WINNIPEG — What a year it was for Manitoba Bisons‘ Venla Hovi.
Fresh off a bronze medal win for Team Finland at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, the University of Manitoba hockey forward returned to her local rink and helped propel the team to a national championship win.
During the end-of-year Brown and Gold Banquet banquet on Saturday, Hovi and Bison men’s basketball student-athlete Justus Alleyn were named the female and male 2017-18 Bison Sports Athletes of the Year.
Alleyn was the all-time leader in points after completing his fifth year of Bison eligibility and selected as team MVP for the third consecutive time.
Hovi finished tied for 20th in conference scoring race with 12 points (4g, 8a) and tied for fourth in team scoring despite playing only 12 games in the 2017-18 Canada West regular season.
Other accolades handed out included Bison women’s hockey head coach Jon Rempel being named the Bison Sports Coach of the Year for the third time. Rempel was also recently named the 2017-18 U SPORTS Coach of the Year.
Bison Sports Rookie of the Year awards went to Lauren Taraschuk of the women’s hockey square and men’s volleyball middle Brendan Warren. In addition, the sixth annual Pat Gill Legacy Award was presented to long-serving Bison team physician for the men’s hockey team, Dr. Mike McKay. The inaugural winner of Bison Sports assistant coach of the year award went to Alana Boudreau from track and field.
Lastly, the Student-Athlete Leadership and Community Development Awards were given to fifth-year women’s hockey student-athlete Alana Serhan, third-year men’s hockey student-athlete Brett Stovin and fifth-year track and field student-athlete Gee-ef Nkwonta. The award recognizes each athlete’s leadership skills, community involvement, academics and athletics.