The Spruce Grove Saints have captured the Dave Duchak Trophy as the AJHL regular Season Champions for a third consecutive season. The Saints completed the regular season on Sunday afternoon with their 49th victory of the 2015-2016 campaign and wrapped up the season with a record of 49-7-4 and 102 points. The annual award was named after David Duchak, who was the first Commissioner of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
The Spruce Grove Saints have captured the regular season title in six of the last eight years. The Calgary Canucks won the Dave Duchak Trophy a total of 11 times, the most of any teams in the 52 year history of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
The Saints led the league in 2015-2016 with the Fewest Goals Against (123), Fewest Losses (7) and Win Percentage (.850%). Spruce Grove held a prominent place in the CJHL Top 20 National Rankings throughout the regular season and finish the season ranked at #6 in Canada.
The Saints goaltending duo of Matthew Murray and Ravi Dattani are the recipients of the Reebok / CCM Top Team Goaltenders Award with a 2.05 GAA. The Top Team Goaltenders award is presented annually to the goaltenders of the team with the lowest goals against average (GAA) in the regular season. The Saints recorded 14 shutouts and allowed only 123 goals against.
“This is truly a team award as all players are a big part of the result,” said Saints GM / Head Coach Jason McKee. “The biggest part, however, is our goaltending and we have been very fortunate to have some great goalies start games for us this season. A lot of the credit has to go to Matt Murray, Ravi Dattani, Brett Zarowny, and Garrett Mason as all four players are great young goaltenders and tremendous teammates.”
Murray and Dattani completed the season in the Top 10 for Goals Against Average and Save Percentage among all AJHL goaltenders and each recorded 3 shutout victories. Dattani (Calgary, AB) began the season with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons before joining the Saints to end his 4-year AJHL career.
Murray and teammate Brett Zarowny were the recipients of the 2014-2015 Reebok / CCM Top Team Goaltenders Award with a 2.02 GAA for the Saints. The 18 year-old from St Albert, Albert has committed to the University of Massachusetts of the NCAA Division I.
Four members of the Spruce Grove Saints were finalists for 2015-2016 AJHL League Awards. Matthew Murray ultimately won the Friends of AJHL Trophy as the Top Goaltender, and Tyler Busch was awarded the Don McNabb Memorial Trophy as the Most Dedicated Player for 2015-2016.
By securing 1st place in the Viterra AJHL North Division, the Saints have guaranteed themselves a first round bye in the 2016 AJHL Gas Drive Playoffs.
A complete schedule for the 2016 AJHL Gas Drive Cup Playoffs is available on the AJHL website AJHL.ca. The Round One Divisional Best-of-Five Series will begin on Thursday, March 10th. The top seven teams in each division qualify for the AJHL Playoffs with the highest ranked seed awarded home ice advantage.