NEW GLASGOW – Coming into his final season of midget hockey meant Mark Vokey wanted to check off a few things before he was done – he wanted to win the NSMMHL scoring title and league MVP award.
At the end of the season he was only one point from winning the scoring race.
“I was pretty excited because I was trying hard this year and I wanted to get that or top scorer, so I got one of the awards,” he said about finding out that he had won the league MVP. “I felt I still had a good year (even though he didn’t win top scorer) because I was close and was on a 14-game point streak in the second half.
“When Art (Kennedy) called me it was great news and I was excited.”
In 32 games with the Weeks Major Midgets this season Vokey had 21 goals and 51 points. Halifax McDonalds forward Luc Poirier won the scoring race with 15 goals and 52 points in 34 games.
Through Vokey’s first 16 games he had four goals and 12 points, before going on his 14-game point streak from Nov. 23 to Jan. 19 in the second half of the season where he amassed 17 goals and 39 points.
Weeks’ head coach Dave MacIntyre said that Vokey’s display in the second half made it clear to him that there was no question he deserved to be league MVP.
“I’m very happy for him because he and (Lane) Cormier – every team has their go to guys and Cormier was hurt for half the season – so Voke from the start of the season on was basically trying to carry us and lead by example,” said MacIntyre. “His work ethic is there every night and every day. He goes to the gym every day and is very deserving of this award. In my mind it was no question he deserved the MVP.”
With the Atlantic Major Midget Hockey Championship coming up next week at the Wellness Centre, Vokey said receiving this award was a great boost.
“Especially when three guys on our team got awards in the league it gives us a little more motivation going into Atlantics,” he said.
“It’s an honour because I’ve never played in Atlantics and since it could be my last year of hockey it’s a dream.”
MacIntyre said that the MVP award is also a testament to Vokey’s effort and improvement since he started playing midget hockey.
“Seeing where he started his rookie year where he wasn’t playing a whole lot to where he is now there is no comparison,” said MacIntyre. “Does that have anything to do with me? No. That has to do with him and his work ethic. We’re just trying to guide these guys to help them improve, but it’s up to them to actually do it.”
Also winning awards from the Weeks squad were Lucas Sangster, a second team all-star defenceman, and Matt Sartoris, named to the rookie all-star team as a defenceman.
“He’s got all the skills and whatnot to move onto the next level and he’s one of our best defencemen for sure,” said MacIntyre of Sangster. “That’s a great feather in his cap to make one of the all-star teams. He had a great season and was a go to guy. These guys are playing 30 minutes a night.”
When discussing Sartoris being named to the rookie team, MacIntyre said he felt it was because of his dedication to improving and learning as much as he could in his first NSMMHL season.
“Matt going from where he started at the first of the year as a young 15-year-old, nervous, tall, kind of lanky, but by the end of the season he’s playing major minutes for us to help us make a run in the playoffs,” said MacIntyre. “The improvement level he had from the first of the season was just incredible too and I’ve very proud.”
Next Thursday, April 3 the Weeks Major Midgets open the Atlantic Major Midget Hockey Championship against the Kensington Wild (P.E.I.) at 8 p.m. MacIntyre said the three league awards are big for his group, but he’s proud of all of them heading into Atlantics.
“I’m proud of the whole team from where they came from the first of the year,” he said. “I explained to them going into the playoffs that we lost something like 13 or 14 games in a row, but in the last 11 we won eight, so it’s a big difference from the beginning of the year and I’m proud of all the guys.”
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris