Nicholas Amsler of the Ridge Meadows Flames won the team MVP award for the past season. (THE NEWS-Files)

Flames honour their best from last season

Maple Ridge's Amsler the MVP and team scoring leader

As they prepare for a new season of Junior B hockey, the Ridge Meadows Flames have been celebrating the talented players on their roster from the season past, with announcements of the team award winners.

Maple Ridge’s own Nick Amsler was selected as the team MVP and was also the scoring champion for the 2019/2020 season. Amsler led the Flames in scoring, and finished 10th in the Pacific Junior Hockey League with 21 goals and 50 points in 41 games.

Led by Amsler, the Flames were the highest scoring team in the Harold Brittain Conference, and third highest in the league. The forward was also the highest scoring 2001 athlete in the league, and played in the league’s annual Top Prospects Game. Amsler is back for a third season with his hometown team.

Emmett Garrett was chosen as the most valuable defenceman, taking the award for the second straight season.

Another Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey product, he led all Flames blueliners with 25 points in 41 games, which was a big jump from 16 points in his rookie campaign.

Andrew Cheverie, the voice of the Flames in their online broadcasts, said he “leads by example, shows incredible poise with the puck and is one of the best puck movers in the league in my opinion.”

The winner of the Hart Hat Award was goaltender Elliott Marshall, who appeared in 29 games, finished with a win-loss record of 13-11 and led all rookies in the league with three shutouts. The Surrey product posted a goals against average of 3.22 and a save percentage of 0.895.

The rookie of the year was Matt Tyszka, a Langley defenceman who had 15 points in 41 games, played in all situations, worked hard and logged big minutes in his first Flames campaign.

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The most improved forward was Ryan Denney. He was fourth on the Flames with 16 goals and 42 points in 42 games. That was a huge jump from five goals and 28 points from his first season with his hometown team.

“Tons of heart and his snapshot is an absolute cannon!” noted Cheverie.

The most valuable forward was Tetsuya ‘Teddy’ Prior, who has been a consistent offensive threat up front. Prior registered 107 points in 78 games as a Flame, and was twice named to the all-star team. The speedy Richmond native also played with the Port Moody Panthers and Delta Ice Hawks over his four seasons in the PJHL.

The most improved defenceman was Sam Rose, who was notable for his steady defensive play. The rookie out of Surrey had 11 assists in his first year in the PJHL.

The most inspirational player was Trevor Townsend, who was the captain of the team. He tallied 15 goals and 30 points last season, which was a career best. The gritty forward out of Surrey played 134 games in the league between the Flames and Richmond Sockeyes, and had 64 points in 134 games.

“A true champion!” said Cheverie of the former Cyclone Taylor Cup winner. “Also tough as nails and one of the best two-way forwards in the PJ last season.”

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The most sportsmanlike player was big forward Jarod McKay, who logged a lot of ice time but was only whistled for six minutes in penalties. He led the team in goals scored with 26 – tied for fifth in the league, and had 37 points in 43 games.

The Flames are preparing for a new season, with important dates soon to be announced.

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