Laura Fortino and Coach Tyler Fines both took home hardware from the CWHL Awards in Ottawa on March 11, 2016.
Fortino took the honour of Top Defenceman of the Year, beating out Laurianne Rougeau and Julie Chu. She finished the 2015-16 regular season with eight goals and 20 assists, topping both the Thunder and the CWHL in scoring by a defenceman.
She told the CWHL:
“It was quite an honor to win tonight, especially considering all the incredible players that have won this award in the past,” said Fortino.
“The CWHL is a place where leaders are born and role models are made. There’s so many girls who work full time jobs and come to the rink everyday to work and compete, and that in itself is a role model.”
Head Coach Fines was celebrated with the Coach of the Year award, after the sharp turn around the Thunder had under one season of his coaching. The team improved to 13 wins, which is extremely impressive given the three wins the Thunder had in the 2014-15 season. The Thunder proved to be a powerful force at home, going 8-2-0-2, and also improved their away record to 5-1-1-5.
Laura Fortino was also nominated for Most Valuable Player. In addition, Erica Howe was nominated for Goalie of the Year, and Rebecca Vint was nominated for Rookie of the Year.