Presenting the 2015 Burton Hockey Awards
Each year, the denizens of Burton Hockey celebrate their own with the annual Burton Hockey Awards. Not only are there the awards that players vote on, but there are also the statistical awards 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 (102 points, 2nd title)
2015 was further confirmation of Darrel Voser as the most consistent offensive threat in Burton Hockey. Combining his prodigious scoring with frequent appearances allowed him to beat runner-up Stefan Klopp by 12 points to win back-to-back scoring titles; the first player to do so since Lee Orr in 2009-10. Another session or two may have handed Andy Smart his third title, but it was not to be.
Goaltending Champion: Nathan Robson (.880 save percentage, 2nd title)
Twelve years after his first title, Nathan Robson came back for one final session at John McCormack Park, one that could very well be the last session of roller hockey ever played in Burton. A dominant session was enough to give him the title in this abbreviated season. Were it not for Nathan, the goaltending title would have gone to Hall of Famer Bron Mach at .843, who edged out Stuart Hall by less than .001.
Ironman of the Year: Bernie Koth-Kappus (5th award)
One missed session by Dominik Voser was all it took to give Bernie his fifth career Ironman award; a fitting honour for the man who became the all-time leader in Burton Hockey games played this season and will likely never give up the title.
Now we get to the awards that the players voted on!
Organiser of the Year: Bernie Koth-Kappus (6th award)
Runner-up: Dominik Voser
As always, a pretty obvious choice. Bernie has spent the past eleven 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: Thomas Slivinski (1st award)
Runner-up: Neil Spencer; Others receiving first-place votes: Jordan Barlow, Derek Wiggins
After three seasons away, the return of Tom Slivinski to the Burton fold saw him establish himself as one of the top offensive threats in the game, as he finished second in goals despite only playing half the season. Tom also finished second in PPG. Neil's return to Burton Hockey saw him pick up his first-ever first-star and second-star points as he finished third in points-per-game. Jordan Barlow continues to be held in high esteem by voters despite paring back his schedule over the past couple of years; 20 assists in 11 games tends to help.
Most Sportsmanlike Player: Ryan Disterheft (3rd award)
Runner-up: Bernie Koth-Kappus; Others receiving first place votes: Jordan Barlow, Darrel Voser, Stefan Klopp
As usual, trying to pick the most sportsmanlike player in VRH is like trying to pick your favourite child:
it's always the oldest one you just want to pick everyone and not have to choose. With votes all over the board, Ryno emerged with his third MSP award and first since 2009, and it couldn't go to a nicer guy.
Most Improved Player: Stuart Hall (1st award)
Runner-up: Thomas Slivinski; Others receiving first place votes: Darrel Voser, Thom Gysler
Last year's runner-up is this year's winner, as Stu Hall solidly made his case for being the top goaltender in Burton Hockey in 2015, which isn't easy to do when you have Dom and Bron to play against each year. The returning Tom also garnered a number of votes.
Rookie of the Year: Liam Anderson-Young
Runner-up: Marcus Ribbi
Liam was an easy unanimous choice this year, as Burton's first-ever Craigslist recruit quickly fit in with the gang and picked up second star in just his second session.
Dual Threat of the Year: Dominik Voser (5th award)
For the 5th year in a row, Dom wins, although this year it was by default as he was the only player eligible for the award.
Most Outstanding Defenceman: Darrel Voser (1st award)
Runner-up: Jordan Barlow; Others receiving first place votes: Oliver Koth-Kappus, Neil Spencer
Darrel might be racking up the scoring titles these days, but voters didn't forget about his defensive play, as he was the only player to get mulitple first-place votes for MOD. Usual suspects Jordan and Oliver placed in the top three as expected.
Most Outstanding Goaltender: Stuart Hall (1st award)
Runner-up: Bron Mach
Stu jumped in voting last year, and it was obvious that he was catching up to VRH net stalwarts Bron and Dom. This year, there was no doubt as all but one first-place votes went Stu's way, breaking Bron's three-year hold on the award. How will the fearsome goaltending trio fare in 2016?
Most Outstanding Player: Andrew Smart (4th award)
Runner-up: Darrel Voser; Other receiving first place votes: Stuart Hall, Neil Spencer
For the fourth time in five seasons, and for the third season in a row, Andy grabs MOP honours. The perennial leader in PPG seemingly has a clench-lock on this award. Scoring champion/Most Outstanding Defenceman Darrel finishes second, with Stuart coming third after his fantastic year in net.
Most Valuable Player: Dominik Voser (5th award)
Runner-up: Darrel Voser; Other receiving first place votes: Bernie Koth-Kappus, Stuart Hall
In one of the closest ballots in history, Dom Voser claims his fifth MVP award over brother Darrel (tied on first place votes, Dom had more seconds). Dom's constants presence in net and dedication to the game contiues to impress voters. That said, it wasn't just a two-way battle, as both Bernie and Stu also received numerous votes. Will it be a Voser again next year? If Dom and Darrel keep it up, they may own this award against.
First All-Star Team
Stuart Hall (goaltender, 1st 1st team, 1st overall)
Thomas Slivinski (1st 1st team, 1st overall)
Andrew Smart (5th 1st team, 6th overall)
Neil Spencer (1st 1st team, 2nd overall)
Darrel Voser (2nd 1st team, 2nd overall)
Second All-Star Team
Jordan Barlow (3rd 2nd team, 6th overall)
Rob Hajdu (2nd 2nd team, 6th overall)
Tony Hajdu (6th 2nd team, 7th overall)
Stefan Klopp (5th 2nd team, 14th overall)
Dominik Voser (goaltender, 5th 2nd team, 6th overall)
The next generation of Burton Hockey took over this year, with four of the five First Team players only being named to either their first (Stu, Tom) or second (Darrel, Neil) all-star teams. Rob drops to the Second team after four straight years on the First Team. Tony Hajdu continues his streak of having made the All-Star team every year he's played. For only the second time in history, Oliver was not named to an all-star team. Stefan now ties Ollie and Seamus O'Connor for most career all-star nominations with 14.
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 (4th award)
Rob Hajdu (4th award)
Stuart Hall (1st award)
Stefan Klopp (10th award)
Bernie Koth-Kappus (16th award)
Darrel Voser (2nd award)
Dominik Voser (6th award)
As a final note, no eligible candidates received votes for the Burton Hockey Hall of Fame this year. With no new candidates scheduled to be added to the ballot in 2017, the next vote will be held in 2018, wich should see a huge burst of VRH nominees.