Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Bombers’ Lapointe named Centennial Cup’s top defenceman

~ Article courtesy Eric Westhaver/theReminder, image courtesy Kelly Jacobson

Another honour is on the way for Bomber defenceman Xavier Lapointe. The Quebec City native has been named the best defenceman at the Centennial Cup.

The honour was announced Thursday afternoon, along with the rest of the tournament honours.

Through four preliminary round games, Lapointe leads the Bombers in scoring with five points in four games, including the overtime winning goal against Ottawa.

In the announcement, Lapointe was described by Hockey Canada as “a¬†workhorse on the back end who chipped in three goals (one of them an overtime winner) and two assists.”

Carson Cherepak of the Dauphin Kings was named the tournament’s MVP and the top goalie, while Colby MacArthur of the Summerside Western Capitals was named the most sportsmanlike player of the tournament. Brooks Bandits forward Ryan McAllister was named forward of the tournament after pumping home 13 points in four preliminary round games, including four goals.

Earlier this season, Lapointe was named the defenceman of the year for the Sherwood division, then earned that honour for the entire SJHL. Lapointe was also a finalist for national defenceman of the year, as awarded by the CJHL. On top of that, Lapointe was honoured with the Darcy Bancroft Memorial Award as the Bombers’ top defenceman and the George Leel Memorial Award for being the Bombers’ top regular season scorer.

In his first season as a Bomber, the Quebec City native put up 50 points in 58 games, leading the Bombers in scoring and being a key presence on the team’s power-play and top pair, along with Bomber vet Cole Vardy. In the playoffs, Lapointe added 10 points in 17 games, including seven points in the league final series against Estevan.

Lapointe has committed to join the NCAA’s Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers next season.

Lapointe is the first Bomber to earn a tournament honour at the Centennial Cup since 2001, when captain Mark Debusschere was named the tournament’s most sportsmanlike player. The two players are the only Bombers to have ever won an individual award at a national junior A championship – no players on the 1993 Bombers squad that made it to the tournament earned awards.