Jared Gomes, a UPEI business student, was named the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Rookie of the Year for men’s hockey Wednesday night in Thunder Bay at the All-Canadian Banquet, kicking off the University Cup. Gomes, a native of Brampton, Ontario became the first UPEI winner of the Clare Drake Award since its inception in 1985-86.
Gomes was named the 2009-10 recipient of the A.J. MacAdam Memorial Trophy as the Rookie of the Year in the Atlantic University Sport conference on March 16th, putting him in the running for the national honour.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound forward had an impressive freshman season for the UPEI Panthers finishing ninth in AUS scoring with 33 points (17-16-33) in 28 games, second in the conference with four game-winning goals, and sixth with seven power-play markers. The 21-year-old freshman, who led his team in goals, power-play goals and game winners, guided the Panthers to a 15-11-2 record good for fourth place in the Atlantic.
Gomes played with the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors and Sarnia Sting of the OHL prior to coming to UPEI. Kinkora native Dave Cameron is General Manager and Head Coach of the Majors and played a part, along with former UPEI Coach Dylan Taylor, in Gomes’ decision to play for UPEI.
Gomes said, “I talked with my family and bunch of people and decided UPEI would be a good choice for academics and hockey. And on the ice, we have great coaching and a great group of guys.” He adds, “When I heard the news about the award, I was super-excited.”
Current UPEI Head Coach, Forbes MacPherson says, "To say that Jared Gomes has adjusted well, in transition from OHL to CIS, would be a dramatic understatement. In just his first year of CIS competition, Jared, tied for second on our team in scoring.”
Jared displays a tremendous level of work ethic, character, and discipline. Evidence of this, exists beyond the ice. Academically, in his initial semester at university, he achieved an 87.2 average while taking a full work load of five courses. MacPherson adds, “Without a doubt, Jared has had a tremendous impact on the campus of UPEI.”
"Jared Gomes is an outstanding young man who epitomizes the highest standard of CIS Student-Athlete Excellence,” says Ron Annear, UPEI Athletic Director. “A highly skilled player whose effort both on the ice and in the class room has garnered impressive results, and contributed greatly to one of UPEI's best seasons in several years."
Other CIS major award winners announced were third-year University of New Brunswick forward Hunter Tremblay, who was named CIS player of the year; Marc-André Dorion of St-Hubert, Que., who was named defenceman of the year; Manitoba’s Steve Christie of Winnipeg, selected as the country’s best goaltender; UQTR right winger Francis Guérette-Charland of Victoriaville, Que., who claimed the R.W. Pugh award as the nation’s most sportsmanlike player; UNB’s Gardiner MacDougall of Bedeque, P.E.I., who captured the Father George Kehoe memorial award as coach of the year; and Alberta forward Tyler Metcalfe of Headingley, Man., who received the Dr. Randy Gregg award recognizing his excellence in hockey, academics and community involvement.
For more information about the CIS hockey awards, visit the CIS website.