Sports

Cody van Lierop makes a defensive play for the Gee-Gees. Photo: Courtesy of Greg Mason.

Jacome, Mongo lead U of O past Queen’s Cup champion McGill, young Carleton team

The Gee-Gees opened up the 2018-19 season on the road against their crosstown rival Carleton Ravens on Oct. 11.

In a rematch of last year’s first-round Queen’s Cup playoff series, which saw the Gee-Gees upset the Ravens, the U of O team was looking to keep their dominance over Carleton’s hockey teams going.

In the first period, the Gees were quick out of the gate, beating the Ravens in most puck battles and doubling Carleton’s shot total, 14-7.

Despite this, the Ravens would score first. Following a slashing call on Gee-Gees forward Jacob Hanlon, Carleton’s Alexandre Boivin would beat goaltender Anthony Brodeur with a weak shot across the ice.

In the second period, visibly shaken by Carleton’s late goal in the first, the Gees were slow to get their pace back. Recording their first shot with about seven minutes left, the Gees were outplayed and boxed into their zone for much of the period.

This led to Carleton’s Jared Steege eventually beating Brodeur again to give his team a 2-0 lead.

Despite allowing two weak goals, Brodeur would respond in a good way to the next few shots Carleton fired at him, making two incredible saves to keep his team in the game.

These big stops changed the momentum of the game, as the Gee-Gees finally managed to get on the board, thanks to a back-hander from Brendan Jacome, to make it 2-1 going into the third.

In the final period, the Gee-Gees came out of the locker room a different team than the one seen in the second period.

Five minutes in, U of O defenceman Medric Mercier would join the rush and score his first of the season with a nice wrist-shot, beating Carleton’s goalie Francois Brassard. From there on out, both teams would play conservative hockey, forcing overtime, and eventually a shootout.

In the shootout, the first two shooters would score for both teams.

After two misses, Gee-Gees rookie Yvan Mongo would seal the deal with a nice shot, beating Brassard. Brodeur would stand tall against Boivin on the next shot attempt to give the Gees their first win of the season.

“We struggled in the second, but we battled back, and I like what I saw in the third period, and we’ve got to build on that,” Gee-Gees head coach Patrick Grandmaitre said.

Grandmaitre praised how Brodeur was able to come back to help his team out following the two early goals.

“It’s always hard when you allow two goals as he did early on, but I liked the way (Brodeur) responded. He kept us within striking distance in the second with nice saves, and was solid from there on out,” Grandmaitre said.

Mongo also commented on his game-winning goal.

“I wasn’t really thinking too much about what I was going to do, you can’t go wrong with shooting. I saw an opening and I shot there,” Mongo said.

The revenge match

Coming off a tough second-round exit to the McGill Redmen last season, the boys in Garnet and Grey were out for revenge in their next match at Minto Sports Complex.

This time, the Gee-Gees opened up the scoring when forward Kevin Domingue beat McGill goalie Antoine Samuel with a shot from the slot.

Four minutes later, third-year forward Cody Drover would score on the power-play, rocking McGill and giving the Gees a 2-0 lead.

But the U of O weren’t done, with Jacome and Mongo both scoring before the end of the first period to give their team a commanding 4-0 lead.

Smelling blood at the start of the second, Jacome would score his second goal of the game, giving the Gees a 5-0 lead.

The rest of the game saw some physical play, with plenty of penalty minutes handed out. The period saw one more meaningless goal scored by the Redmen, and the U of O held on to the 5-1 win.

“We played very well, we were hungry, we came out flying and took advantage of McGill’s slow start, and their young goalie,” Grandmaitre said.

“Although it’s great to have a five-goal lead early in a game, it’s extremely hard for a team to come out and show the same energy level once we have such a lead, which can be dangerous. I think our guys were able to keep the energy flowing for the whole game.”  

Jacome attributed his hot start to his teammates and hard work.

“We work hard as a line, and it’s fun to see the rewards of our work,” Jacome said.

The Gee-Gees will be back on the ice next weekend as they take on both Kitchener-Waterloo universities at Minto Sports Complex.

On Oct. 19, the Gees will take on the Laurier Golden Hawks, while on Oct. 20, they will face the University of Waterloo Warriors. For more details  visit www.GeeGees.ca.