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Les Canadiennes dominate CWHL Award nominations

Montreal led all teams with seven nominations for the six awards

Shanna Martin / Eyes on the Prize

Les Canadiennes didn’t win the regular season title, but they will have the best chances to bring home some hardware at the 2016-17 CWHL Awards.

The Gala, to be held in Ottawa on March 3, will have seven Canadiennes nominated for the six awards, the most of any team.

The CWHL announced the nominees via Twitter throughout the morning.

Marie-Philip Poulin was nominated for two awards, one as league Most Valuable Player and one for the Jayna Hefford Trophy, which is MVP but voted on by the players. She won her second straight scoring title with 15 goals and 22 assists for 37 points in 23 games, tied with Jess Jones (17g, 20a, 37p in 24 games).

Ann-Sophie Bettez (18 goals, 18 assists, 36 points) led the CWHL in goals this season, and was second in league scoring. She was also nominated for the Jayna Hefford Trophy. Jones was the third nominee.

Jones was also nominated for League MVP with Poulin and Calgary’s Brianne Jenner (9g, 18a, 27p in 20 games).

Montreal’s Dany Brunet is nominated once again for Coach of the Year. He was also a nominee last year when Tyler Fines won the award. He is nominated alongside Scott Reid of Calgary (also a repeat nominee from a year ago) and Boston’s Brian McCloskey.

McCloskey is a second-year head coach, but coached the Blades to a much improved season as the team was much more competitive against fierce competition.

Brunet won the award in 2015.

The Defencemen of the Year nominees include last year’s winner, Laura Fortino of Brampton, and a nominee from a year ago, Cathy Chartrand from Les Canadiennes. They are nominated alongside Meaghan Mikkelson from the Calgary Inferno.

Chartrand had a great season, finishing with three goals and 15 assists. During the year, she also recorded her 100th career CWHL point and became the all-time leading scorer among defenders in league history.

Chartrand previously won the award in 2014.

Fortino led all defenders with 19 points on the year, while Mikkelson finished the year with five goals and 10 assists for third among blueliners, tied with Brampton’s Courtney Birchard.

The Goaltender of the Year nominees include Montreal’s Charline Labonté, who is looking to win the award for the third straight year.

She had a great season, going 11-4 in 15 starts with a 1.53 GAA and .934 save percentage, finishing second in both categories. She also led the league with five shutouts.

She is nominated alongside Genevieve Lacasse and Christina Kessler.

Lacasse went 8-1 for Calgary with a 2.00 GAA and .921 save percentage. Ironically, both numbers are behind her teammate Emerance Maschmeyer (1.49, .946). Maschmeyer had a 5-3 record and two shutouts. She was not nominated.

Lacasse won the award in 2013.

Kessler had a 6-11 record with a 2.20 GAA and .920 save percentage for the Toronto Furies. She also pitched a shutout at the CWHL All-Star game.

The Rookie of the Year nominees were Laura Stacey from Brampton (11g, 13a, 24p in 20 games), Iya Gavrilova from Calgary (11g, 10a, 21p in 20 games) and defender Renata Fast from Toronto (4g, 5a, 9p in 22 games). She was also a +5, top on her team among blueliners.