NOJHL Commissioner Robert Mazzuca receives OHF President’s Award

LONDON, Ont. — The Ontario Hockey Federation recognized nine most deserving individuals for their dedication, commitment and invaluable contributions to the hockey community this past weekend at the 2017-18 OHF Awards Banquet in London, Ont.

Among those recognized was Northern Ontario Junior League Commissioner Robert Mazzuca who received the OHF President’s Award, which is presented annually to an individual who has made a valuable contribution to amateur hockey throughout the Branch, by providing a service and showing great leadership.

Other award recipients were John Jamieson (NOHA) – Dr. Allan Morris Award; Gord Morris (OMHA) – Officiating Award; John Zubyck (NOHA) – Bill Richmond Memorial Award; Cheryll Barr (OMHA) – Volunteer of the Year; Ken Creasey (NOHA) – Order of Merit; Sandra Smith (GTHL) – Christine Penman ‘Companion’ Award; Sue Campbell (OHF)- OHF Staff Award and John Gardner (GTHL) – OHF Life Patron Award.

Robert Mazzuca, Northern Ontario Hockey League – Robert Mazzuca has lived a rich hockey filled life. Robert diligently coached all his son’s hockey teams all the way from tykes to high school before joining the NOJHL, where he still takes his son along to games and tournaments so they can enjoy the sport they love together. During his tenure Rob has taken on numerous roles: serving as a coach, OHF Representative, CJHL Committee member, NOHA Representative, Hockey Canada Committee Member, CJHL Treasurer, Commissioner of the NOJHL and OHF Junior Council Chair, among many of his contributions.Rob and Jane share 4 children together; Jordan, Kelsey, Cassandra and Brittany. And one grandson named Mason, who will of course represent Canada on the 2034 Olympic Hockey Team. President’s Award – The Ontario Hockey Federation President personally selects the recipient of this annual award. The President’s Award is presented to an individual who has made a valuable contribution to amateur hockey throughout the Branch, by providing a service and showing great leadership.

John Jamieson, Northern Ontario Hockey Association – Hockey has been in John Jamieson’s blood for most of his 72 years; as a player; as a Coach; an Administrator and President; before becoming a director of the Northern Ontario Hockey Association, and later leading the organization as its President. In his 25-plus years with Walden Minor Hockey, John has been crucial in the development of all players – his progressive approach exemplified through the implementation of cross-ice hockey well before the Initiation Program became what it is now. John’s love for the game and his desire to make things better for the participants is apparent in everything that he has done. Dr. Allan Morris Award – Previously known as the Past Presidents’ Honour Award, the Dr. Allan Morris Award is presented to an individual who has exemplified dedication to amateur hockey and the mission of the Branch. Dr. Morris served as Branch President from 1997-2001 and Hockey Canada Chairman from 2007 until his passing in 2009. He had a profound impact on the game throughout the country.

Gord Morris, Ontario Minor Hockey Association – Having begun officiating in the early 1990s, Gord Morris has dedicated his time over the past three decades to the progression of officiating in Ontario, advanced through the Program to Level 5. Gord is an outstanding contributor to the HCOP Program, and the game. He is passionate about providing opportunities for growth for each and every Official in the OMHA, and has consistently contributed whatever is necessary to achieve that goal. Most significantly, Gord’s impeccable honesty, integrity, and the incredible respect and esteem with which he is regarded by his peers and all officials is what sets him apart. Officiating Award – The Ontario Hockey Federation Officiating Award recognizes individuals actively involved in the officiating program for their contribution to the game, their officiating skills, and for their dedication to give back to amateur hockey within the Branch.

John Zubyck, Northern Ontario Hockey Association – An advocate for the development of players, John Zubyck has a lengthy career within hockey. Over the last four (4) seasons, John has helped transform the Temiskaming Shores MHA Initiation Program into arguably one of the best in the province.   Outside of his local area, he has been a tremendous supporter of the changes and has helped deliver information about the benefits of cross-ice hockey to more than 300 people since September, “training” local messengers within the 50+ minor hockey associations in the NOHA. Without a doubt, John’s contributions to the game have been second to none and his leadership in rolling out the Hockey Canada mandate for small area games has been outstanding. Bill Richmond Memorial Award – In 1996, the OHF established the Bill Richmond Memorial Award to recognize outstanding achievement and involvement in the area of hockey development within the Ontario Hockey Federation. For over 20 years, Mr. Richmond was a leader in the development and delivery of the National Coaches Certification Program (NCCP). He passed away suddenly in 1995, but left a legacy of hard work and commitment to the development of the game in our Branch.

Cheryll Barr, Ontario Minor Hockey Association – Cheryll Barr has been a constant fixture with the Coldwater Minor Hockey Association for over 40 years. Taking on many roles over her career, she is well known for the diligence and detail in the work she produces during her presence as an off-ice official and scorekeeper, member of the executive and, most currently, as Treasurer. Few have provided the consistent volunteer time and effort as Cheryl, who has seen 3 generations of players, coaches and members over the years pass through Coldwater Minor Hockey. When asked about her time with her local association she says it’s the kids that keep her coming back, that is what it is all about – the kids. Volunteer of the Year – The Ontario Hockey Federation Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes outstanding commitment and a significant contribution to the game, hockey community, and the Branch. The recipient must be active in hockey during the year of the award presentation.

Ken Creasey, Northern Ontario Hockey Association – Ken Creasey became involved with hockey in Copper Cliff in the early 1960’s, and has worked tirelessly year after year to coach, train and provide the best hockey management system to develop skills and instill enjoyment of the sport. He became the president of Copper Cliff MH in 1990, holding that position to this very day. Ken’s outstanding contribution has earned him recognition as one of the longest standing presidents in the history of the NOHA.He has worked vigorously and non-stop since then to provide and protect hockey in Copper Cliff and the Sudbury District. Copper Cliff Minor Hockey has a rich history of success due to the hard work and leadership provided by Ken and his family. Order of Merit – The Ontario Hockey Federation Order of Merit Award honours an individual who has served amateur hockey for many years. The recipient has  participated as players, served as a coach or association members and has made significant contributions to amateur hockey within the Branch.

Sandra Smith, Greater Toronto Hockey League – A life long volunteer Sandra Smith has been giving her time to the Hockey world for over 25 years ago, as Secretary to Applewood Hockey Association, as well as Director and Secretary of the Mississauga Hockey League. Always ready to jump in and help, Sandra has dedicated countless hours to her community, both in and out of the arena.Over the past decade Sandra has assisted at GTHL events (OHL Cup) and enjoys accompanying her husband Ken to OHF and Provincial Championships.  She also enjoys participating in the Companions Programs at OHF events and at Hockey Canada AGMs/Spring Congresses. Christine Penman ‘Companion’ Award – The Christine Penman ‘Companion’ Award is to be given to an OHF companion, current or past, who has made a significant contribution to goodwill and cooperation among the Ontario Hockey Federation companions and with the Board. It is presented, when appropriate, by the Officers.

Sue Campbell, Ontario Hockey Federation – A crucial part of Branch operation, Sue Campbell serves as the Manager of Risk Management, OHF Appeals and Insurance – roles which require a wide range of responsibilities at all levels. Prior to her time at the OHF, Sue started her hockey career with the OMHA in the Registration Department before making the transition over to Development. She then worked a season with the OHA. Sue has had the opportunity to form many wonderful relationships while working in hockey and cherishes the  friendships that she has created over the years.OHF Staff Award – Established in 2009, the Staff Award honours a staff person that best exemplifies the commitment to the values and objectives of the OHF and its Member Partners, exhibits pride and respect for the organizations of the OHF and its participants, demonstrates team spirit both in the office and in one’s life and shows commitment and dedication for the betterment of the game of hockey within the Branch to the level they have the ability.

John Gardner, Greater Toronto Hockey League – The name of John Gardner is synonymous with minor hockey in the Toronto area and beyond. Growing up playing hockey in the then Toronto Hockey League, John took his skills to the University of New Brunswick where he was a member of its varsity hockey team and coach of its junior varsity Maritimes’ intercollegiate champions. Upon returning to Toronto, John became re-involved in hockey as a coach, referee and administrator. John was elected to the Board in 1975 of what had become the Metropolitan Toronto Hockey League, subsequently the Greater Toronto Hockey League. He was then elected President in 1980 – the youngest in the history of the league-  and has served continuously for over 42 years, 35 as President. In addition to his service to the GTHL – he has served as Director of both the OHA and OHF, as Chair of OHF Minor Council and as Chair of two Hockey Canada committees. In addition to tirelessly devoting almost his entire adult life to the game and League he loves, he has spearheaded many initiatives for the advancement of minor hockey, not only in Toronto, but throughout Ontario and indeed across Canada. Under John’s leadership the GTHL was the first minor hockey organization to have every player wear the maple leaf on his or her jersey; the first organization to introduce specific penalties for checking to the head; and the first to have a comprehensive concussion and return to play policy. For his service to hockey, John has received a number of prestigious awards over the years, including the Government of Ontario Special Achievement Award (1995), OHF Minor Hockey Award (2001), the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002), Hockey Canada Order of Merit (2006) and the OHF Dr. Allan Morris Award (2010). It is our honour to now add OHF Life Patron to that well deserving list of accomplishments for John. OHF Life Patron Award – The OHF Life Patron is the highest honour that can be bestowed by this Branch for very distinctive services and contributions to the Federation.

The OHF Awards Program was introduced during the 2001-02 season to formally recognize the efforts and achievements of OHF Volunteers, who dedicate countless hours in putting g the interests of our game ahead of their own. Since its inception the OHF Awards Program has recognized more than 140 recipients. Having been in existence since 1989 the OHF is comprised of seven Members: the Minor Hockey Alliance of Ontario (Alliance), the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL), Northern Ontario Hockey Association (NOHA), Ontario Hockey Association (OHA), the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) and the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association (OWHA.)