© Andy Corneau/OJHL Images
Cougars trio earn honours
Roy, Casselman and Durante recognized by Ontario Junior Hockey League for regular-season success
Jason La Rose
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April 10, 2017
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The Cobourg Cougars turned in the best regular season in franchise history during the 2016-17 campaign, so it wasn’t much of a surprise to see three Cougars receive Ontario Junior Hockey League awards.

Brennan Roy (Top Defenceman), Ryan Casselman (Most Improved Player) and Stefano Durante (Top Goaltender) were three of the reasons Cobourg set team records for wins (39) and points (82) while fashioning the fourth-best record in the OJHL.

Roy and Casselman were doubly honoured, with both earning a spot on the OJHL First All-Star Team, while two other members of the Cougars organization – captain Josh Maguire (Humanitarian of the Year) and general manager Brent Tully (Executive of the Year) – finished runner-up for their respective awards.

BRENNAN ROY – TOP DEFENCEMAN

Runner-up last season, Roy is the fifth defenceman in Cobourg history to win the award, and the first since Jarrett Winn was the East Division recipient in 2000-01 (it was also won by Randy Jones in 1999-00, Darryl Latoski in 1995-96 and Darryl Buttar in 1996-97). Roy tied for the league scoring lead among defencemen with 57 points in 53 regular season games played, scoring 14 goals and adding 43 assists.

Roy, who led all OJHL blue-liners with 20 goals last season, turned the tables this year and was the top playmaker from the point. He led all defencemen with 43 assists, helping the Cougars finish with the OJHL's third-best offensive attack, recording 240 goals, while also providing a stabilizing force in the defensive zone.

The Iroquois Falls, Ont., native logged heavy minutes on the blue-line and got off to another quick start during his second OJHL season after recording 14 points in 12 games played in October. A key member of the special teams units with Cobourg, Roy was instrumental in the club finishing fifth in the OJHL with a 22.6% success rate on the power play, as well as the league's best penalty-killing unit at 89.3%.

***

RYAN CASSELMAN – MOST IMPROVED PLAYER

The Cougars leading scorer this season, Casselman set career junior offensive bests across the board. He becomes the fourth member of the Cougars to win the award, but the first in 16 years, joining Matt Chafe (2000-01), Kevin Rainey (1999-00) and Otto Hlincik (1994-95).

Joining Cobourg midway through last season from the Pembroke Lumber Kings of the CCHL, Casselman made an immediate impact on the Cougars line-up, registering nine goals and 25 points in 30 games played. He used a great finish in 2015-16 to become an offensive force in the OJHL this year. Casselman saw his offensive production increase by an average of 73 per cent across the board in leading the Cougars with 31 goals, 42 assists and 73 points in 53 regular-season contests. His 31 goals were fourth-best in the entire league, while his 73 points ranked fifth among all OJHLers.

A key member of the league’s fifth best power-play unit, Casselman recorded 15 PP points, and his seven game-winning goals were tied for fourth-highest total in the league. Twice this season, the diminutive forward had lengthy scoring streaks, including a nine-game point streak in November, and a 10-game run in January.

***

STEFANO DURANTE – TOP GOALTENDER

Durante took home the award for the second time in three seasons by leading the OJHL with a 1.92 goals-against average in 32 games played. He also captured the award in dramatic fashion, pitching a 23-save, 3-0 shutout of the conference-leading Trenton Golden Hawks on the final night of the season to surpass Josh Astorino of the Georgetown Raiders, who finished as runner-up with a 1.93 GAA.

Durante's average is tied for the 11th-best in OJHL history and combined with the 1.79 goals-against average from his award-winning 2014-15 season (which ranks fifth best all-time) the Cougars netminder now has two of the best statistical seasons on record by a goaltender.

For more information:

Lisa Dornan
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4557 / 403-510-7046 (mobile)
ldornan@hockeycanada.ca

 

Morgan Bell
Coordinator, Media Relations
Hockey Canada
403-284-6427
mbell@hockeycanada.ca

 

Esther Madziya
Coordinator, Media Relations
Hockey Canada
403-284-6484
emadziya@hockeycanada.ca

 

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