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Marie-Philip Poulin, Charline Labonté win big at CWHL Awards gala

Poulin took home two and a half honours at the league’s annual gala

CWHL / Chris Tanouye

Les Canadiennes were well represented at the CWHL Awards gala held at the Kailash Mital theatre at Carleton University in Ottawa on Friday night.

The team had seven nominations for the awards and walked away with three wins. Marie-Philip Poulin walked away with the biggest honours, winning League MVP and the Jayna Hefford Trophy. The Jayna Hefford Trophy is the MVP as voted on by the players. The general managers and coaches around the league vote for all of the other awards.

Poulin also won the Angela James Bowl for the league’s scoring championship with Brampton Thunder forward Jess Jones. Poulin (15 goals, 22 assists) and Jones (17 goals, 20 assists) both ended the season with 37 points. It was the first time there was a tie for the league scoring championship.

“I have three trophies there, but I don’t have the one that I really want,” she said referring to the Clarkson Cup that the team will be playing for on Sunday. Poulin also won all three trophies last year, only to lose the Clarkson Cup final.

Ann-Sophie Bettez of Montreal (Jayna Hefford) and Brianne Jenner of Calgary (MVP) were nominated alongside Poulin and Jones for the two awards.

It was also a big night for Montreal goaltender Charline Labonté. Labonté won the goaltender of the year award for the third straight season. She finished first in the league with 11 wins, five shutouts and second in the league with a 1.53 GAA and .934 save percentage.

“It’s classified as an individual award, but it just shows the consistency we have as a team,” Labonté said. “It’s very flattering to be honoured but to me I’m missing one and it’s the Clarkson Cup.”

Labonté was nominated alongside Genevieve Lacasse from Calgary and Christina Kessler of the Toronto Furies.

Jessica Campbell received the night’s first award, the Humanitarian Award for all of her efforts in the community, including the Calgary Inferno’s Start the Spark game which raises awareness for youth mental health.

Meaghan Mikkelson-Reid of the Calgary Inferno won the league’s defenceman of the year award. She was nominated alongside Brampton’s Laura Fortino and Montreal’s Cathy Chartrand. Mikkelson-Reid is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist from Vancouver and Sochi and had five goals and 10 assists in 22 games this season. She also only had six penalty minutes all year.

She also played some games at forward due to players playing Internationally or injuries up front. She was a forward up until her third year of university.

Scott Reid, Meghan’s husband, won the CWHL’s coach of the year award for the first time, beating out Montreal’s Dany Brunet and Boston’s Brian McCloskey. Calgary won the Chairman’s Trophy as regular season champions and set a team record winning 20 of their 24 games. Reid was in his second full season as head coach of the Inferno.

Laura Stacey of the Brampton Thunder won the rookie of the year award. Stacey led the league in rookie scoring with 11 goals and 13 assists in 20 games. She beat out Toronto’s Renata Fast and Calgary’s Iya Gavrilova.

The Clarkson Cup is going to be played on Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa.