Sports

The men’s hockey star sits down with the Fulcrum to talk about his career. Photo: Dasser Kamran.

The all-star forward recently became the Gee-Gees’ all-time leading scorer

Growing up 20 minutes north of Montreal in the suburb of Laval, Kevin Domingue took his first strides on skates after his dad’s team practices.

Learning how to stop and turn, Domingue, like millions of Canadian kids before him, fell in love with puck. When he was old enough, he got his parents entrenched into the world of minor hockey.

“Dingo”—as he is known to his teammates—played most of his minor hockey career at a fairly high level, reaching midget and playing in the Midget Espoir in Quebec.

Not ranked and considered a “maybe” for the draft due to his age, the six-foot-one forward was drafted to his surprise,166th overall by then-new expansion franchise, the Sherbrooke Phoenix.

“I was genuinely surprised to be drafted,” Domingue said. “I was told I was in the ‘considered’ part of the scout’s list and wasn’t on the main board.’’

Domingue would play two more years of midget in the stronger AAA league, where he would get called up twice, playing 12 games for Phoenix and collecting five points along the way.

The 2014-15 season would be Domingue’s first and only full season in Quebec’s top junior league, playing 64 games while scoring 11 goals and five assists.

In the playoffs he struggled—shut out through six games. After then being released from Phoenix, Domingue packed his bags and headed out west to Whitecourt, Alta., a small town about two hours northwest of Edmonton. He played well there, putting up 57 points overall in 60 games for the Whitecourt Wolverines.

It was following that season that Domingue got a call from Gee-Gees head coach Patrick Grandmaitre, asking him if he’d be interested in joining the new University of Ottawa men’s hockey program as a fourth-liner. Domingue agreed, and joined the Gees for their inaugural 2016-17 season.

For Domingue, battling to stay in the lineup in that first season meant every game was a tryout.

“Pat (Grandmaitre) is a great coach, and him and my teammates made the transition from junior to university easier for me,’’ Domingue said.

Things started off very well for the forward from Laval, scoring 16 goals and 15 assists in 28 games in his first season in Ottawa. That vaulted him to OUA all-rookie status.

Now in his third season with the Gee-Gees, Domingue has scored 48 goals as of this publication to become the all-time program leader. But for the first-liner, it’s not the number of goals that count—it’s about scoring goals that impact the games he plays in, and helping his team win, that is important.

“I hope I score many more goals, but it’s more the timing of those that counts to me,” Domingue said.

Looking ahead, the social science student said he hopes to finish his major and then look for a shot at professional hockey in Europe or in North America. For now, he stays grounded as a Gee-Gee for the foreseeable future.

As a team, the Gee-Gees are on fire, beating Carleton to secure the first OUA playoff berth. They now square off against the UQTR Patriotes in a double-header Jan. 18-19.