LEWISTON – Once a leader, always a leader.

Lewiston Maineiacs’ assistant captain Simon Courcelles has received his share of accolades, perhaps none greater than being the first player to hoist the Memorial Cup last season as the captain of the Quebec Remparts.

But on Tuesday, nearly a year later, Courcelles was humbled – again.

“We had a different way of doing things in Quebec,” Courcelles said in an impromptu speech. “Some people would say that the Remparts bought everything we had. Here, we have a small-market team, and we’ve proven we can do just as well in this system. I’m happy to be a part of it.”

Courcelles headlined a list of 11 award recipients at the fourth annual Maineiacs’ awards banquet at the Ramada Inn and Conference Center, snagging three trophies, the only player to earn more than one.

“I was surprised,” Courcelles admitted. “We talked about this all on the road trip, and you know what’s great about this team this year is that you could have had two or three winning at each trophy.”

Courcelles got the nod as the player with the best community involvement, was one of three recipients of the Emerson Auto Park Trophy for the team’s unsung hero, and earned the Pat Tillman Trophy as the team’s most inspirational player.

“He’s a guy that can gather everybody,” Maineiacs head coach Clem Jodoin said. “There’s no money for that. He’s a man. The way he walks, his personality, it speaks for itself.”

In the tightest race for an award, Peter Delmas edged David Perron for the Androscoggin Bank Trophy as the team’s rookie of the year.

Delmas, now 17, stepped in for an injured Jonathan Bernier in January and won 15 of the team’s next 20 games to keep the Maineiacs’ alive in the hunt for the Jean Rougeau Trophy as the league’s regular season champion. Delmas finished with a flourish, too, shutting out Moncton twice and Gatineau once in a 14-day stretch at the end of the regular season.

Perron led the league in goals by a rookie with 39, led the Maineiacs in points with 83, and finished second overall in the league in rookie scoring.

Danick Paquette, the lone 16-year-old forward skater on the team this season, won the Pepsi Bottling Group Trophy as the fan favorite, in part for his dedication to the area’s under privileged, and due to his gritty, physical play on the ice.

“When I go on the ice, it’s to give my 100 percent,” Paquette said. “That’s how I play the game. Fans like it when I play hard, but I play hard because that’s how I know how to play the game.”

Maineiacs’ head scout Serge David won the Bernard Just Trophy as the most valuable member of the organization for his ability to scout and select players who have fit well into Jodoin’s plan to raise a team from the ground up with minimal to no trade activity.

Marc-Andre Daneau took home the TD Banknorth Trophy as the player who exhibited the best sportsmanship, Marc-Andre Cliche won the City of Lewiston Trophy as the best scholar-athlete, Chris Tutalo earned the Federal Distributors Trophy as the most improved player, and Chad Denny garnered the Sam’s Italian Foods Trophy as the team’s best defenseman.

Pierre-Luc Faubert and Triston Manson shared the unsung hero award with Courcelles.

In the only pre-determined award of the night, Perron took home the Oxford Networks Trophy for being the Maineiacs’ regular-season scoring leader.

Lewiston will open up the 2007 President’s Cup playoffs Friday against the Shawinigan Cataractes at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee at 7 p.m.


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