CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The Holland College Hurricanes will be celebrated next week for their run to a bronze medal at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) men’s soccer championship.
They are this year’s recipient of the SCORE! Team of the Year award. The Sport P.E.I. awards will be presented Feb. 7 during the 44th annual awards night at Holland College’s Florence Simmons Performance Hall.
Hurricanes head coach Jonathan Vos said it is an honour to receive the recognition with a lot of good, competitive teams on the Island.
“It’s nice to be recognized by peers and others and know that you’ve kind of made an impact within the community,” he said.
The fact the recognition comes a few months after their bronze medal win on a cold, wet field in Nanaimo, B.C.
“It’s going to be good for the boys to get that recognition next Wednesday night,” Vos said. “It’s good to remember that their hard work did pay off and it wasn’t just that one moment when the medals went around their necks.”
The Hurricanes defeated the Keyano College Huskies 1-0 in the third-place game after losing to the Huskie 2-0 in the first game of the tournament.
They beat Algonquin 2-0 and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) 4-3 to set up the rematch with the Huskies.
“That was one of the best parts about the team. That was our first loss of the season, but the boys rebounded. They didn’t hold their heads down,” Vos explained. “They rallied as a team and knew there was still an opportunity to get something done.”
The Hurricanes, for the third straight season, went 11-0-1 in the regular season, finished first in the regular season and won the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association title.
They were building towards a chase for a national championship, but that dream ended after Day 1.
Albert Roche, Holland College director of athletics and recreation, travelled with the team to British Columbia and was impressed with the team’s ability to bounce back.
“There was a lot of character and leadership and tremendous coaching,” he said, “as well as everyone on the team putting their oar in the water on the west coast. To come back with a bronze is pretty impressive.”
It was the latest step for a team that finished eighth, seventh and fifth in successive years before winning bronze.
It is the second year in a row a Hurricanes squad will recieve the team of the year recognition. The women’s basketball team won the 2016 award.
The ‘Canes are no strangers to winning the award, with their men’s basketball team (2013) and men’s soccer team (2011) also recently taking home the honour.
“We build our programs based on our ability to compete nationally and when we succeed nationally, it's very rewarding to be recognized locally,” Roche said.
The Hurricanes will host the national men’s soccer championship for the first time in November. Roche said the recent news helps shine another light on the team and the college’s programs.
“It sends another ripple out on the pond in terms of recruitment to our school, our athletics program, but in particular for our men’s soccer program where we’re hosting nationals this coming November,” he said, noting the news comes at a good time of the year “with a lot of other schools competing for student-athletes.”
Got to go
2017 Amateur Sport Award
What – The annual awards presented by Sport P.E.I.
When – Feb. 7. Reception begins at 6:30 p.m. with the awards ceremony starting at 7:15 p.m.
Where – Holland College's Florence Simmons Performance Hall.
Tickets – $25 and available by calling 902-368-4110.
A look at the recent winners of the SCORE! Team of the Year:
2016 – Holland College Hurricanes women’s basketball.
2015 – Charlottetown Gaudet's Auto Body Islanders (baseball).
2014 – UPEI Panthers men's soccer team.
2013 – Holland College Hurricanes men's basketball.
2012 – UPEI Panthers women's hockey.
2011 – Holland College Hurricanes men's soccer.
2010 – Kathy O'Rourke curling rink and the Churchill Arms men's soccer team.
2009 – Brett Gallant curling rink.
2008 – Avondale Islanders soccer team.
2007 – Brett Gallant curling rink.