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RECAP: 2024 GTHL Awards presented by Nothers The Award Store

The Greater Toronto Hockey League celebrated the 2024 Awards Gala presented by Nothers The Award Store at the Hockey Hall of Fame on Thursday, June 6. The Gala featured a social hour, food, and a ceremony in the Great Hall recognizing each of the award and scholarship winners for the 2023-24 season.

The GTHL would like to extend another big congratulations to all of this season’s award and scholarship winners, all of which certainly had lasting memories made.

2024 GTHL AWARD & SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS 

Len Barrett U18 House League Scholarship Award: Ethan Kozak

2024 GTHL Awards - Ethan Kozak

The Len Barrett Under-18 House League Scholarship Award recognizes an Under-18 house league player who achieves a high standard of excellence academically and in hockey. The award is a one-time post-secondary educational scholarship provided by the GTHL. Click here to see past winners of the Len Barrett U18 House League Scholarship Award.

This year’s recipient, Ethan Kozak, spent almost all of his minor hockey career with Willowdale Sports Club, playing house league and Select. In addition to hockey, Ethan also enjoys swimming, soccer, and ultimate frisbee. Off the ice, Ethan achieved an impressive 97 per cent average at Thornhill Secondary School. Along with academic excellence, Ethan also captained his high school’s varsity hockey and ultimate frisbee teams. Ethan is striving to enter the healthcare field and serve his community through his passion for service and science.


Frank D. Smith U18 ‘A’ Scholarship Award: Evan Nijmeh

2024 GTHL Awards - Evan Nijmeh

The Frank D. Smith Under-18 ‘A’ Scholarship Award is a one-time post-secondary educational scholarship provided by the GTHL recognizing a player that achieves a high standard of excellence academically and in hockey. Click here to see past winners of the Frank D. Smith U18 ‘A’ Scholarship Award.

This year’s recipient, Evan Nijmeh, played competitive hockey in the GTHL for six seasons, across four different clubs. This past season, Evan joined the Willowdale Hawks U18 ‘A’ team. Off the ice, Evan balanced academics with athletics, maintaining a 91 per cent average while also playing competitive hockey, soccer, tennis, and baseball. Evan is looking to enter the trades in the fall, pursuing a career in HVAC.


J. Norman Sharp U18 ‘AA’ Scholarship Award: Sydney Pyburn

2024 GTHL Awards - Sydney Pyburn

The J. Norman Sharp U18 ‘AA’ Scholarship Award recognizes a U18 ‘AA’ player who achieves a high standard of excellence academically and in hockey. The award is a one-time post-secondary educational scholarship provided by the GTHL. Click here to see past winners of the J. Norman Sharp U18 ‘AA’ Scholarship Award.

This year’s recipient, Sydney Pyburn, has spent the last five seasons in the GTHL at the ‘AA’ level. This past season, Sydney joined the Toronto Royals U18 ‘AA’ team and was named to the GTHL’s U18 ‘AA’ All-Star Game on Team Blue. Off the ice, Sydney is enrolled in her school’s Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) Sport Management program and has consistently been an honour-roll student, balancing her academics with playing sports such as volleyball, hockey, and flag football. After high school, Sydney will look to either play for an NCAA D1 school or pursue an MBA in business.


Gord Hughes U16 ‘AAA’ Scholarship Award: Maxime Bonin 

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The Gord Hughes U16 ‘AAA’ Scholarship Award recognizes a player who achieves a high standard of excellence academically and in hockey. The award is one-time post-secondary educational scholarship provided by the GTHL. Click here to see past winners of the Gord Hughes U16 ‘AAA’ Scholarship Award.

Maxime Bonin, this year’s recipient, has played his entire minor hockey career in the GTHL, including the last three seasons at the ‘AAA’ level. Off the ice, Maxime maintained a 99 per cent average in the classroom. Prior to the 2023-24 season, Maxime engaged in elite-level sailing with a high degree of success. He finished first at the North American Championships amongst his peers and was a member of the Ontario Sailing team from 2021-23. Following hockey, Maxime hopes to study mechanical engineering.


George F. Dufton U18 ‘AAA’ Scholarship Award: Ryder Graves

2024 GTHL Awards - Ryder Graves Mom

The George F. Dufton U18 ‘AAA’ Scholarship Award recognizes a U18 ‘AAA’ player who achieves a high standard of excellence academically and in hockey. The award is a one-time post-secondary educational scholarship provided by the Don Mills Flyers Hockey Club. Click here to see past winners of the George F. Dufton U18 ‘AAA’ Scholarship Award.

This year’s recipient, Ryder Graves, has spent the last three seasons of his minor hockey career in the GTHL, joining the Toronto Marlboros this past season. Off the ice, Ryder maintained a 93 per cent academic average to date, which includes an impressive 99 per cent grade in Physics. Ryder will look to pursue a career in math or science while also playing hockey at an elite-level.

Unable to make the GTHL Awards Gala, the award was accepted on Ryder’s behalf by his mom, Leslie.


Rob Silc Community Coaching Award: Marc Levesque

2024 GTHL Awards - Marc Levesque

The Rob Silc Community Coaching Award is presented by the GTHL to a House League coach who best exemplifies a long-term commitment to grassroots hockey, player enjoyment, and community spirit. The award is named after the late Rob Silc, who was a longtime volunteer coach with the Scarborough Hockey Association. Silc passed away unexpectedly while running a practice for his son’s team. The award is presented in his name to recognize his commitment and dedication to the game, his community, and to his family. Click here to see past winners of the Rob Silc Community Coaching Award.

A very deserving father and coach, Marc Levesque has coached his son’s Leaside Hockey Association team since 2018. Over the years, there have been many adults volunteering to help with his son’s teams, but Marc continued to show up, week after week, year after year to support and develop the kids on his team. 


Herb Ebisuzaki Coaching Award: Stephen MacNeil

2024 GTHL Awards - Stephen MacNeil

The Herb Ebisuzaki Coaching Award is presented to an outstanding minor hockey coach from the GTHL who best exemplifies the true spirit of coaching. Click here to see past. winners of the Herb Ebisuzaki Coaching Award. 

Stephen is a long-time minor hockey coach, with over 20 years of experience in the GTHL, MHL, Junior A, and girls hockey. Stephen has spent the last three seasons with the 2008-born Mississauga Beast ‘AA’ team. During his time with the Beast, Stephen led the team to three consecutive first place finishes in the regular season, a GTHL Championship, and a Silver Stick Championship, alongside countless other tournament championships. Stephen is a strong hockey tactician, leader, and mentor for his players both past and present.


Dr. Tom Pashby GTHL Trainer of the Year Award: Dean Grima

2024 GTHL Awards - Dean Grima

The Dr. Tom Pashby GTHL Trainer of the Year Award recognizes outstanding achievement in the area of safety and risk management.

A paramedic by day and trainer by night, Dean Grima comes from the 2008-born Mississauga Beast ‘AA’ team. Dean has been the Trainer for this team since the very beginning at Under-10. From upset stomachs to broken bones, Dean has been able to tackle any and all injuries and problems. Beyond the Beast, Dean has also been the Trainer for various ‘AAA’ teams over the years, including the U14 Toronto Jr. Canadiens this past season. Dean has a huge passion not only for hockey, but for helping and keeping others safe.


Gus Gordon Memorial Officials Award: Mike Gordon

2024 GTHL Awards - Mike Gordon

The Gus Gordon Memorial Officials Award recognizes an official who displays a balance between positive attitude, dedication, competence, and improvement. Click here to see past winners of the Gus Gordon Memorial Officials Award.

Mike is a product of the Scarborough Hockey Association (SHA). From officiating roller hockey to the GTHL as well as junior hockey, Mike is a prime example of how far hard-work, dedication, and a love for the game will get you. Mike worked his first Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) Championship back in 2003. Since then, Mike has worked GTHL Under-18 All-Star games, OHL Cups, and more.


Roy Pejcinovski Memorial Goaltending Character Award: Neil Katyal

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The Roy Pejcinovski Memorial Goaltending Character Award is presented to the goaltender who demonstrates extraordinary community service. The award is in memory of Roy Pejcinovski, a goaltender with the U15 Don Mills Flyers team whose life was taken far too early. Roy was a caring and compassionate teammate. He was respected and admired by opponents and loved by his teammates. Roy had a passion for people and the community and was a leader among leaders. Click here to see past winners of the Roy Pejcinovski Memorial Goaltending Character Award. 

Neil Katyal has spent his entire minor hockey career in the GTHL. This past season was his first at the ‘AA’ level with the Ted Reeve Thunder. Off the ice, Neil has a long history of volunteer work, from volunteering as a goalie instructor to shovelling snow for seniors in his neighbourhood. Neil has provided for both the next generation and the current. He has also volunteered at the North York Harvest Food Bank to help sort and distribute food and is a part of the Toronto Public Library Teen Council; where he has run a variety of workshops and is currently trying to organize an art exhibit at the Toronto Public Library. 


Cooper Humanitarian Award: Mark Filippone 

2024 GTHL Awards - Mark Filippone

The Cooper Humanitarian Award, established in 1977 and originally sponsored by Cooper Canada, recognizes an individual with lengthy and dedicated service to minor hockey and youth who benefit from their efforts. Click here to see past winners of the Cooper Humanitarian Award.

Mark Filippone has been involved with minor hockey for over 30 years. He has coached at all levels of minor hockey and has seen many of his players go onto have success at the junior, post-secondary, and professional levels. Mark is also the President and General Manager of the Mississauga Beast Hockey Club. Aside from his duties with the Beast, Mark still finds time to serve as a scout for the Sarnia Sting, coach the 2009-born Mississauga Rebels, and serve as a mentor for the 2008-born Mississauga Beast team. Mark has impacted countless hockey players and families over the years and helped them move closer to achieving their goals.


John R. Gardner Special Recognition Award: Pavlos Sialtsis 

2024 GTHL Awards: Pavlos Sialtsis

The John R. Gardner Special Recognition Award was established in 2001 by then GTHL President John Gardner. The award is presented by the League to a player who has experienced a significant event in their lives and has managed to overcome adversity and continued playing the game of hockey. Click here to see past winners of the John R. Gardner Special Recognition Award. 

Pavlos played for the Under-18 ‘AA’ Markham Islanders team this past season. The season prior, Pavlos suffered a severe medical issue, picking up an infection called osteomyelitis after having his wisdom teeth removed. This infection was so severe, half of Pavlos’ jaw had to be removed. He spent many weeks in the hospital on a strict liquid diet and had to take antibiotics upon returning home for the next year. With a lot of resilience, hard work, and determination, Pavlos was able to return to hockey for the 2023-24 season. He was named to the GTHL’s U18 ‘AA’ All-Star roster on Team Red and helped his Islanders team win the GTHL Championship.

To view the complete G Gallery from the 2024 GTHL Awards Gala presented by Nothers The Award Store, click here.

ABOUT NOTHERS THE AWARD STORE  

For more than 50 years, Nothers The Award Store has been a leading supplier of awards and recognition products across Ontario. Some of our key clients include Swim Ontario, Ontario Volleyball, Western University, Ontario Soccer, Skate Ontario, Canadian Lacrosse Association, Ontario Women’s Hockey Association, Ontario Basketball, Pet Valu, BDC, and College Pro.  

Nothers The Award Store has full-service capabilities at the manufacturing facility – offering complete assistance from program concept planning all the way to product delivery.  

For more information about Nothers The Award Store, visit nothers.com.  


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