You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
His team was robbed of a title but Matthew Schneider at least has another shiny trophy for the mantlepiece.
The veteran Southern Stampede forward was yesterday named the New Zealand Ice Hockey League’s most valuable player.
It was a third league MVP honour for Schneider, who previously claimed it in 2014 and 2017.
He made no race of it, either, comfortably leading all players in points, goals and assists.
Schneider fired in 22 goals and added 25 assists to score a remarkable 47 points in just 14 games, his prolific scoring a major factor in the Stampede sailing through the season with 14 straight wins.
Schneider finished with an eye-popping plus-minus figure of +38, claiming the scoring title for the first time since 2018 and unsurprisingly being named Stampede team MVP for a fourth time.
The Stampede was heavily favoured to win the Birgel Cup for a seventh time but the season was effectively voided thanks to the Delta outbreak, and NZIHL rules stipulate the championship may only be awarded to the team that wins a finals series.
Three other players for the Queenstown-based juggernaut rounded out the scoring charts: Mike McRae on 31 points, Colin McIntosh on 29, and Liam Stewart on 25.
Perhaps surprisingly, the Stampede did not win any of the other major individual awards.
Matt Canaday (Botany Swarm) was named best goaltender for the first time since 2013, Justin Daigle (West Auckland Admirals) was named leading defenceman for a third time, and Jacob Carey (Canterbury Red Devils) was rookie of the year.
Matthew "Enzo" Enright was MVP for the Dunedin Thunder.