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Cape Breton Eagles Announce Final Four 2019-20 Team Award Winners

Earlier today, former Cape Breton Eagles star Logan Shaw (now of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets) announced the final four winners for the team’s 2019-20  awards on the team’s social media channels.  The results for those awards are as follows:

 

The Jim Hawkins Memorial Award for Humanitarian of the Year Presented by Cabot Power Sports: Kevin Mandolese  

Kevin Mandolese’s stats in 2019-20: 37 games played, 26 wins, 9 losses, 2 shutouts, 2.33 goals against,.925 save percentage

Eagles goaltender Kevin Mandolese is a big star between the pipes- this year he led the QMJHL with a .925 save percentage, and placed third with a 2.33 goals against average.  But he’s an even bigger presence off the ice. 

“Being a humanitarian means going out of your already packed schedule to help others,” says coach Jake Grimes.  “Kevin has a lot on his plate yet his choices to continue to help others prevail.”  The last two years Mandolese has partnered with teammates, spending

their own money, to purchase tickets for Pediatric patients at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital to attend games at Centre 200.  The Eagle crease cop is also among one of the most frequent visitors to CBRM schools.   

Mandolese has also acted as a big brother during his time in Sydney.  In April 2019 his five month old billet sister Ella was diagnosed with a rare condition called osteopetrosis. During this time Kevin has acted as a big brother for his billet brother Boyd, while

honouring Ella wearing special pads embroidered with the phrase “All For Ella’, supporting her fight.

 

The Academic Player of the Year Presented by Cape Breton University: Derek Gentile 

Derek Gentile’s stats in 2019-20: 60 games played, 25 goals, 32 assists, 57 points, 37 penalty minutes, +6, 37 penalty minutes

In his final QMJHL season, Derek Gentile proved you can be successful both on the ice and in the classroom.  While almost producing at a point a game and playing a strong 200 foot game, the Eagles captain was also academically successful.  

“Derek takes great pride with his studies,” says Cape Breton Eagles education coordinator Ryan MacPherson.  Cape Breton coach Jake Grimes notes his team’s captain “never stops moving his feet and gives it his all every night.”  MacPherson feels that the “same hard working attitude on the ice crosses over to the classroom as well.”  Gentile studied at CBU during his time with the Eagles, after attending UPEI while playing for Charlottetown and doing distance education through Acadia while playing for Québec.  

It was recently announced the overage forward had been accepted to Dalhousie University for 2020-21.  Described as “an extremely active community-minded individual” by his Dalhousie head coach Chris Donnelly, Gentile will study commerce at his new school.

 

Fans Choice Award Presented by CJCB: Derek Gentile 

Derek Gentile’s stats in 2019-20: 60 games played, 25 goals, 32 assists, 57 points, 37 penalty minutes, +6, 37 penalty minutes

“This choice tells me something I’ve known about fans of hockey in Sydney since the early 80’s when I played against local minor hockey teams as a kid, to the early 90’s when I played against the Cape Breton Oilers,” says Eagles coach Jake Grimes.  “They understand the game.”  

Eagles fans voted online at year’s end to determine their favourite player and it was the team’s captain Derek Gentile that prevailed.  After splitting 3.5 seasons with Québec and Charlottetown, Gentle came home in a deal to the team he grew up cheering for.  Despite often matching against the other team’s top offensive players, he contributed in his own right this season with 57 points in 60 games.  

Described by his coach as “tireless, courageous, and perhaps the best penalty killer in the league,” the Eagle 20 year old went out on a high note, scoring in his last four major junior career games at Centre 200.  Grimes notes he had “a knack of scoring key goals just when the team needed them” and described his captain as  “the ultimate leader among a team of leaders.”

 

The Greg Lynch Memorial Trophy presented by the Family in Memory of Greg Lynch and His Contributions to the Eagles Organization goes to: Kevin Mandolese

Kevin Mandolese’s stats in 2019-20: 37 games played, 26 wins, 9 losses, 2 shutouts, 2.33 goals against,.925 save percentage

 “The Greg Lynch Memorial is an award given to the player that best exemplifies what it means to be an Eagle,” explains Eagles coach Jake Grimes.  “Kevin Mandolese exemplified what it is to be an Eagle from the second he threw on an Eagles jersey.” 

Mandolese is the first goaltender in Eagles history to spend four full seasons with Cape Breton.  During his time with the franchise he posted a record of 86-49, and ranks third all time in minutes played by an Eagles goaltender, second for most wins, and tied for second in games played with 151. He is drafted and signed by the NHL’s Ottawa Senators. 

In addition to this award, Greg Lynch is also honoured by the Eagles organization each March with the team’s annual Irish Jersey night- and Mandolese has fully embraced the event.  Contacting Bauer to have green-coloured goalie gear made for the game, he’s helped contribute to a total of over $15 000 raced for the Cancer Patient Care Fund.  

Grimes also credits Kevin’s family and billets, and concludes that his goaltender is “A 1st round pick with 1st round talent, 1st round 1st round work ethic, and 1st round heart.”

 

This concludes the announcement of the year end awards for the 2019-20 Cape Breton Eagles.  The Eagles organization would like to thank Pierre-Luc Dubois, Marc-André Fleury, and Logan Shaw for their help unveiling the awards, and especially thank the fans for their support throughout this season which unfortunately had to end too soon.  Stay safe Eagles fans!

 

 

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