Captain Crunch dominates ICE Awards

By Jeff Bromley
The Kootenay ICE held the 2001 edition of their team awards banquet this past Tuesday at the Town & Country Inn Ballroom and similar to his play on the ice, team Captain Dean Arsene, nicknamed Captain Crunch for his punishing hits on opponents all season long, made his presence felt by being honored four times. The ICE leader captured the club’s Best Defensemen trophy for the second year in a row, the Community Relations award, also for the second year running, the Plus/Minus Award and the coveted Players Award voted upon by his teammates. Arsene, always the consummate team player, was overwhelmed with the honors bestowed upon him. “It’s definitely a nice honor, especially being my last year. I was pretty shocked last season when I received those awards, this year I’m pretty much overwhelmed,” said Arsene. “It’s a great honor to a part of this organization and being recognized among the players on this team makes it a pretty special night.” Arsene, who’s in his last year of junior eligibility doesn’t yet know what the future holds. At this juncture however, the well-spoken Captain of the ICE is focused solely on one thing – the playoffs and the defense of the WHL Championship. “Obviously, like every hockey player’s dream is to play pro at some level, which would be ultimate for me. I’d like to be able to have the chance to play pro somewhere but if that doesn’t work out there’s the CIAU route which is not a downer. There’s a lot of great players like Belak, Burt and Poole from our organization that have gone and their great players,” said Arsene. “Right now the playoffs is our focus so I’ll worry about that when the time comes.”

Not to be outdone, Jarret Stoll came away on the night with two awards and a share of a another. Stoll and ICE goalie Dan Blackburn emerged as co-winners of the team’s Most Valuable Player award. Stoll also received the Face-off award as the club’s best player on the draw and the Top Scorer award in which Stoll set numerous records for most points in a season, most assists in a season and became the team’s all-time leading scorer. Awards are nice but for Stoll, like the rest of his teammates have a couple of other trophy’s in their sights. “It’s great to get the individual awards but to me it’s more about the team and the guys beside me in the room,” said Stoll, sporting a platinum blonde haircut along with the rest of his teammates. “It’s great to get the award but it’s a team and we’re all pulling for one prize at the end.” Suffering a scary moment in the last regular season game against Brandon when he was hit into the glass and knocked unconscious, Stoll says the lingering effects are gone and the ICE leading scorer will be in the line-up for the opening series of the playoffs against the Warriors. “I feel good. I haven’t had a headache in a couple of days. I had a hard work out this morning and everything was fine,” said Stoll.

Other winners of team awards were Tyler Beechey with the Most Improved Award, Cole Fischer with the team’s Most Underrated award, Marek Svatos walked away with Rookie of the Year and Lance Morrison was this year’s winner of the Scholastic Award for excellence.

Quick Hits
-Coincidentally, the three previous winners of the Scholastic player of the year award for the ICE have all been traded away. Craig Priestlay (’97-98′), Nick Marach (’98-’99) and Tyler Dyck (’99-’00) were all traded in various deals….The annual ICE Bowling tournament was held on the road in Regina last week. Assistant Coach Cory Clouston took the title with a 202 score. No word on whether or not the affable assistant coach is considering a move to the Pro Bowlers Tour. ICE Rookie Adam Taylor took the dubious honor of lowest team score with a 44…. Keeping with the playoff tradition, all ICE players of once again dyed their hair blonde. Something tells me there might be a shortage of Blonde hair dye once again this season.