There will once again be a lot of Montreal flavour around the CWHL Awards Gala this year.
Four members of the Canadiennes were nominated for awards as the league announced the first set of nominees for the major post-season awards today.
Ann-Sophie Bettez will be a candidate for CWHL MVP for the second straight season. Last year, she was going up against her teammate Marie-Philip Poulin and Jess Jones, this year it is another member of the Markham Thunder, Jamie Lee Rattray along with CWHL scoring champion Kelli Stack.
Bettez, who took over as the captain for the Canadiennes this year with Poulin with Team Canada, had 19 goals and 20 assists for 39 points in 28 games. She was tied for third in league scoring along with Rattray (22 goals, 17 assists). Stack had 26 goals and 23 assists to lead the league with 49 points. She won the MVP award in the last Olympic year, 2013-14.
Emerance Maschmeyer is nominated for goaltender of the year for the first time. The second-year goaltender has put up great numbers in her first year with Les Canadiennes. She was tied for the league lead (setting a new record in the process) with six shutouts, She also led the league with 18 wins. She was second in the league with a 1.78 GAA and she also had a .920 save percentage.
She is nominated with Noora Räty of the Kunlun Red Star and Markham Thunder goaltender Erica Howe. Räty, with her 1.60 GAA and .944 save percentage should be the favourite for the award. Howe had 8-5-2 record with a 2.30 GAA and .930 save percentage.
Cathy Chartrand is nominated for defenceman of the year, looking to win the award for the second time. She has been a nominee for the last four years and is the all-time leading scorer among defenders in league history.
Her five goals and 17 assists for 22 points put her third among defenders in scoring this year behind fellow nominee Jessica Wong of the Kunlun Red Star (10 goals, 14 assists) and Ashleigh Brykaliuk of the Vanke Rays, who shifted between forward and defence this year.
The other nominee is Katelyn Gosling of the Calgary Inferno. The second-year rearguard had seven goals and 11 assists this season.
Dany Brunet is also a perennial coach of the year nominee. He last won the award in 2014-15 but has been a nominee every year he has been coaching Les Canadiennes. This year, he became the winningest coach in CWHL history with his 76th victory in November 12. The other nominees are Tomas Pacina of the Calgary Inferno and Jeff Flanagan of the Toronto Furies.
The rookie of the year nominees are Sophie Shirley (8G-11A) of the Calgary Inferno, Cayley Mercer (15G-26A) of the Vanke Rays and Brittany Zuback (5G-8A) of the Toronto Furies.
The CWHL Awards gala will be held on March 23 at the Toronto Centre for the Arts as part of Clarkson Cup weekend. The league has not announced nominees for the Humanitarian of the Year or the Jayna Hefford trophy (league MVP as voted by the players).