A pre-game ceremony was held Friday night in Halifax to award former Edmundston Blizzard forward Gabriel Vanier the Bob Boucher Hockey Assistance Fund (BBHAF) scholarship. Vanier, now with the Université de Moncton, accepted the award ahead of the USPORTS hockey game against St. Mary’s University (SMU). It was presented by MHL President Steve Dykeman and members of the BBHAF executive.
The late Mr. Boucher was a coach and executive, working at levels ranging from Nova Scotia Intermediate to the NHL over the course of his long career. The scholarship was established in his name several years ago by a number of Mr. Boucher’s former players as a means to support students within the game who have displayed exceptional scholastic achievements.
Vanier was announced as the winner of the BBHAF scholarship for the 2018-19 season in August. The location for the ceremony was chosen by the BBHAF Executive as Mr. Boucher was inducted into the SMU Hall of Fame in 1998. He coached the Huskies for 13 years and led the team to the National Championship game in four consecutive seasons from 1970 to 1973.
The 21-year-old from Boisbriand, QC was a student at the Université de Moncton Edmundston campus in 2018-19, enrolled in the Bachelor of Business Administration – Finance program. Committed to the Université de Moncton for 2019-20, Vanier is aiming for a Masters degree in Finance once he completes his Bachelor program. For his efforts this past season, Vanier was named winner of the Édupôle Cup as Edmundston’s student player of the year. Off the ice, Vanier was involved in a number of initiatives, including the Blizzecture program which aims to motivate kids from Grades 3 to 5 to read and has a special focus on those students who are struggling to read.
This is the fifth year in which MHL players have been eligible for the award. Previous winners were Luke MacMillan of the Truro Bearcats (2017-18), Sam Cameron of the Woodstock Slammers (2016-17), Thomas Stavert of the Summerside Western Capitals (2015-16), and Lucas Sangster of the Amherst Ramblers (2014-15).