With the Vernon Vipers’ season ending by playoff elimination Friday, the team has now named its award winners for the 2021-22 season.
The B.C. Hockey League team held its year-end awards night Monday, April 11, sponsored by Safeway.
JoJo Tanaka-Campbell and Cam MacDonald shared the Fan Favourite Player Award. Both players have been bringing Vipers fans to their feet for the last three seasons. The two are known for scoring big goals during the game and signing autographs afterward.
Tanaka-Campbell also garnered the prestigious title of Most Valuable Player. An excellent teammate and leader, Tanaka-Campbell scored nine goals and added 22 assists in 51 games this season. He also had four points in five playoff games versus the West Kelowna Warriors.
The Leading Scorer Award went to rookie winger Luke Buss, who led the team in regular season points with 36 and goals with 16 (tied with Reagan Milburn).
Jack Glen was named the winner of the Renee Holland Community Service Award.
“The last two years haven’t been easy when it’s come to getting out in the community. However, when the opportunities arose, (Glen) was always eager to participate in on- and off-ice activities,” the Vipers noted in their awards announcement shared Tuesday.
The Wayne Buck Memorial Award goes to a player who exhibits hard work and unselfish play. This year the honour went to Talon Zakall, and it came with a $1,500 scholarship to help further his education.
This year’s honour of Unsung Hero went to Ryan Shostak, who made an impact in ways that don’t hit the score sheet: face-off wins, back-checking and shot-blocking.
The Most Sportsmanlike Award was given to Zack Tonelli, who amassed just eight penalty minutes in 47 games played this season.
There were strong candidates for Rookie of the Year honours this season. As mentioned, Buss was the Vipers’ leading scorer as a rookie, but the honours went to the player at the other end of the ice, goaltender Roan Clarke, who finished the season with an 18-15-5 record, a goals against average of 2.74, a .914 save percentage and two shutouts — not to mention the many highlight reel saves he made over the course of the year.
Plenty more awards were handed out Monday night. Tyler Chan won the Bill Brown Award for Academic Excellence; Luke Pakulak earned the Sun Valley Source for Sports Most Improved Player award; Matt Culling secured the Blueliners Award with a $1,750 scholarship; the Top Defenceman Award went to Nick Kent; and the Duncan Wray Memorial Award was given to MacDonald.