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BALL HOCKEY NEWS PLAYER OF THE YEAR (M)
PETER KNAPP
as selected by the Ball Hockey News editor in chief

2000 biography

1999/2000 CASC: won championship with the Renegades. Finished 6th in team scoring with 16 goals and 19 assists in 21 games. Finished 10th in league scoring for the playoffs with 6 points in 3 games

2000/2001 CASC: is currently 6th in team scoring with 9 goals and 16 assists in 10 games. Guided the Renegades to a 25 game winning streak that spanned over 2 seasons.

2000 Concordia League (Tuesday): helped guide the Renegades to a 9-3-0 record and a second place finish. Participated in the league final. Finished with 3 goals and 3 assists in 10 games

2000 Concordia League (Thursday): won the championship with the Smoking Skulls. Finished 12th in league scoring with 4 goals and 13 assists in 11 games

2000 World Cup of Ball Hockey: guided Europa to a championship. Was tournament's outstanding player and was named on 1st all-star team. Finished 3rd in tournament scoring (16pts) and second in goals (10)

Lost only 5 of 60 games in the year 2000 (all leagues) and won 3 championships.

The finesse game

Peter is a jack of all trades, otherwise known as the most versatile player in the CASC league. He’s a top 5 defenseman and a top 5 forward, blended into the total package. Everything revolves around Peter on the gymnasium floor. As a defenseman, Peter is always alert for passing opportunities and makes clever feeds through the neutral zone. He likes to stand in front his net and is very effective at sweeping away loose balls with his long stick, before the goalie can even think about putting his trapper on it. His defensive reads are excellent. Peter wants to win the ball in the corners and behind the net, and never gives up on the play. He is effective from the point on the power play-- not because he has the hardest shot in the league, but because he will get the puck ON NET quickly or make a great feed to an open teammate.

As a forward, Peter is a high-percentage shooter who doesn’t waste a lot of shots. He sees the entire floor and will give up the ball to the "50 goal scorers", knowing that he will get a return pass, since he has groomed his team to play unselfish hockey. He will find the quality scoring areas and use his patented one-timer (the best in the league) that can really find the top of the net. Peter’s is also a terrific playmaker who has great patience with the ball, instead of trying those fancy 1 on 1 moves. He will draw the defender to him and open up the floor, creating time and space for his linemates. Peter keeps his head high and is famous for stopping the ball by lifting his shoe at a 45 degree angle, just like a soccer player would.



Overview

Selecting Peter as the Ball Hockey News Player of the Year is not a patronage appointment by the editor in chief of this web page, who happens to be a teammate and a good friend of his. No. Peter is a more than deserving winner of this award. Peter played hard on every shift, Peter played clean, Peter played fair, Peter motivated the troops…and Peter won like nobody else.

It is a tremendous honor to play under the tutelage of such an organized and dedicated captain with a bottomless determination to team excellence, without being obsessed about it. Peter is a great leader who delivers the best pre game speeches in hockey, not too wordy and to the point. He psyches everybody up and pushes his teammates to go right to the front lines with him. Playing for Peter is a guaranteed first class ticket through an enjoyable ball hockey season. Peter treats everyone on an even keel, and with respect.

Peter’s passion and desire simply cannot be measured. There are few better big-game players in ball hockey history. He’s the ultimate team player because he understands that while flirting in the top 5 in league scoring is fun, one must sacrifice his offensive spark to become a total player…and a champion. Peter has done so. He understands the insignificance of personal stats and would rather blow his nose in the game sheet than look at it. Peter prefers staring at championship medals.

Peter is a classy and respected individual, who is one of the cornerstones of ball hockey. Pete man, you're the best.






PLAYER OF THE YEAR RUNNER-UP (M)
LEONARD LUEDEE
as selected by the Ball Hockey News editor in chief


2000 biography

1999/2000 CASC: played the second most games (24), tied for first in wins (14) and finished second in GAA (5.46)

2000/2001 CASC: is currently fourth in GAA (5.36), 4th in save percentage (82.44) and second in games played

2000 World Cup of Ball Hockey: played on Europa and collected a championship ring. Was named on first all-star team. Finished first in wins (5), second in GAA (4.19) and second in save percentage (84.8)

2000/2001 CASC Tuesday Division: is first in games played, second in GAA (3.18) and second in save percentage (90.28)

2000 Concordia League (Monday): played for the Dragons and participated in the league final. Finished fourth in wins (4) and second in GAA (2.22).

2000 Concordia League (Thursday): played 9 regular season games for Polar Hydra and finished eight in GAA (5.44). Replaced Smoking Skulls goalie Jason Thivierge in league final and collected a championship ring.


The physical game

Leonard is an old school goalie who makes the most of his generous size by standing upright in the net and by squaring himself so well to the shooter that he looks enormous. Leonard is not a sprawling goalie who flops up and down and side to side making spectacular saves that will be recalled fondly many years down the road.

No, Leonard plays the stand up style thank you very much. He’s a technically sound goalie who covers the net without having to move to the top of the crease. Leonard covers the net efficiently both on point shots and one timers, and agile enough to follow the play as it moves from side to side. The book on Leonard is to try to beat him low, but there usually isn't much net there and it's a small spot for a shooter to hit, since he plays his angles so perfectly.

Leonard also has a very good anticipation of which direction the ball will be headed. He is the best goalie in the league at absorbing the shot and deadening it, so there are few juicy rebounds left on his doorstep.




Overview

Chris Carter. Brett Hull. And Leonard Luedee. That sounds right. Carter and Hull, now guaranteed Hall of Famer's in the N.F.L and N.H.L respectively, were traded early in their careers.

Carter, on the verge of super-stardom with the N.F.L.'s Philadelphia Eagles in 1991, was traded because, according to his coach, "all Carter does is catch touchdowns". One would have thought that was a good thing. Brett Hull, also on the verge of superstardom with the N.H.L's Calgary Flames, was traded in 1988, at the age of 24, to the St. Louis Blues. Why? According to his General Manager, "all Brett does is score goals." One would have thought that was a good thing.

Carter and Hull both were getting the job done. What a terrible quality to have for an athlete. Now they are elite players for other teams, while their former teams are still, many, many years later, trying to find replacements for what they had.

Put Leonard Luedee in their category. Why? Because all Leonard does is get the job done. All Leonard does is make the saves. Because all Leonard does is win. Because all Leonard will find himself with is a spot in the CASC Hall of Fame.

Leonard has a refreshing attitude: You will never hear him complaining about lack of support from his teammates, even during times when perhaps he should. Leonard has a kind word for everyone and in his three and a half years in CASC you can count the games he's missed with one hand.

He could stand to play a little less, but thrives on the work; he has on many occasions played two, and sometimes more, games on the same night, replacing goalies for other teams. It is not an uncommon sight to watch an opposing captain ask Leonard to "play for us tonight". That captain knows his team will be in good hands.

Talented players like Leonard will always have a place to play wherever they go just because they have ability. Talented players with grace and dignity, such as Leonard, have an easier time. Not only is Leonard talented, not only is he a winner, not only does he have grace and dignity, but he also has that one quality that is most important of all. He is Leonard.






2nd RUNNER-UP (M)
IAN FOSTER
as selected by the Ball Hockey News editor in chief.


2000 biography

1999/2000 CASC: won championship with the Renegades. Took the Defensive Player of the Year award for the second time in 3 years. Finished 10th in league scoring (61 pts) and 3rd in team scoring. Was second in league for goals (21), assists (40), points and points per game (2.77) by a defenseman.
Was 3rd in league scoring (3gp, 5g-6a-11pts) for the 2000 playoffs

2000/2001 CASC: is currently 10th in league scoring (34 pts) and 3rd in team scoring. Is tied for the league lead in goals (11) by a defenseman and is tied for second in assists (23)

2000 Concordia League (Monday): helped guide the Screaming Maniacs to a 10-2-0 record and a first place finish. Participated in the semi-final. Finished 4th in league scoring (22pts in 11 games). Led team in goals (12) and finished second in team scoring.

2000 Concordia League (Tuesday): helped guide the Renegades to a 9-3-0 record and a second place finish. Participated in the league final. Finished 14th in league scoring (15pts in 10 games) and tied for 3rd in team scoring. His 10 goals tied for 5th in the league

Missed only 5 of 67 games (all leagues). All of his teams combined for a 55-12-0 record and a dazzling 82% winning percentage.



The finesse game

Ian is the best 2 way defenseman in the CASC league, but it his offensive skills that usually get the headlines. It all starts with his heavy and accurate slapshot that can just about knock a goalie into the net. And as often as he shoots, he can also fake a big wind-up, which freezes the defenders, then make a quick slap-pass to an open teammate. When the moment is right, he will jump into the hole to accept a cross pass, move in, and fire a quick wrist shot that can hit all 4 corners of the net with ease.

As a passer, Ian has the touch and the vision of a forward, since he often plays up front in the Concordia league. Ian is a master of the home run and lob passes on the larger playing surface.

Ian is a superb transition player that knows when to jump into the play and when to back off. His pet move is the give and go, that he works to perfection. If the return pass is broken up, Ian is more than quick enough to hop back on defense and get the ball back, which he usually manages since he’s so tenacious and strong with his stick. He always seems to make the correct decision to pass or run with the ball.

Ian is a key performer on special-team units. He’s especially deadly on the power play where he utilizes his deadly one-timer. He has the speed of a greyhound and an uncanny level of endurance.



Overview

At 32 years of age, Ian is a marvel of an athlete who is reaping the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. His single-minded approach to fitness will certify that he’ll be playing an elite brand of hockey well into his mid 40’s.

Ian is as positive a role model for ball hockey as their possibly is. He is a leader by example who says and does all the right things, on and off the gymnasium floor. Ian plays full-out on every shift and gets physically involved in the corners, but yet understands the fine line between playing clean and playing like a lumberjack. His 16 total penalty minutes in his last 62 league games is the crown jewel of all individual player stats, and is much more significant than any amount of goals or assists that any superstar player can accumulate. That is truly a remarkable stat.

Ian is a positive influence on the players’ bench, who pushes his teammates to go the extra step. Off the floor, Ian does not shoot from the lip and never abases people in the ball hockey entourage. Ian is not the narcissist type who revels in his stats; you’ll never see him huddle around the scorekeeper after the game. Don’t ask him how many points he has so far this season because he doesn’t know (and doesn’t care). The team is the #1 priority, nothing else.

Ian is a classy and dedicated individual who has helped foster the growth of the CASC league






3rd RUNNER-UP (M)

HUNG NGUYEN
as selected by the Ball Hockey News editor in chief.


2000 biography

Second on Red Phoenix in points (65 pts) for the 1999/2000 CASC season. Finished 8th in league scoring, 4th in goals (41 G) and 3rd in rookie goals. Finished 2nd in team scoring for the 2000 playoffs (5 pts).

Is currently 3rd in team scoring (29pts) and 12th in league scoring for the 2000/2001 CASC season. Leads his team in goals (17 G) and is 5th overall.

Helped guide Red Phoenix to a sterling record 19-7-1 record (.722 W%) in the calendar year, including a trip to the 1999/2000 CASC final.

Missed only 2 games for the entire year



The finesse game

Hung’s quickness – and his control of the ball at full speed – means anything is possible. He intimidates with his running and has great one on one moves. He opens up tremendous room for his teammates by making beautiful cross passes to the open man. He is a shorthanded threat because of his speed and anticipation.

Hung likes to gear up from his own defensive zone, using his acceleration, carrying and protecting the ball with his long reach. If the defenseman lets up at all, Hung is by him. He has dandy 1 on 1 moves and has become one of ball hockey’s great scorers because he works extremely well down low and in traffic. He has quick and accurate wrist and snap shots.

Not only is Hung a polished offensive talent, but he always runs back to help out the defenseman or to check an opponent's top player.

Although he's considered a finesse player, the physical aspect is an under-noticed part of Hung’s game. He goes to the grungy parts of the gym to battle tooth and nail for the ball and will usually come out the victor. Hung has gradually cut down on his penalty minutes.



Overview

Hung had an inspiring 2000 playoff round where he asserted himself as Red Phoenix’s most complete player. He’s a low-maintenance superstar who doesn’t have to be pampered by his captain, nor does he demean his teammates or take a long shift. His lapses during the season are few, and he seldom experiences a prolonged scoring slump. Unlike other superstar players, you don’t have to guess his mood. The team comes first with Hung.

While many players show up only seconds before game time, Hung is usually there early and is often seen watching games from the stands of the Pointe Ste-Charles gymnasium. Hung loves ball hockey and is very much interestered in the league he plays for.

His "sugershane" articles on the official Red Phoenix web page have also helped promote the sport. Hung is only 19 years old but is mature beyond his years. An illustrious career has already begun and an eventual trip to the Ball Hockey Hall of Fame is almost a certainty. He is one of the three most complete forwards in the CASC league and is a true asset to the sport of ball hockey.