BY RANDY SCHULTZ – (This is the first of a four-part series listing all of the award winners. Today: The Girls High School Ice Hockey Federation winners).
The COVID-19 Pandemic had a hand in the cancellation or postponement of many activities throughout the Western New York Region. One of its casualties was the Second Annual Hasek Hero’s Western New York High School Hockey Awards ceremony that was originally scheduled to be held at the Key Bank Center in downtown Buffalo.
But thanks to 21st Century technology, the ceremony went on with a live streamed event back in July. The ceremonies were emceed by Brian Duff of the Buffalo Sabres’ television broadcast team. The awards were presented by present or former NHL players from the Western New York area.
Offensive Player of the Year was awarded to Jersey Phillips of the Lancaster/Iroquois/Depew (LID) team. The award was presented by former NHL forward, Todd Marchant.
Brooke Becker of Frontier/Lake Shore/Orchard Park (FLOP) was presented the Defensive Player of the Year Award by former NHL defenseman, Jack Brownschidle.
Goaltender of the Year went to Mia Wendell of the Williamsville team. For Sabres goalie, Marty Biron, now a member of the Sabres’ broadcast team, presented the Award.
The Unsung Hero Award was presented to Mara Beiter of the Niagara County Lady Warriors. The presenter was Sled Hockey Gold Medalist, Adam Page.
Coach of the Year went to Kevin Miller of LID. Former NHL forward Brian Gionta presented the award.
The Player of the Year for Girls Fed Hockey was FLOP’s Becker. She recorded 18 goals and 27 points for FLOP during the 2019-20 season. This was the second year in-a-row Becker was the award.
The WNY High School Hockey Awards was established in 2018/2019 by Hasek’s Heroes to recognize and celebrate outstanding female and male student athletes who have represented their high schools playing at the Varsity Club or Federation level throughout the season. The awards also celebrates teams and individuals who have made meaningful impact in the community, both on and off the ice.
The Mission of Hasek’s Heroes is to provide Western New York children in need the foundations of athletic, academic and character development within a fun and rewarding hockey-centered program.
In addition to fostering athletic skills and engaging youth in recreational activities throughout the hockey season, Hasek’s Heroes provides team building and leadership skills during both the on-ice and off-ice components of the program.