Dundee CCS Stars ice hockey supporters turned out in force at the DIA last night to applaud their heroes at the club’s annual awards ceremony.
And it was fans’ favourite Justin Faryna who stole the show, despite not being able to attend the event — he’d flown across the Atlantic to be with his wife, who is due to give birth soon.
The Canadian winger scooped three awards — Programme Writers Player of the Year, Players Player of the Year and Dundee Stars Fans Player of the Year.
The Calgary-born forward also finished top Stars’ points scorer in the Elite League with 29 goals and 35 assists and his no-nonsense approach also earned him 155 minutes in the sin bin for the Taysiders.
Stars, who were pipped to the post for this weekend’s play-offs in Nottingham by just one goal against Cardiff, turned around last year’s disappointing season to finish four points behind table-toppers Braehead in the Gardiner Conference and sit on equal points with local rivals Fife Flyers in the middle of the Elite League itself.
Head coach Marc LeFebvre was delighted by the effort put in from his players.
The 33-year-old Canadian said: “We made a lot of progress this season and I’m proud of the steps we’ve taken. This is just the beginning of where we want to take this club.”
When asked if he would be building a team around Mikael Lidhammar, Justin Faryna, Brett Switzer, Kevin Hart and Craig Moore, whose services have been retained for next season’s assault in the UK’s top tier, the Ontarian said: “They are certainly key pieces to where we want to be and we are looking to add to this core group.
“We are in the process of signing a goalie and, hopefully, we will be able to announce that in due time, and we will start to add more pieces to the puzzle throughout the next little while.”
Stars were the shock troops in the first half of the season, picking up points every weekend and leading their conference quite comfortably.
However, losing Czech duo defenceman David Turon and goalie Vlastimil Lakosil in the new year, along with forward Brett Switzer being unable to ice again for the remainder of the campaign through injury, it was no coincidence results began to dip.
Marc continued: “Losing Switzer was a big loss to us especially playing against a roster as deep as Cardiff had.
“I believe losing Turon had the biggest impact on our team overall, though. He really steadied the ship back on defence.”
The other winners were Stars TV POTY — Mikael Lidhammar, Travel Club POTY — Curtis Leinweber, British POTY — Craig Moore, Coaches’ POTY — Brett Switzer, Tom Wilson Memorial — Marc Jackson (Stars Travel Club)