Alumni Bollers and Torchia takes home impressive OUA Awards
Several OHL graduates were recently recognized for outstanding seasons in Ontario University Athletics men’s hockey. Headlining the list are West Division Most Valuable Player Jacob Roach, West Division Defender of the Year Jake Gravelle, West Division Randy Gregg Award winner Kyle Bollers, West Division True Sport Award winner Kyle Pettit, along with West Division Goaltender of the Year Nathan Torchia. Learn more about their success, in addition to a number of former OHL players named to both all-star and all-rookie teams.
Most Valuable Player (West): Jacob Roach, Brock Badgers
The Ontario University Athletics men’s hockey West Division’s Most Valuable Player for the 2022-23 season is Jacob Roach of the Brock Badgers.
In just his second year with the Badgers, Guelph Storm alumnus Roach produced a season to remember, as the reigning all-rookie team member wrapped up his sophomore campaign as the division’s most valuable player.
Roach played one season in the OHL from 2019-20 with the Storm. Selected in the 8th round (148th overall) by the Sudbury Wolves in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection, he finished his OHL career with 12 goals, 11 assists and 23 points in 60 regular season contests.
Roach appeared in 26 games during the 2022-23 season, winning the OUA West scoring title with a division-best 32 points (10-22-32). The second-year standout would rank third overall in the entire OUA, while finishing in a four-way tie for 13th in scoring across U SPORTS.
Roach’s scoring prowess would also help the Badgers to a 17-9-1-0 record, resulting in a third place finish and postseason appearance in the OUA West. And when the former Storm standout was in the lineup, Brock’s offence ranked second in the division in goals scored, as well as first in power play percentage and power play goals.
In addition to being named OUA MVP, Roach has been named an OUA first team all-star.
The sport management major from Brooklin, Ont. becomes the first Badgers player to take home player of the year honours for the program.
Defender of the Year (West): Jake Gravelle, Western Mustangs
Hamilton Bulldogs graduate Jake Gravelle offered up a winning formula on the Western blue line this season, becoming the West Division’s Defender of the Year in the process.
Despite playing on the back-end, Gravelle was one of the premier point producers in the division and conference as a whole. Ranking second in the conference with 24 helpers on the year, the second-year defender was an offensive anchor for the purple and white. To go along with his lofty assist totals, the blueliner from Callander, Ont. added four tallies, helping him carve out a place among the top-10 in points for the regular season with a ninth-ranked total (28).
Gravelle spent three seasons in the OHL from 2017-20, splitting his career between the Bulldogs and the Mississauga Steelheads. Selected in the 12th round (228th overall) by the Steelheads in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection, he finished his OHL career with seven goals, 31 assists and 38 points in 130 regular season contests.
In addition to being named Defender of the Year, Gravelle has been named an OUA first team all-star.
Goaltender of the Year (West): Nathan Torchia, Windsor Lancers
Kitchener Rangers alumni Nathan Torchia was nearly unbeatable for Windsor this season, not only backstopping the Lancers to team success, but to an individual accolade as well.
It was a busy season for the second-year goalie from Baden, Ont., as Torchia played over 1,321 minutes for the blue and gold, the second most in the OUA. His constant presence in net, however, was a big reason that Windsor finished tied atop the West Division with 39 points on the year, as he co-led the conference with 16 wins, to go along with just three regulation and three overtime losses.
Torchia’s 2.04 goals-against average was good for fourth among his fellow provincial puck-stoppers, while his .936 save percentage paced the pack.
Torchia made three OHL appearances between the Oshawa Generals and the Kitchener Rangers from 2017-20. Selected in the fourth round 66th overall) by the Generals in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection, he finished his OHL career with a 4.62 goals-against average and a .800 save percentage.
In addition to being named Goaltender of the Year, Torchia has been named an OUA first team all-star.
Randy Gregg Award (West): Kyle Bollers, TMU Bold
Oshawa Generals graduate Kyle Bollers, the reigning rookie of the year, continued to shine both on and off the ice in his sophomore OUA campaign, taking home his second straight Randy Gregg Award.
Bollers, who takes home back-to-back all-stars honours as well, produced another productive season for the Bold. Despite only playing in 18 games, the sophomore forward finished fifth in league scoring with 30 points (12-18-32), good for a per-game pace of 1.67. But as instrumental as the sport media student from Oshawa, Ont. is in-game, a notion that also made him a key member of the gold-medal winning Team Canada men’s hockey team at the FISU Games, his impact runs even deeper beyond it.
Bollers spent three seasons in the OHL from 2016-19, splitting his career between the Generals and the Saginaw Spirit. The Bold left-winger finished his OHL career with 10 goals, 20 assists and 30 points in 168 regular season contests.
Bollers continues to mentor/tutor, as well as help kids learn to skate through his Against All Odds Black Aces Learn to Play Hockey Program. He is always looking to empower youth from underserved communities, helping them to reach their educational goals. His involvement in the game continues as a volunteer coach with the 08 Reps AAA, and even extends to the Boys and Girls Club. With the latter, Bollers goes in weekly and plays floor hockey with the kids, often bringing along some of his fellow TMU men’s and women’s hockey players as well.
True Sport Award (West): Kyle Pettit, Western Mustangs
In his second year as team captain, former Erie Otters forward Kyle Pettit is currently finishing his Bachelor of Education at Western. From having a strong work ethic on and off the ice to promoting team play, camaraderie, and the team-first concept amongst his teammates, Pettit is a true leader for the Mustangs in every sense of the word, and takes home the conference honour for a second straight season as a result.
From a hockey perspective, Pettit has been one of the top centremen in the league during his tenure. Even though his offensive numbers don’t jump off the page, he offers an all-around game unmatched by many, with a commitment to other aspects of the game, including on the defensive side. He has been Western’s best in the faceoff circle at 62%, leads the team in shot blocks and plus-minus, and is also the Mustangs’ top penalty killer.
Pettit played five seasons in the OHL from 2012-17 with the Otters. A former sixth round pick of the Vancouver Canucks in 2014, he finished his OHL career with 60 goals, 58 assists and 118 points in 304 regular season contests.
Beyond the ice, Pettit has been an academic all-Canadian throughout most of his tenure and has helped with all of the team’s campus and community initiatives.
2022-23 OUA All-Stars and All-Rookie Team
First Team All-Stars
Forward – Jacob Roach (Brock Badgers), Guelph 2019-20
Forward– Kyle Bollers (TMU Bold), Saginaw/Oshawa 2016-19
Defence– Jake Gravelle (Western Mustangs) Hamilton/Mississauga 2017-20
Goaltender – Nathan Torchia (Windsor Lancers) Oshawa/Kitchener 2017-20
Second Team All-Stars
Defence – Jacob Paquette (Queen’s Gaels), Kingston/Niagara/Peterborough 2015-20
Forward – Dan Walker (Waterloo Warriors), North Bay/Oshawa 2016-20
Forward – Anthony Stefano (Windsor Lancers), Peterborough/Windsor/Barrie 2013-17
Defence – Kyle Auger (Lakehead Thunderwolves), Windsor/Ottawa 2015-18
Defence – Ryan Barbosa (Toronto Varsity Blues), Ottawa/Mississauga 2018-19
Goaltender – Christian Propp (Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks), Barrie/North Bay/Soo/Kingston 2015-20
Forward – Franco Sproviero (Western Mustangs), Sarnia 2014-19
Forward – Anthony Tabak (Guelph Gryphons), Sudbury/Sarnia/Barrie 2017-22
Defence – Colin Campbell (Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks), Guelph 2019-20
Goaltender – Cristian Cicigoi (Lakehead Thunderwolves), North Bay 2019-20