The talents of former Kelowna Rockets teammates Jordon Cooke and Tyson Baillie have translated nicely to Canadian university hockey.
Cooke, who plays for the Saskatchewan Huskies, was named this week the Canada West goalie of the year for the second season in a row, while Baillie, a forward for the Alberta Golden Bears, was named the conference’s rookie of the year for 2016-17.
Earlier this week, Cooke was a first all-star team selection, while Baillie was selected to the Canada West all-rookie team.
Cooke posted a 19-4-1 record, 1.94 GAA, and .929 SV%. The former Kelowna Rocket was the backbone of Saskatchewan’s tremendous season, which saw the Huskies claim the conference regular season title for a second straight season.
The Leduc, Alta. product was also named to Canada’s team at the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland over the holiday break. Cooke’s four shutouts this season tied the Canada West single-season record, and his seven career shutouts are the most among any active Canada West goalie.
Cooke now moves forward as the conference nominee for the U SPORTS Goaltender of the Year award, which has been won by a Canada West goalie all but once since being created in 2009-10.
“Last year, Jordon stood out in his first full-year as our No. 1 goaltender. He helped calm a young team, leading us to the Canada West pennant,” said Huskies coach Dave Adolph. “In 2016-17, he made things look routine as the Huskies skated to a first place finish in the regular season. He and our young defence enabled us to lead the league with a very stingy 2.11 goals GAA. He loves to play and loves the challenge. We are very fortunate to have him in a Huskie uniform.”
Baillie is the first Golden Bear to win Canada West Rookie of the Year since Stephane Legault was given the award in 2014-15, and is the eighth Bear overall to win the award.
The first-year Golden Bear led Canada West freshman with 13 goals and 26 points in 28 conference games – three more points than Mount Royal’s Jamal Watson. Baillie also tied for the conference lead in game-winning goals with four.
Highlighting the Edmonton products rookie campaign was his incredible consistency, as he was held off the scoresheet just ten times in 28 games, recording eight multi-point games.
The former Kelowna Rocket carried over his scoring touch from junior, where he posted 95 points last season as 20-year-old.
Baillie moves forward as the conference nominee for the U SPORTS Clare Drake Award as the nation’s top rookie.
“Tyson has had a tremendous first season. He is a relentless worker in the offensive zone, which allowed him to quickly establish himself as an offensive leader on our team,” said Alberta coach, Serge Lajoie. “His five seasons with the Kelowna Rockets and participation at the 2015 MasterCard Memorial Cup definitely prepared him to be an immediate contributor on our team this season. The Golden Bears Hockey program is fortunate to have a player with such high character and work ethic like Tyson.”