On Monday night the annual awards from the Ice Hockey Journalists UK were announced. The IHJUK are a body made up of journalists who cover ice hockey for the countries newspapers and online media outlets. The awards are split into the usual categories (All star teams, best player, best goalie etc) for both the EIHL and the EPIHL.
The biggest shock was that there was no place in either EIHL All Star teams for the popular Fife Flyers goalie Garrett Zemlak. Despite his side finishing bottom of the EIHL the heroics of Zemlak had earned him plaudits from around the league with his efforts keeping the Flyers in games and included stopping over 70 shots in a penalty shootout lose to the Nottingham Panthers.
The other shock was the inclusion of the Panthers player-coach Corey Neilson in the EIHL All Star first team. Neilson was selected ahead of Sheffield Steelers stand out D man Mark Thomas and best British Defenceman Mark Richardson.
In the EPL the Sheffield Steeldogs were the surprise winners as they had 3 players present in the 2 All Star teams including young British goalie Ben Bowns and player of the season Janis Ozolins. Plus player-coach Andre Payette was named EPL coach of the year after taking his side from an 8th place finish in 2011 to a top 4 place this season with a real possibility of a high finish. Payette had been criticised heavily for his use of physical play but ice hockey is a results business and the Steeldogs have gotten plenty of those this season.
EIHL All Star Teams
G – Stephen Murphy (Belfast), D- Corey Neilson (Nottingham), D – Jeff Mason (Belfast), F- Jade Galbraith (Braehead), F- Jeff Legue (Sheffield Steelers), F- Shea Guthrie (Coventry)
G – Craig Kowalski (Nottingham), D- Jeremy Rebek (Belfast), D- James Jorgensen (Braehead), F- David Alexandre-Beauregard (Nottingham), F- Robert Dowd (Belfast), F- Rene Jarolin (Edinburgh)
Elite League Coach of the Year
Doug Christiansen (Belfast)
Elite League Player of the Year
Jade Galbraith (Braehead)
EPL ALL Star Teams
G- Ben Bowns (Sheffield Steeldogs), D- Chris Allen (Peterborough), D- Paul Dixon (Guildford), F- Janis Ozolins (Sheffield Steeldogs), F- Nathan Rempel (Guildford) F- Leigh Jamieson (Milton Keynes)
G- Mark Lee (Guildford), D- Ben Morgan (Sheffield Steeldogs), D- David Savage (Guildford), F- Martin Cingel (Manchester), F- David Longstaff (Guildford), F- Darius Pilskauskas (Slough)
EPL Coach of the Year
Andre Payette (Sheffield Steeldogs)
EPL Player of the Year
Janis Ozolins (Sheffield Steeldogs)
Best British Goalie
Stephen Murphy (Belfast)
Best British Defenseman
Mark Richardson (Cardiff)
Best British Forward
Robert Dowd (Belfast)
Best British Young Player
Robert Farmer (Coventry)
You can find this article on www.getrealhockey.com as well