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Hockey Northwestern Ontario hands out awards

Bill Nicholson and other volunteers won recognition
Joe Newhouse
North Stars defender Joe Newhouse works the puck against the Minnesota Iron Rangers on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016 at Fort William Gardens (Leith Dunick,

THUNDER BAY—Bill Nicholson of Thunder Bay has won the 2018 T.B. Bones McCormack Meritorious Award.

Hockey Northwestern Ontario (HNO) presented the award at its annual general meeting on the weekend, where a number of volunteers were recognized. 

Nicholson has been involved in hockey for over 30 years, starting when his son was playing novice hockey.

For the past 13 years, he has been the convenor for Port Arthur Minor Hockey's Initiation program, growing the program from 31 players to over 120 annually, making it the largest such program within HNO.

In announcing the award, HNO said Nicholson has focused not only on developing players but also on training the next generation of coaches.

The organization also handed out a number of other awards:

  • Most Deserving Official - Andrew Bartlett (Kenora)
  • Most Promising Official - Franco Veneziano (Thunder Bay)
  • Most Improved Official - Julia Jones (Dryden)
  • Coach of the Year - Shane Hayes (Marathon)
  • Volunteer of the Year - Shannon Boss (Dryden)
  • Volunteer of the Year - Denise Mulligan (Schreiber)
  • Dr. Tom. Pashby Provincial Trainer of the Year - Bryan Coulson (Ear Falls)
  • Arnold Southern Memorial Bursary - Thomas Brassard (Thunder Bay), Jayme Caron (Kenora), Anthony Tassone (Thunder Bay)
  • Jim Stirling Memorial Bursary - Joe Newhouse (Thunder Bay)

Nominations for all awards were submitted by Hockey Northwestern Ontario's member associations.