
Runner-up: Dominik Voser
In a replay of the last two years, MOG was split between voters with long memories and voters who favoured season-long consistency, Voters with long memories chose Bron and his dominance over the first half of the VRH year. Voters who favoured season-long consistency chose all-time save leader Dom, who goaltended 90 percent of VRH's games this season. Last year's tie would not be repeated, however, as Bron narrowly grabs his third title.
Most Outstanding Player: Andrew Smart (2nd award)
Runner-up: Bron Mach; Other receiving first place votes: Rob Hajdu, Dominik Voser
A wacky year in which not a single player appeared on every ballot. That said, Andy still received a majority of first place votes, with most of the rest going to Bron. Hard to argue with either of those picks. Smart joins Rob Rogers, K.J. O'Connor, Stefan Klopp, and Pat Elischer as a two-time MOP winner thanks to yet another scoring title and another PPG title, in which he continued to prove that he is Burton Hockey's most consistent scoring threat and playmaker. Also notable is that Riley Webb finished in fourth place behind Bron and Rob.
Most Valuable Player: Dominik Voser (3rd award)
Runner-up: Bernie Koth-Kappus; Other receiving first place votes: Rob Hajdu, Andrew Smart
Dom wins his third MVP title in four years, and it's hard to argue. Without his valuable presence, who knows how many sessions would have to be cancelled each year? Not to mention that he's a hell of a goaltender. Bernie got lots of love on these ballots as well for he never-ending dedication to the game, and Rob and Andrew were both acknowledged for their impressive seasons.
First All-Star Team
Jordan Barlow (3rd 1std team, 5th overall)
Rob Hajdu (3rd 1st team, 4th overall)
Stefan Klopp (8th 1st team, 12th overall)
Bron Mach (goaltender, 2nd 1st team, 4th overall)
Andrew Smart (3rd 1st team, 4th overall)
Second All-Star Team
Oliver Koth-Kappus (7th team, 12th overall)
Ryan Disterheft (2nd 2nd team, 3rd overall)
Tony Hajdu (4th 2nd team, 5th overall)
Sam Lam (2nd 2nd team, 3rd overall)
Dominik Voser (goaltender, 3rd 2nd team, 4th overall)
Another year where no one could agree on anything was personified in the All-Star voting. Logic would dictate that the results would be similar to the Most Outstanding Player voting, but they didn't resemble each other at all. In fact, the two teams consist of the exact same ten players as last year. Only Andy was a unanimous first-team selection, and only Andy, Rob, and Stefan were named on all of the ballots to any team at all. Riley Webb and Nick Jornitz both received multiple first-team votes and didn't even make the cut. Also notable here is that it now becomes pretty much a given than Oliver Koth-Kappus will become the first player to be named to all-star teams in both leagues in the same year since the 2010 vote split.
Most Dedicated Team
The highest honour in Burton Hockey. Simply put, these are the guys who have been there playing week-in, week-out. There’s no set limit on the number of players that can be named; just the limits players put on themselves by not coming. This year, we have a group of six players who stood out from the rest. You can see for yourselves the gap in games played these guys had on the rest of the field in their respective leagues. Let’s narrow that gap and make the team even bigger next year; we want all of you on this list!
Ryan Disterheft (2nd award)
Rob Hajdu (2nd award)
Bernie Koth-Kappus (14th award)
Oliver Koth-Kappus (12th award)
Andrew Smart (2nd award)
Dominik Voser (4th award)