SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Sioux Falls Stampede announced Thursday its 2019-20 end of the season awards. Players are recognized for the on- and off-ice performances throughout the season. The following awards are voted on by the coaching staff, consisting of head coach Scott Owens and assistant coaches Rylan Galiardi, Brett Skinner and Riley Colvard.
Forward of the Year – Jared Westcott (44 games played, 16 goals, 18 assists)Second-year forward Jared Westcott, a native of Imperial, Missouri, was awarded 2019-20 Forward of the Year after competing in 47 games and recording a team-high 34 points from 16 goals and 18 assists during the abbreviated regular season. He recorded five goals while playing on the power play first unit and three game-winning goals throughout the season. He wore the alternate captain patch throughout the season.
Between his two seasons in Sioux Falls, Westcott recorded 31 goals and 42 assists for 73 points. He helped the Stampede secure its third Clark Cup championship in team history last season, scoring five goals and a lone assist during the postseason, including a game-winning goal in game one of the 2019 Clark Cup Final.
Westcott will play collegiate hockey at Penn State University in the fall.
Defenseman of the Year – Chase Foley (37 games played, 1 goal, 18 assists)
Defenseman Chase Foley is in his first year with the Stampede and second in the United States Hockey League. The Mendota Heights, Minnesota, native played in 37 games this season, Foley tallied 1 goal and 18 assists for 19 points and a plus-2 rating. He earned USHL Defenseman of the Week honors between Jan. 7 and 10 for his five-assist weekend against the Lincoln Stars.
Foley played the 2018-19 season with the Central Illinois Flying Aces and scored a goal and 13 assists with a plus-6 rating. He will play collegiate hockey at Colorado College in the fall.
Rookie of the Year – Evan Nause (44 games played, 3 goals, 14 assists)
Rookie defenseman Evan Nause was honored as the 2019-20 Rookie of the Year. Nause competed in 44 games this season, tallying three goals and 14 assists with a team-high plus-16 rating. He earned USHL Defenseman of the Week honors between Nov. 26 and Dec. 1 for his goal and assist performance against the Sioux City Musketeers.
Nause is a native of Riverview, New Brunswick, Canada.
Leadership and Sportsmanship Award – Ryan Sullivan (45 games played, 14 goals, 16 assists)Forward Ryan Sullivan captained the Stampede to a 21-17-7 record after starting the season 2-10-2. Sullivan tallied 14 goals and 16 assists with five power play and two game-winning goals. Sullivan embodied strong leadership qualities on and off the ice, keeping a positive attitude and strong work ethic throughout the low and high points of the season. He played in all but two games in his two-year career in Sioux Falls, accumulating 119 total games, including every game during the 2019 Clark Cup Playoffs. Sullivan attended and participated in several community service projects throughout the Siouxland area.
He will attend the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in the fall.
Most Improved Players – Garrett Pinoniemi and Brandon Chabrier
Forward Garrett Pinoniemi completed his first-year season with seven goals and 13 assists over 44 games played. Over the second half of the season, Pinoniemi tallied six goals and nine assists in 24 games, including a game-winning goal over the Waterloo Black Hawks.
Pinoniemi is committed to the University of Minnesota.
Defenseman Brandon Chabrier finished the season with a goal and four assists with 39 games played. Throughout the second half of the season, Chabrier saw more ice time and improved defensively, tallying a goal and two assists and a plus-2 rating.
Chabrier is committed to Northeastern University.
Most Valuable Player – Jaxson Stauber (24 games played, 14-6-4 W/L, 2.45 GAA, .918 SV%, 1 SO)Goaltender Jaxson Stauber was named the 2019-20 Sioux Falls Stampede Most Valuable Player. The Plymouth, Minnesota, native, after briefly playing collegiately, returned to Sioux Falls and finished the season with a 14-6-4 record in his third overall season with the team. He was a defensive catalyst in the improved play from the Herd that saw the team go from nearly last in the league to a Western Conference playoff position before the season was canceled on March 18.
Stauber record a 2.45 goals-against average and league-best .918 save-percentage in 24 games between the pipes. He recorded a shutout against the Lincoln Stars on Feb. 22 with a 30-save performance.
Most will remember his stellar, never-to-be-repeated playoff performance during the 2019 Clark Cup Playoffs in which he went 11-1 with a 1.46 goals-against average, .941 save-percentage and a shutout of the 2019 Anderson Cup Champion Tri-City Storm.
He finishes his Stampede career with 38 career wins over 75 games played, 2.80 goals-against average and .901 save percentage. He will play collegiately for Providence College in the fall.