Dartmouth’s Danny Flynn and Lower Sackville’s Ben Duffy shared a portion of the spotlight at the QMJHL’s Golden Puck awards gala last night in Montreal.
Flynn, in his second year behind the bench with the Moncton Wildcats, claimed the Ron Lapointe Trophy as coach of the year, while Duffy, a freshman centre with the P.E.I. Rocket, earned a spot on the league’s all-rookie team.
The 51-year-old Flynn transformed the Wildcats from a last-place team to a contender that posted the lowest team goals-against average (2.16) in league history. The Wildcats cruised to a third-overall finish with a 48-14-2-4 record.
Duffy, selected fifth overall in last summer’s QMJHL draft, was the top 16-year-old point producer in the league, finishing with 18 goals among 41 points in 62 games.
“He showed us tremendous hockey sense and vision,” said Rocket general manager Serge Savard Jr. “He’s a guy that’s gonna put up a ton of points in the future in the Q.”
Duffy fell short of two awards: the RDS Cup for top rookie and the Michel Bergeron Trophy for top offensive rookie. Those awards went to a pair of 18-year-olds from Russia.
Defenceman Dmitry Kulikov of the Drummondville Voltigeurs won the RDS Cup — in addition to the league’s top defenceman award — while forward Dmitri Kugrishev of the Quebec Remparts took home the Michel Bergeron Trophy.
Kulikov posted 62 points, while Kugrishev potted 34 goals.
“It’s too bad for a young kid coming in at 16 to battle a young man who’s 18 (for rookie awards),” Savard said.
“But that’s how our system works. It’s quite an honour for (Duffy) just to be nominated at age 16 and it’s a big win for him.”
Wildcats stopper Nicola Riopel claimed the Michel Brier Trophy as most valuable player, the Jacques Plante Trophy as top goaltender, and a spot on the first all-star team.