The 41-year-old Peddle, in his 11th season as head coach for St. FX, guided the X-Men, who are ranked fifth in the country, to an 18-6-4 regular-season record and second-place finish in the conference. That’s St. FX’s best-ever regular-season performance, giving the team it’s first opening-round playoff bye since the 2003-04 season.
That bye put the X-Men, whose lineup includes defenceman Aaron Hoyles of Gander, into a best-of-five semifinal matchup against the fourth-place Saint Mary’s Huskies, whose lineup includes forward Brad Greene of Tilting and rearguard Stephen Gillard of St. John’s, beginning Thursday night in Antigonish, N.S.
The other semifinal, featuring the top-seeded University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds, with defenceman Alex Wall of St. John’s, and UPEI Panthers, led by centre Marcus Power of St. John’s, also begins Thursday in Fredericton, N.B.
No player from Newfoundland and Labrador was named to the AUS men’s hockey first or second all-star teams Wednesday, or the AUS all-rookie team. However, Heather Richards of St. Anthony, a forward with the Mount Allison Mounties, was an AUS women’s hockey all-rookie selection.
Peddle becomes the first St. FX coach to win the Bob Boucher Trophy as the conference’s top bench boss since the 1976-77 season. In doing so, he becomes the Atlantic conference nominee for the Father George Kehoe Memorial Award as the CIS coach of the year.
Peddle was a defenceman for St. Francis for four years in the late 1990s before moving on to a professional playing career in the ECHL and in Great Britain. He coached a year in the Maritime junior A league with the Antigonish Bulldogs prior to taking the job with the X-Men.