Pogge the best times two

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

Justin Pogge wasn't even in the country but he still managed to spill the beans.

The Calgary Hitmen goaltender, who is in Belarus training with the Canadian world championship squad, was a finalist for two trophies at yesterday's WHL year-end awards luncheon.

When he was announced as the Del Wilson Award winner as the league's top goaltender, Pogge appeared on the video screen with his previously taped acceptance speech.

He immediately thanked the WHL for the 'two huge awards.' The Four Broncos Memorial Trophy, given to the circuit's most outstanding player, was supposed to be the last piece of hardware handed out.

"That's Poges," Hitmen GM/head coach Kelly Kisio said of the anticlimactic ending.

"It's well deserved, though. We saw him do his thing on the world stage. And he was great for us throughout the year."

Pogge went 38-10-6 with a league-leading 1.72 GAA and .926 save percentage. He posted 11 shutouts and also backstopped Canada's world junior team to a gold medal.

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed Pogge to a contract just prior to that tournament after drafting him in the third round (90th overall) in 2004.

The Hitmen acquired Pogge from the Prince George Cougars at the January trade deadline during the 2003-04 season and Pogge blossomed in Calgary.

He wasn't invited to the Canadian junior team's development camp last summer but won the starting job outright at the December selection camp.

The last player to win the WHL's MVP and top goaltender award was Cam Ward of the Red Deer Rebels in 2004. Ward is currently the starting goaltender for the Carolina Hurricanes in the NHL playoffs.

Medicine Hat Tigers blueliner Kris Russell was the only other double award winner (top defenceman, most sportsmanlike).

HONOUR ROLL: Calgary product Wacey Rabbit of the Saskatoon Blades was named humanitarian of the year. Other winners included Everett Silvertips sniper Peter Mueller (top rookie), Medicine Hat's Will Desjardins (coach of the year), Scott Bonner (Vancouver, executive of the year) and Dave Andjelic (Medicine Hat, marketing/communications). Moose Jaw's Brennen Wray picked up scholastic player of the year honours while the Kootenay Ice is the league's top scholastic team. Kyle Rehman was selected as the top official.

TALENT POOL: The WHL bantam draft goes this morning at the Round-Up Centre. Calgary selects 20th overall.


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