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PAB Mariners award winners


Lucas Wiseman, PAB Mariners MVP award winner – Submitted photo

By Jaymie White Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

PORT AUX BASQUES — The season may be over for the Port aux Basques Mariners, but the excitement of having senior hockey back on the ice again is something that’s not going to dissipate anytime soon. Even though the top prize wasn’t claimed by the team this year, they didn’t go home empty handed. Three were recognized for their contribution to the season. Ryley Nadon was chosen as PAB Mariners MVP, as was Lucas Wiseman. The West Coast Senior Hockey League’s (WCSHL) Most Gentlemanly & Effective Player award went to Clay King. “It was pretty good actually. I was pretty rusty because I hadn’t skated in the last three years, which was the last time we had a game,” admitted Nadon. “Our first game of the year was my first or second time on the ice in three years, so it was nice to get back out.” “It felt pretty good. We had a great team to build from,” said Wiseman. “It was great to get to know all the new teammates because it was a new team to me.” “This was my first year playing senior, so it was great. It was great to be back playing hockey. I took a couple years off so it was nice to be back,” said King. Overall, the hardest part of the season for the players were the injuries and getting enough players to be able to take to the ice in a shorter, more jam-packed season. Despite those challenges, the season was a positive one. “Being back playing in Port aux Basques, it’s such a special place to play. People care so much about hockey there and it makes it feel bigger than it is sometimes,” said Nadon. “Myself and my twin brother, who plays on the team as well, we’ve talked about it and one of the reasons we wanted to come back, we are two of the older players now, and with everything that happened in the months before, we thought it was very important for the team to come back and we’d do whatever we could to come back and play and make sure it came back again.” “It was fun seeing everyone coming out to every home game, seeing the barn filled,” said Wiseman “The home games were awesome. After the home games we would head back to our GM’s shed, have some chicken, have a few beers. It was great,” said King. They were all excited to be recognized for their contributions to the team this season. “It’s nice to be recognized by your teammates and coaches so it was nice. It’s always a good feeling for sure. I would’ve preferred to win the league instead of a personal award, but it was still nice,” said Nadon. “I was really surprised, but it felt pretty good,” said Wiseman. “I didn’t realize what I won. I had to ask a few of the guys what the award was for, but now I understand,” said King. “I do play nice, you could say, but it’s a small community so I don’t see the sense in being mean to each other because one day I could play hockey with you and the next I could see you at the grocery store.” Fans can expect to see these players back on the ice next season. “I have a two-year-old at home, so it could be a little bit harder, but I really like playing there and I’m hoping to get another year at least out of it. I will be 34 by the time next season rolls around, so if the body is up to it and I can make it work at home, I’d like to come back for another year. I’d like to end it winning the league.” “I’m hoping to continue on to play with them for the next few seasons,” said Wiseman. “I’m hoping to. There’s talk about Stephenville coming back. That’s where my hometown is, so I’m hoping they’re going to combine the two teams so they can have more numbers and we can have some home games there and some home games in Port aux Basques, and help make the team stronger,” said King. It wasn’t just the players who received awards. President Jamie Young was awarded the HNL Clyde Williams Senior Volunteer Award, an award Nadon said was one of the highlights of the season. “I think the most important award that was given out was the award Jamie won,” said Nadon. “It was nice to see him appreciated for all the work he has done over the years. Without both Mark (Lawrence) and Jamie, there would be no team anymore. That award to Jamie was one of the best parts, to see him recognized for all the work he does for us.” The award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to senior hockey in the province and had originally been decided upon in 2021, but was unable to be presented at the time due to the COVID shut down, so Young received his award this season. Young, who has been a volunteer with the Mariners for the last decade, has also been involved with the founding members of the new WCSHL in 2016-17, has been on the executive of the WCSHL for five years, is President and Treasurer of the Mariners, and helped bring the Herder Memorial Championship back to the west coast as a member of the HNL Herder Committee, something that proved to be an exciting experience. “After a couple years being off because of COVID, it felt great. Not only COVID, but with Fiona and everything like that, it was nice to get the community back together, to see people cheering for the hockey teams. And the Mariners, the fans just love the Mariners, and it was just great to see,” said Young. “Everyone was excited, not only for Port aux Basques, but for the league in general, Deer Lake, Corner Brook, everybody, just getting the league back up and running. It was great to see. The attendance in all the arenas certainly showed that, and the players too. There were a lot of players willing to play in the league this year and we didn’t know how that was going to go, and for the most part it went relatively well. The sponsors were on board. It was great.” Regardless of any outcome, Young is happy with what the team was able to accomplish. “I am very proud of our team. We started with a lot of new players this year on our team, so just to get them on board and get them to Port aux Basques, for them to see how we run our organization, the town, the arena, everyone involved here, we’re very happy, and it was a successful year, needless to say,” said Young. “We probably could do better in the stats department, but overall, me and Mark Lawrence (General Manager of PAB Mariners) were quite happy and pleased. We have something great to work with next year. We have some core players now that we can reach out to next year and build from that. Experience in this league goes a long way, so we are pretty excited about next year and getting things up and running earlier, maybe in November.” Winning the award was a humbling experience. “When I got nominated for the award back in 2021, that was before COVID shut the season down, and I was quite surprised to be honest, because there are a lot of individuals in the senior league and teams out there that have a lot of experience and do a lot of hard work, so when they chose me I was quite surprised and quite happy to be honest. I was quite honoured. I mean I’ve been at this, senior hockey for at least five or six years and I’m involved with the Junior Mariners as well, so it’s nice to get recognized for your volunteer work, and a lot of work goes into this.” Young said that every second he pours into the Mariners and the sport is worth it for him. “There’s a lot I have to do because I’m the President and the Treasurer and I’m also involved with the West Coast Senior Hockey League as an executive, so there’s meetings, dealing with players, dealing with sponsors, fans, getting prepared for the games. It’s just non-stop, but I enjoy it. That’s why I keep doing it. I love it. I love when the Town loves what we put on the ice, getting the town involved and giving them something to do on the weekends. That’s what it’s all about.”

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