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Wildcats goalie Nicola Riopel captures QMJHL player of the year honour

NHL.com @NHL

MONTREAL - Goaltender Nicola Riopel of the Moncton Wildcats was named the player of the year in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League on Wednesday.

Riopel posted a league-record 2.01 goals-against average this season to also secure the Jacques Plante Trophy for the netminder with the best GAA in the league. The native of St-Pie-de-Bagot, Que., collected 43 wins in 59 outings this season and posted a .931 save percentage en route to taking home the Michel Briere Trophy as MVP at Wednesday night's awards ceremony.

Lucien Deblois, Marc Fortier, Jean Gagnon and Richard Trottier were also honoured as this year's QMJHL Hall of Fame inductees.

Riopel led the Wildcats to a 48-14-2-4 record this season and top spot in the Atlantic Division. Moncton will face Rimouski in the second round of the QMJHL playoffs.

Wildcats coach Danny Flynn was also rewarded for his success, taking home the Ron-Lapointe Trophy as coach of the year.

Meanwhile, Dmitry Kulikov of the Drummondville Voltigeurs captured three awards. The Russian earned the Emile-Bouchard Trophy as top defenceman, the RDS Cup as rookie of the year and the Michael Bossy Trophy as top professional prospect. Kulikov recorded 12 goals and 50 assists in 57 games and posted a plus-34 rating.

The Jean Beliveau Trophy for league scoring champion went to Yannick Riendeau of he Drummondville Voltigeurs. The right-winger recorded 58 goals and 68 assists in 64 games this season.

Payton Liske of the Saint John Sea Dogs earned the Marcel Robert Trophy as scholastic player of the year. Since arriving in Saint John in 2006, Liske has since completed five courses at the University of New Brunswick.

Matthew Pistilli of the Shawinigan Cataractes earned the Humanitarian Award for his involvement in his community. He visited underprivileged children throughout the year and participated in local school activities and minor hockey initiatives.

Cedric Lalonde-McNicoll of the Cataractes was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as most sportsmanlike player. Lalonde-McNicoll scored 38 goals and added 66 assists but registered just 22 penalty minutes in 65 games this season to earn the award for the second consecutive year.

Drummondville coach Guy Boucher won the Paul Dumont Trophy for Personality of the Year.

Also Wednesday, Riopel, Kulikov, Lalonde-McNicoll, Riendeau, Marc-Andre Bourdon of Rimouski and Mike Hoffman of Drummondville were named first team all-stars.

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