Categorized | Sports

Jack Grier earns Clint Jordan Memorial Award

Jack Grier was honoured as a player’s player Wednesday night by Fort Macleod Minor Hockey.

Grier, a U18 Maverick, received the prestigious Clint Jordan Memorial Award during the awards night at the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall.

“The Clint Jordan Award is kind of the big award in Minor Hockey,” presenter Brian Vandervalk said. “It goes to the best teammate, the player who combines hard work, dedication, sportsmanship and team play — basically everything you could ask for of a hockey player.”

In addition to Grier, other nominees were Matthew McNab of the U13 Mavericks and Riley Maljaars of the U15 team.

The Clint Jordan Award is presented in memory of a Fort Macleod Minor Hockey player who died suddenly at the age of 17 in 1990.

Vandervalk and Jordan were teammates throughout their Minor Hockey careers.

“I’m glad we have this award,” Vandervalk said. “Clint was a smaller player, but he played big.”

Vandervalk said Jordan never shied away from physical contact and wasn’t afraid to dig in the corners.

Jordan was quick to back up his teammates and worked hard every shift and every practice.

Jordan was also friendly and welcoming to new players on the team.

“He was the guy you wanted to have on your team,” Vandervalk said.

Natasha Haluck, U18 Mavericks manager, watched Grier progress over the past 12 years.

“In those 12 years I have watched him grow into one of the most fantastic human beings I have seen,” Haluck said. “This boy is hands-down the heart and soul of that U18 team.”

It was a difficult season for the Mavericks as they won only won regular season game while losing 14 and tying one.

The Mavericks placed last in the eight-team Black Division of the Central Alberta Tier 3 Hockey League.

Grier, who played 13 games, finished the regular season with 12 goals and seven assists for 19 points, second on the team to Alex Eagle Bear who had 20 points. Grier had 48 penalty minutes.

Haluck said Grier had to miss a few games and his absence was noticeable as the Mavericks missed his leadership.

In the playoffs, the Mavericks lost 7-6 and 7-1 to the first-place Bow Island-Foremost club.

In two playoff games, Grier had two goals and an assist and two penalty minutes.

Haluck said Grier demonstrated leadership all year long.

“Whether he needed to give them a stern talking-to, whether he needed to make them laugh when they had some tough games, he was there,” Haluck said. “He was there and he picked up on the energy in the room and knew exactly what was needed.”

Kyle Nielson, assistant coach with the U13 Mavericks, said Matthew McNab displayed the attributes represented in the Jordan award.

Earlier in the night, McNab was named most sportsmanlike player by his team.

“Matthew was one of the hardest-working players on our team,” Nielson said, and displayed “quiet leadership.”

Nielson said McNab turned out for every game and practice and displayed strong sportsmanship.

“He never had a bad thing to say about his teammates and was always positive — win, lose or draw,” Nielson said. “He was a kid who always had a smile on his face.”

McNab was second in regular season scoring for the Mavericks with 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points, and was assessed just four penalty minutes.

In the playoffs McNab had a goal and an assist and no penalty minutes in two games.

“Overall, he was just a kid with a heart of gold and would be well-deserving of this award,” Nielson said.

Turner Sharp, who was head coach of the U15 Mavericks, said Riley Maljaars demonstrated the qualities the Clint Jordan Award demands.

“In big moments when we needed a goal or we needed a block or whatever it might be, he was the guy that I put out there,” Sharp said.

Maljaars had six goals and 13 assists for 19 points in 15 regular season games, with just four penalty minutes.

In the playoffs, Maljaars led the Mavericks in scoring with five goals and two assists for seven points in four games and did not take a penalty.

Maljaars added another goal in the two round-robin provincial playdown games.

Sharp said Maljaars demonstrated a true desire to improve and was a pleasure to have on the team.

“He’s just an awesome kid, on and off the ice,” Sharp said. “I was super proud of him for everything he’s done this year, and the past few years.”

Tags |

Subscribe Online Current Edition

Explore Spectacular Southwest Alberta (PDF)

2021 Explore Southwest Alberta magazine cover