Sports

Grandmaitre noted how proud he was of his team’s outstanding season overall. Photo: Greg Mason.

Gee-Gees stunned in playoffs after dreamlike regular season

The men’s hockey team lost to the Queen’s Gaels on Sunday, Nov. 24, ending an almost-perfect season with a disappointing second-round exit from the Queen’s Cup playoffs.

Nevertheless, fifth-year captain Eric Locke capped off his U Sports career with a bang, scoring twice in his team’s 6–5 loss. Brandon Jacome, Mike Poirier, and Jacob Sweeney also found the back of the net.

Goaltender Graham Hunt was pulled early after allowing three goals on the first 10 shots. The Gees then managed to muster enough firepower to tie the game up after two, but Queen’s would outplay the Gees in the third to take the game 6–5.

In a Facebook post published on Sunday night, head coach Patrick Grandmaitre showed gratitude to his players.

“Truly devastated that this dream season has come to an abrupt end. Our players stayed true to themselves by fighting till the very end. We have great young men and a dedicated staff that deserved better. But that’s sports,” Grandmaitre wrote.

The Gees—who finished with an all-time program-best record of 22–2–4—began the season with a big 3–2 shootout win at the Carleton Ice House, thanks to a sweet deke from rookie Yvan Mongo in his first U Sports game. He would go on to lead all rookie Gee-Gees in points.

Cody Drover also had an impressive year, collecting 40 points in his third season and finishing fifth in points in the OUA. Drover’s linemate Kevin Domingue also had a career year with 37 points, and in January became the all-time leader in goals scored for a Gee-Gee.

In the nets, Hunt led all goalies in the OUA with a 2.13 goals against average, while on the defensive side of things Poirier had a breakout 2018–19 season—collecting 19 points on the year. The Moncton native led all Gee-Gees defencemen in points.

Following the season-opening win against Carleton, the Garnet and Grey went on to win their next three games against McGill, Waterloo, and Laurier all at home. The Gees would lose in a shootout 4–3 to the Brock Badgers to end their win streak, but got back on their horse and won the next five games. In fact, they didn’t drop a game in regulation until Nov. 23 when they were shutout 3–0 at the hands of the Carleton Ravens.

There were also many firsts for Gee-Gees’ players in 2018–19. Kyle Ward scored his first goal, and third-string goalie Nicolas Hodgins also earned his first U Sports win, beating the RMC Paladins 6–1 on Jan. 26.

Other players who improved notably on their numbers from last year included Jacome—who had a career-high season in points, goals, and assists. Anthony Brodeur also had the most wins of his career with 11.

Despite the journey ending here, and losing some important players like the captain Locke, the Gees have many stars still hanging on, including Domingue, Jacome, and more, for the 2019–20 season.