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Kevin Bailie, Brett Gibson win national hockey awards

March 21, 2014

Two members of the Queen’s Golden Gaels have been honoured by Canadian Interuniversity Sport with individual awards at the University Cup championship tournament in Saskatoon.

Queen’s goalie Kevin Bailie has received the Clare Drake Award as national rookie of the year and Queen’s coach Brett Gibson was selected as winner of the Father George Kehoe Memorial Award as Canadian intercollegiate coach of the year.

Bailie, from Belleville, posted a 1.98 goals-against average and a save percentage of .934 in 20 regular-season games, third and second, respectively, in Canada. He had two shutouts and was a large part of the Gaels’ seven-game improvement over last year.

“Kevin is a true professional in every essence of the word,” Gibson said. “His preparation and focus are as high as any player I have ever coached. It was extremely comforting going into every game knowing he was back there for us. That just motivated every other player on the ice to play his best.”

Bailie is the first Queen’s player to win a national hockey award since Chris Glover 1993 and only the second ever to do so. Glover won the Randy Gregg Award for best combining citizenship, academics and athletics and Paul Stothart won the Sullivan Award as most valuable player in the CIAU twice, in 1981 and 1982.

Greg Clancy, a Kingston native, won the Pugh Award for sportsmanship when he was playing for Acadia in 1995.

Gibson, a two-time Ontario University Athletics East division coach of the year, is the first Queen’s coach ever to win the Kehoe Award. The Gaels went through the first 17 games of their regular schedule without a regulation-time defeat, and they cracked the national Top 10 for the first time since the 1982-83 season.

The Gaels allowed just 57 goals in 28 games, best in the OUA by 10 goals and second-best in Canada. They also allowed the third-fewest power-play goals in the land en route to a 17-win season, matching the school single-season record.

“Successful teams are led by great coaches and our men’s hockey program has benefited tremendously from Brett’s vision, energy and expertise,” Leslie Dal Cin, Queen’s director of athletics and recreation, said in a release.

“We can also point to many ‘wins’ off the ice as well, through Brett’s efforts to support his athletes in their academic success and through initiatives that build community leadership and alumni engagement.”

The last Queen’s coach to be a finalist for the Kehoe award was Fred O’Donnell in 1981. Coincidentally, Gibson and O’Donnell are both from Gananoque.

Gibson is the second Kingston-area hockey product in a row to win the Kehoe. Trevor Stienburg, from Moscow, won it for the third time in 2013. Jacques Tremblay of Royal Military College won the award in 1996.

Among the all-Canadians named Wednesday was Zach Harnden of the Western Mustangs. A first-team forward, Harnden played for the Kingston Frontenacs in 2009-10.

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