Struthers, Hudson & Callaghan receive AUS honours

Struthers, Hudson & Callaghan receive AUS honours

2023-24 AUS men's hockey major awards and all-stars announced 

UNB's Austen Keating named AUS Most Valuable Player

(HALIFAX, N.S.) Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2023-24 AUS men's hockey major award winners and all-stars as selected by the conference's seven head coaches following regular season play. 

Third-year UNB forward Austen Keating (Guelph, Ont.) has been chosen as the AUS Most Valuable Player.

Other AUS men's hockey major award winners announced today were Dalhousie's Alec Bélanger (Quebec City, Que.) who earned both Rookie of the Year and Student-Athlete and Community Service honours; UNB's Brady Gilmour (Grafton, Ont.) who was named Most Sportsmanlike Player; and UNB's Gardiner McDougall, who was named AUS Men's Hockey Coach of the Year.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER (Kelly Trophy): Austen Keating, UNB Reds 

The AUS Men's Hockey Most Valuable Player for the 2023-24 season is Austen Keating of the UNB Reds. 

A third-year Business Administration student from Guelph, Ont., the UNB forward topped the AUS and finished second in U SPORTS in points this season, recording an impressive 50 (23 goals, 27 assists) in 30 games played. His +47 plus/minus rating was best among all U SPORTS skaters.

In addition to being selected as the AUS MVP, Keating has also been named an AUS First-Team All-Star for the second time – his first coming in 2021-22. 

Keating becomes the first Reds player to win the AUS MVP award since Christopher Clapperton did so back in 2018-19. 

He now becomes the AUS nominee for the for the U SPORTS Senator Joseph A. Sullivan trophy as the nation's top player. UNB's Philippe Maillet is the most recent player from the AUS to be named national MVP, earning the distinction in 2016-17. 

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (A.J. MacAdam Trophy): Alec Bélanger, Dalhousie Tigers 

The AUS Rookie of the Year and recipient of the A.J. MacAdam Trophy for the 2023-24 season is Dalhousie Tigers forward, Alec Bélanger.

The Kinesiology student from Quebec City, Que., had an exceptional first season in the AUS, finishing fifth in the league in goals scored (16). He added seven assists to give himself 23 points in 25 games played.

In addition to this honour, Bélanger was also selected to the 2024 AUS All-Rookie Team.

Dalhousie finished the regular season at 7-21-2-0 and out of the playoffs.

Prior to beginning his AUS career, Bélanger played four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with the Ottawa 67's and Kingston Frontenacs.  

Bélanger is the first Tigers player to earn conference Rookie of the Year honours since Phil Gadoury did so back in the 2015-16 season.

Bélanger now becomes the Atlantic conference nominee for the Clare Drake Award for U SPORTS rookie of the year. 

AUS players have earned the national honour the last five consecutive seasons — UNB's Samuel Richard in 2022-23, STFX's Liam Hawel in 2021-22, Saint Mary's Mitchell Balmas in 2019-20, Moncton's Étienne Monpetit in 2018-19 and UNB's Kris Bennett in 2017-18. 
MOST SPORTSMANLIKE PLAYER (Don Wells Trophy): Brady Gilmour, UNB Reds  

In his fourth season with the UNB Reds, Brady Gilmour has been chosen as the 2023-24 AUS Men's Hockey Most Sportsmanlike Player and recipient of the Don Wells Trophy.

The Master of Business Administration student from Grafton, Ont., finished fourth in AUS scoring this past season, recording 41 points (12 goals, 29 assists) in 30 games while taking just eight minutes in penalties.

Gilmour becomes the latest UNB player to receive the honour, joining past winners Joe Gatenby (2021-22), Randy Gazzola (2017-18), Chris Culligan (2012-13, 2013-14), Peter MacKellar (1999-00) and Dax McLean (1997-98).

He now becomes the Atlantic conference nominee for U SPORTS' R. W. Pugh Award for most sportsmanlike player.AUS players have won the award in each of the past two seasons with UPEI's Troy Lajeunesse (2022-23) and UNB's Gatenby (2021-22) the recipients.

STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD (The Godfrey Award):Alec Bélanger, Dalhousie Tigers 

The 2023-24 recipient of the Godfrey Award for the Student-Athlete Community Service and AUS nominee for the prestigious Dr. Randy Gregg Award is Alec Bélanger from the Dalhousie Tigers.

Named for Dr. Bill Godfrey, this award is given annually to the player who best represents the spirit of intercollegiate hockey by his leadership both on and off the ice and by his conduct throughout the season. 

A Kinesiology student from Quebec City, Que., Bélanger led the Tigers in points (23) and goals (16) in just 25 games played.

He earned a 3.4 GPA in the fall semester and is trending towards his first Academic All-Canadian honour.

Away from the rink and classroom, Bélanger is the Co-Chair and acting lead executive for Extra Awesome – Dalhousie, a student-run volunteer-based program that offers academic support and facilitates physical activity participation for Halifax youth with Down Syndrome and their siblings.

Bélanger started the program during the fall semester and has seen it grow to include more than 40 student volunteers and 25 participants. Due to its positive impact and the attention it has received, Bélanger was invited to attend dinner with Dalhousie University President, Kim Brooks.

"Alec has not only had a tremendous impact on our athletic program, but within the entire Dalhousie campus," said Tim Maloney, Dalhousie Executive Director of Athletics and Recreation. "He embodies the essence of this award."

Bélanger becomes the first Dalhousie player to win this award since Chris Stanley did so exactly 20 years ago in 2003-04.

COACH OF THE YEAR (Bob Boucher Trophy): Gardiner McDougall, UNB Reds 

For the sixth time, UNB Reds head coach Gardiner McDougall has been named AUS Men's Hockey Coach of the Year.

McDougall's season was not without its highlights. On Feb. 10, his Reds put the finishing touches on a perfect 30-0 regular season – a feat that has not been accomplished across U SPORTS since the 2002-03 season. 

Just a few days earlier, McDougall earned his 489th regular season victory, making him the winningest head coach in U SPORTS history. 

Their 30-0 mark earned the Reds a first-round bye in the playoffs.

In the 2023-24 regular season, McDougall's Reds led the conference in: goals for (174), goals against (47), power play percentage (35.7%), power play goals (51), penalty kill percentage (88.4%), goals against average (1.56) and save percentage (.926).

By winning his sixth award, McDougall breaks his own record of most AUS Men's Hockey Coach of the Year honours (five) he set back in the 2016-17 season.

He now becomes the Atlantic conference nominee for the Father George Kehoe Memorial Award as the U SPORTS coach of the year. Dalhousie's Chris Donnelly is the most recent Atlantic conference recipient of the national honour, named U SPORTS Coach of the Year in 2021-22.  


First Team All-Stars 
Goaltender: Thomas Couture, Acadia (1st year – Lévis, Que.) 
Defence: Kale McCallum, UNB (2nd year – Rothesay, N.B.)
Defence: Jacob Dion, Université de Moncton (2nd year – Sherbrooke, Que.)
Forward: Austen Keating, UNB (3rd year – Guelph, Ont.)
Forward: Brady Gilmour, UNB (4th year – Grafton, Ont.) 
Forward: Matthew Struthers, STFX (3rd year – Milton, Ont.) 

Second Team All-Stars 
Goaltender: Jonah Capriotti, UPEI (5th year – Charlottetown, P.E.I.) 
Defence: Adam McCormick, UNB (3rd year – Waterville, N.B.) 
Defence: Kade Landry, UNB (3rd year – Gowanstown, Ont.)
Forward: Kaleb Pearson, UPEI (3rd year – St. Marys, Ont.)
Forward: Jacob Hudson, STFX (3rd year – Antigonish, N.S.)
Forward: Jérémy Michel, Université de Moncton (2nd year – Lévis, Que.)

All-Rookie Team 
Goaltender: Thomas Couture, Acadia (Lévis, Que.)
Defence: Charlie Callaghan, STFX (Toronto, Ont.)
Defence: Marc-Antoine Mercier, Université de Moncton (Forestville, Que.)
Forward: Jeremy Lapointe, Université de Moncton (Drummondville, Que.)
Forward: Alec Bélanger, Dalhousie (Quebec City, Que) 
Forward: Sean McGurn, UNB (Ottawa, Ont.)