Presenting the 2014 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 (as usual), the VRHers did. This year was going to see a lots of tight races for awards, and it showed with the only unanimous choices for awards coming in Organiser of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and two 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: Darrel Voser, VRH (119 points, 1st title)
Those who have been following VRH have probably been noticing the ascension of Darrel Voser, including two straight awards the past two seasons for Most Improved Player. In 2014, the younger Voser cemented his position as Burton Hockey's top scorer. With perennial scoring champion Andrew Smart only playing half of the season, Darrel took the scoring title by twenty points over Rob Hajdu, who finished second for the second consecutive year.
Goaltending Champion: Terryn Stenseth, BUSH (.877 save percentage, 1st title)
Remember the days when .800 was considered outstanding (the league save percentage in 2000, for example was .763)? 2014 saw the previous goaltending standards blown out of the water, with save percentage rising to an amazing .832, a stunning .021 rise from the previous season and easily the best full-length season in net of all-time. The goaltenders were largely elite this year, and three goaltenders finished above .860 for the first time. Leading the way in 2014 was a wunderkind who, six years into his career, has still never been below .800 in a single session, Terryn Stenseth, edging out the legendary Bron Mach by .877-.876 with Fuller Cup hero Seamus O'Connor right behind at .868. Simply put, the best year for goaltending ever by a mile.
Ironman of the Year: TIE – Bernie Koth-Kappus, VRH (4th award); Dominik Voser, VRH (3rd award)
VRH carried the load of play in Burton Hockey this year, so it's no surprise that VRH players share this award. It's even less of a surprise that Bernie and Dom share this awards, as they have been the most consistently present players in the history of VRH. Not only did they not even miss a single VRH game, they also both played in the Fuller Cup at Burton (and won!). Darrel Voser only missed three VRH games this year to finish third. Over in BUSH, Seamus O'Connor and Kellan Nishida played in all 24 BUSH games plus the Fuller Cup, while Terryn Stenseth and K.J. O'Connor played every BUSH game.
Now we get to the awards that YOU voted on!
Organiser of the Year: Bernie Koth-Kappus (5th 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. We should probably just cut-and-paste this paragraph into next year's summary already.
Comeback Player of the Year: Albert Ulanday (1st award)
Runner-up: Melvin Ong
Not a huge year for comeback players, with only Albert, Melvin, and Shaylin Trotman garnering votes. Each played four games this year. Albert edged Melvin by one first-place vote for the honour.
Most Sportsmanlike Player:Oliver Koth-Kappus (5th award)
Runner-up: Stefan Klopp; Other receiving first place votes: Dominik Voser, Bernie Koth-Kappus, Ryan Disterheft, Darrel Voser, Bron Mach, Jordan Barlow
To paraphrase one voter, 'We could give the entire league an award; everyone's sportsmanlike!' Seven different players received first-place votes, and thirteen different players were named on ballots. In the end, the title goes to the only player to garner multiple first-place votes, Oliver Koth-Kappus, with a record-setting fifth MSP award.
Most Improved Player: Darrel Voser (3rd award)
Runner-up: Stuart Hall
It's a testament to Darrel Voser's level of play that voters have seen fit to give him the Most Improved award three years in a row. The only question now is how much better can he possibly get?
Rookie of the Year: Thom Gysler
Runner-up: Lee Beer
In a year with only two rookies playing a total of 12 games, Thom Gysler was a unanimous selection.
Dual Threat of the Year: Dominik Voser (4th 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 fourth consecutive award in this category. (We swear we wrote almost the exact same thing last year...)
Most Outstanding Defenceman: Andrew Smart (1st award)
Runner-up: Darrel Voser
The Barlow/Koth-Kappus dynasty has been displaced in 2014, as Ollie could only manage tird in voting this year behind the all-conquering Smart and Voser. Despite spending the past four seasons as VRH's top offensive threat, Smart has always insisted that he's a defenceman first, and the voters finally agree. Darrel also picked up two first-place votes of his own as his peers recognise his formidable two-way ability.
Most Outstanding Goaltender:Bron Mach (4th award)
Runner-up: Dominik Voser
With a stunning .876 save percentage this year, Bron picked up all but one first-place vote in the eternal battle between himself and Dom Voser (who naturally grabbed the other first-place vote). Could a third competitor soon enter this battle? Stu Hall picked up his first-ever second-place vote this year as his stock took a huge jump in 2014.
Most Outstanding Player: Andrew Smart (3rd award)
Runner-up: Darrel Voser; Other receiving first place votes: Bron Mach
Andrew Smart makes history as the first-ever three-time winner of the Most Outstanding Player award in a year where Darrel Voser and Bron Mach also made strong bids and received first-place votes. He also becomes the first player in history to win Most Outstanding Defenceman and Most Outstanding Player in the same season. 79 points in 22 games is hard to argue against.
Most Valuable Player: Dominik Voser (4th award)
Runner-up: Darrel Voser; Other receiving first place votes: Andrew Smart
This was simply a matter of which Voser brother would be selected, and both received the same number of first-place votes. Ultimately, Dom edged Darrel to win his fourth honour in five seasons. Dom and Stefan Klopp remain the only VRHers to have won the honour. The Voser brothers' dedication to VRH this year was much appreciated by their friends and peers in Burton Hockey. It should also be noted that Rob Hajdu was named in third behind the Vosers on most ballots.
First All-Star Team
Rob Hajdu (4th 1st team, 5th overall)
Oliver Koth-Kappus (6th 1st team, 14th overall)
Bron Mach (goaltender, 3rd 1st team, 5th overall)
Andrew Smart (4th 1st team, 5th overall)
Darrel Voser (1st 1st team, 1st overall)
Second All-Star Team
Tony Hajdu (5th 2nd team, 6th overall)
Stefan Klopp (4th 2nd team, 13th overall)
Sam Lam (3rd 2nd team, 4th overall)
Neil Spencer (1st 2nd team, 1st overall)
Dominik Voser (goaltender, 4th 2nd team, 5th overall)
Oliver Koth-Kappus returns to the First Team and Darrel Voser makes his long-overdue debut. Andrew Smart's been on the First Team for four consecutive seasons. On the second team, Stefan makes his 13th All-Star appearance and Neil Spencer debuts. Tony Hajdu has made the All-Star team every year he's played.
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 (3rd award)
Rob Hajdu (3rd award)
Bernie Koth-Kappus (15th award)
Darrel Voser (1st award)
Dominik Voser (5th award)