By Rob Benneian
(LaSALLE, ON) – The LaSalle Vipers handed out their team awards Tuesday night at their annual Year-End Awards Banquet. More than a 100 guests, including players, staff, and volunteers, gathered to celebrate a season that saw the Vipers earn a spot in both the Western Conference and Sutherland Cup Finals.
Long-time Vipers sponsor Lorelei’s Bistro, located at 1526 Wyandotte Street East, catered the event at the Walkerville Brewery.
LaSalle Vipers forward Korey Morgan was named the team’s MVP after posting 31 goals and 56 points in the regular season.
Brendan Harrogate and Daniel Beaudoin were selected as Playoff MVPs for their role in helping the Vipers come to within two wins of capturing the franchise’s third Sutherland Cup title in eight seasons. The pair scored 33 and 32 points, respectively, in the Vipers 29 playoff games.
For the second straight season, Vipers defenseman Nathan Veres was selected as the Hardest Worker, while team captain Brett Langlois earned the Desire, Dedication, and Character award.
Manny Silverio and Brett Primeau, who finished second and third respectively in regular season scoring, were named co-winners of the team’s Rookie of the Year award. Silverio was named to the GOJHL Western Conference Rookie AllStar Team, while Primeau’s 27 regular season goals were second only to Morgan.
Rookie forward Eric Kirby was selected as the team’s Most Improved Player, earning the trust of the coaching staff to play key minutes, including being a fixture on the Vipers Western Conference leading penalty kill.
Tyler Russell earned the Most Sportsmanlike award, after being whistled for just two minor penalties in 33 regular season games. Russell posted seven goals and 12 points in the regular season before adding another nine goals and 12 points in the post-season.
Finally, defenseman Nicolas Crescenzi was named the winner of The PUCK Stops Here Community Service award. The honour goes to the player who goes above and beyond to give back to the community and is named after the Vipers outreach program.