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McGill, McNiven, Suzuki win CHL Awards

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The Owen Sound Attack’s head coach Ryan McGill, goaltender Michael McNiven, and forward Nick Suzuki have all been named the best in their trade in the Canadian Hockey League.

After record setting years behind the bench and in the crease for the Attack, McGill and McNiven were awarded with the CHL’s top honour for a coach and goaltender at the CHL Awards Banquet on Saturday, May 27 at the Mastercard Memorial Cup in Windsor, while Suzuki was honoured with the most sportsmanlike player across Canada’s three junior leagues.

After winning the Matt Leyden Trophy as the 2017 OHL Coach of the Year, McGill has won the 2017 Sofina Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year award as the Canadian Hockey League’s top coach.

DA2DAlVXgAAZuKU.jpg_largeIn his 2nd year behind the Attack bench, McGill, a Sherwood Park, ALTA native,  guided the Bears to a franchise record 49-15-2-2 mark, good for 102 points and 3rd in the Western Conference.

In 2016-17 the Attack were the OHL’s most improved squad from the prior year, winning 17 more games and producing 27 more points en route. McGill oversaw the team’s franchise record 15 game win streak from Dec. 9, 2016 to Jan. 26, 2017, while also acting as the mastermind behind the OHL’s top ranked powerplay and 3rd ranked penalty kill.

Under McGill, the Attack also surrendered a league low 177 goals against in the regular season before ousting the Kitchener Rangers and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the first two rounds of the OHL DA2FvedXUAAHZPT.jpg_largePlayoffs, advancing to the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2011. McGill was also named to the OHL’s 1st All-Star Team, alongside Michael McNiven who was honoured as the CHL’s top netminder on Saturday.

Posting a franchise record 41 wins in 2016-17, McNiven was awarded the CHL’s Vaughn Goaltender of the Year Award to go along with his OHL Goaltender of the Year Award.

A big part of Owen Sound’s record setting year, McNiven’s 41 wins was nine more than any other Attack goaltender has ever posted in a year, while his 2.30 goals against average and .915 save percentage were good for 1st and 6th in the OHL, respectively.

McNiven also posted six shutouts during the 2016-17 regular season, tied for the best in the OHL. Including the playoffs, the Georgetown, ON native had eight shutouts on the year, which helped propel him to another new Attack franchise record for most career shutouts in an Owen Sound uniform.

Rounding out the awards for the Attack on Saturday was Nick Suzuki, who took home the BRP Sportsman of the Year Award as the CHL’s most sportsmanlike player in 2016-17.

The draft eligible forward was named the OHL’s Most Sportsmanlike Player this past season after a breakout year that saw him record 45 goals and 51 assists for 96 points in 65 games of action.

Rated as the #10 North American prospect ahead of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Suzuki’s 10 penalty minutes was the fewest by a player in the OHL’s top 10 point scorers this year, and was also the highest scoring draft eligible forward in the OHL.

Suzuki was also recognized in the annual Western Conference Coaches Poll where he was voted second in the Best Stickhandler category, and was the Attack’s representative on the OHL’s Scholastic Team and finalist for Scholastic Player of the Year.

For more information on the 2016-17 CHL Awards, please visit HERE.

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