Goalkeeper Petri Pitkanen has been named the Canberra Brave’s most valuable player for the 2014 Australian Ice Hockey League season. Photo: Melissa AdamsHe’s made history as the Canberra Brave’s inaugural most valuable player, but goalkeeper Petri Pitkanen has been overlooked for the premier individual honour in the Australian Ice Hockey League.
The Finnish stopper was honoured for his sensational season in taking out the top prize at the Brave’s end of season presentation night at the Woden Tradies on Sunday night.
Pitkanen has been a force defending the net, conceding just 2.93 goals per game and having a 90.6 per cent save percentage, good enough for second- and third-best in the competition respectively.
But while he’s been shortlisted among three finalists as the AIHL’s goalkeeper of the year, Pitkanen didn’t make the cut in the competition’s MVP consideration.
His Brave teammate Mathieu Ouellette is in the running for the AIHL’s MVP award when it is announced after the second semi-final in Melbourne on Saturday night.
Ouellette is the Brave’s best two-way player, meaning he works hard on both the offensive and defensive ends of the ice.
He finished fourth overall in scoring in the AIHL, contributing 17 goals to go with his 40 assists in 22 games to play a crucial role in the Brave’s charge to the playoffs.
Stephen Blunden was named the Brave’s best forward, the Canadian also the team’s and the AIHL’s highest points scorer, finishing with 68 points consisting of 36 goals and 32 assists.
Best defender went to Matt Harvey, Aaron Clayworth collected the players’ player and coaches’ awards, Anton Kokkonen was named the fan’s choice, captain Mark Rummukainen took home the John Lewis Memorial Award and Kai Miettinen was named the Brave’s best under-23 player.
The Brave have become the first Canberra team to qualify for the AIHL post-season since the league began in 2000, with the semi-finals and final to be held at the Melbourne Ice House on Saturday and Sunday.
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