The Canadian university sports calendar came to an end recently with U SPORTS naming its top male and female athletes for 2016-17.
In a battle with four other worthy nominees, Philippe Maillet of the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds hockey club was tabbed as the nation's best athlete this past season.
Maillet, who sparked the Reds to their second straight national title, claimed the BLG Award which included a $10,000 post-graduate scholarship.
"As an athlete and a student, you aim for excellence," said Maillet following the announcement in Calgary, Alta. "Being named a BLG Award winner, which recognizes all sports not just hockey, means a lot and it means I've achieved a level of excellence. I think it reflects all of the hard work that I put in each and every day trying to make myself and my team better."
The award was the icing on the cake for Maillet who captured both the U SPORTS men's hockey MVP and also got the nod at the national championship tournament.
During his four-year stint at UNB, the Terrebonne, Que. native tallied 166 points (60G, 106A) in 101 games. Before joining the college ranks, he toiled for three seasons with the Victoriaville Tigres of the QMJHL, totaling 240 points (92G, 148A) in 252 junior contests.
Maillet began his pro career with the Ontario (California) Reign of the American Hockey League (AHL) shortly after the national finals and scored in his first game. The Reign's season, however, came to an end this past week when they were eliminated from the Calder Cup playoffs in the Pacific Division semifinals by the San Diego Gulls.
Scoring sensation Sarah Bujold of the St. Francis Xavier University X-Women was a finalist for the women's BLG Award, but lost out to soccer star Arielle Roy-Petitclerc of the Laval Rouge et Or.
The BLG Awards, sponsored by the law firm of Borden Ladner Gervais, honour the top university athletes in the country, drawn from more than 12,000 student-athletes representing the 56 institutions which make up U SPORTS.
The awards show will be aired nationally on May 17 on Sportsnet 360 beginning at 7 p.m.
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