Outstanding Contributions Recognized: Hockey Saskatchewan's 2023-24 Award Winners



By Hockey Saskatchewan

REGINA, Sask. – Hockey Saskatchewan is thrilled to announce the winners of its highly anticipated annual Awards for outstanding individuals, following the conclusion of the 2023-24 season.

Each year, Hockey Saskatchewan recognizes outstanding volunteers from the northern and southern zones as well as a coach through a nomination process. A Minor Hockey Association (MHA) of Distinction Award is also bestowed upon a member association that stood out as a shining example on the minor hockey landscape.

Congratulations to Trisha Girard, Mike Lamontagne, Chris Gates, and Midale Minor Hockey for being the recipients of this season's Hockey Saskatchewan Awards. These awardees have demonstrated outstanding commitment and dedication to the sport, and their contributions have had a significant impact on their communities. Your unwavering support and tireless efforts help make hockey the thriving and vibrant sport that it is today.

Hockey Saskatchewan would also like to express its appreciation to all those nominated and who took the time to nominate these exemplary individuals. Without your tremendous dedication and support, hockey in the province would not be possible.

Once again, congratulations to all four (4) award recipients, and thank you to everyone who supports and contributes to the success of hockey in the province. We look forward to another fantastic season and to recognizing the achievements of outstanding members in the years to come.

Shaping Character for Life… More Than a Game.

Volunteer of the Year - North

Trisha Girard (Martensville, Sask.) embodies the spirit of dedication and community engagement, making her the well-deserved recipient of the Northern Volunteer of the Year Award. The mother of three active children manages to juggle the demands of her personal life, including owning and operating four businesses, with her relentless efforts to enhance the hockey experience for young athletes. As the team manager for the Under-13 B Martensville Pirates this season, Girard’s philosophy of treating all players equally, regardless of their skill level, ensures that every child has the opportunity to develop and thrive. Her dedication extends beyond the rink as she coordinates meaningful volunteer opportunities. This season, Girard spearheaded a collaboration with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), organizing a bottle drive that raised over $1,000 to buy toys as a donation. This initiative not only provided essential support to families with children receiving health care but also instilled a greater sense of community spirit in the young Pirates. The team personally delivered toys and toured the Saskatoon RMHC facility, learning the importance of the charity organization and giving back. Her ability to balance numerous responsibilities while continually prioritizing the well-being and development of young athletes sets her apart as an outstanding volunteer.

Volunteer of the Year - South

Mike Lamontagne (Regina, Sask.) has been bestowed the Southern Volunteer of the Year Award for his exceptional dedication to hockey development and volunteerism. As the head coach of the Under-15 AA Tier III Regina Hawks, Lamontagne guided his team to an impressive 23-win, 1-loss record in the 2023-24 regular season, lost the provincial final and won the Hockey Regina championship.  Before playoffs, he and his assistants incorporated strategies into his practice plans which helped the team reach the provincial final. This focus on advanced techniques, such as incorporating body contact and specialized drills and plays, demonstrates his dedication to comprehensive player development. Collaborating with coaches from various age groups, he shared developmental ideas, improving coaching practices. Known for his quiet authority and constructive feedback, he motivates players to excel without discouragement. Beyond the ice, he fosters sportsmanship and camaraderie, serving as a positive role model. Lamontagne's commitment extends beyond coaching. He utilized film review sessions to enhance player development. Lamontagne’s volunteerism is impactful, with his contributions significantly benefiting Hockey Regina and the young athletes he mentors. His unwavering passion and dedication make him a deserving recipient of this award, and his nomination is wholeheartedly endorsed.

Coach of the Year

Chris Gates (Dalmeny, Sask.) has set a great example behind the bench of the Under-15 Dalmeny Sabres, making him an exemplary candidate for the Coach of the Year Award. He has been a steadfast presence in the Dalmeny hockey community for 11 years, coaching 21 teams, including 12 as the head coach. Gates’ coaching philosophy centers on personal and team development. He focuses on winning moments in each game and practice rather than just the final score. The Sabres head coach’s effective communication with both players and parents ensures a cohesive team environment, where everyone feels valued and heard. His guidance extends beyond the rink, shaping the players into respectful, accountable, and community-minded individuals. A highlight was when NHL legend Jarome Iginla practiced with the team in April 2024. This extraordinary ice time was due to winning a Western Canadian contest prize for the Sabres’ outstanding community service, including Christmas caroling and teamwork initiatives. Gates emphasizes that there are only two things they can control: their effort and their attitude. This approach has cultivated a positive and inclusive team atmosphere, where all players interact and build strong bonds. For these reasons, Gates is a deserving recipient of the Coach of the Year Award.

MHA of Distinction Award

Midale Minor Hockey (Zone 1) has been recognized as the latest recipient of this award for its outstanding contribution to its youth hockey community. This past winter, the Association showcased its commitment by stepping up during a critical time for the local Harry ‘O Memorial Arena. When the rink's Zamboni suffered severe breakdowns, the Association not only provided funds for these repairs but also contributed towards the purchase of a new ice resurfacer. Midale Minor Hockey also contributed to the dehumidifier in the rink, which will help in getting kids on the ice earlier with more power skating and skill instruction. Additionally, the southeast community came together for the 29th annual M.O.R.E. (Midale Organization for Recreational Expansion) 2000 Inc. live auction in April, which saw over 340 participants and raised $120,000 to support the ongoing needs of the Midale rink. Moreover, the town was chosen for an Adam Herold Legacy Foundation camp, an esteemed honour that preserves the memory of the late Humboldt Broncos bus crash victim. Hosting such a camp is also a testament to the MHA's commitment to developing young leaders within the sport. This past season also saw a new Midale Minor Hockey website, enhancing communication and engagement with its members. The MHA of Distinction Award recognizes the collective efforts of Midale’s leadership and dedicated Mustang volunteers.


Hockey Saskatchewan was established in 1912 and is the governing body for organized hockey in the province of Saskatchewan. With a mission to lead, develop and promote positive hockey experiences, Hockey Saskatchewan encourages competition at all levels – from recreational to high performance. Hockey Saskatchewan has grown through the years and is Saskatchewan’s largest sports organization with over 40,000 members comprised of players, coaches, and officials. For more information, please visit www.hockeysask.ca or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and X.

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