When Oceanside Generals’ goaltender Alex Mastrodonato stepped forward to accept the Bill Burgoyne Award for Sportsmanship at the club’s recent year end banquet, he became, by all accounts, the first goalie to receive the award, and was handed a hearty round of applause.
“He sure did — he’s a popular kid, his teammates all like him,” said Beverley Yelland, one of the Oceanside Generals Hockey Club directors since 2008 and the Generals’ billeting co-ordinator.
Mastrodonato, 18, started his rookie season as a backup and took over the role of starter late in the campaign.
On hand to present the six foot southpaw from Powell River the award was Bill Burgoyne himself along with his grandson Brent Burgoyne.
“Our family’s been here (in Oceanside) a hundred and some odd years, we’ve always been hockey fans,” Bill said when asked about the award, adding how his grandson played goal for the Generals from 2003-2006, and when he was done playing, “his dad and I thought (the award) would be a good thing to do.”
“Absolutely,” he answered quickly when asked if Mastrodonato was a deserving candidate. The award is chosen by the coaching staff.
Burgoyne started 19 games for the Generals last season, going 10-6-1 on a team that was outshot most evenings with a save percentage of .885, but it was his sportsmanship, “on and off the ice,” that earned him the award.
“He’s a really nice kid, exactly the kind of young man we want on our team,” said Yelland.
“When I look at Alex I just see a smart, well-spoken respectful young man,” surmised Oceanside Generals’ secretary Elizabeth Cudmore. “Just a really nice kid that loves to play hockey, and he’s a true sportsman — a real team player.”