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NEWS: Five Gee-Gees earn hardware in OUA East year-end awards

NEWS: Five Gee-Gees earn hardware in OUA East year-end awards

Following a remarkable season for the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees men's hockey team, a quintet of Gee-Gees are being recognized for their successful season.

The dynamic trio of Kevin Domingue, Cody Drover, and Brendan Jacome were all recognized for their accomplishments this season. All three set career highs in points this season, and combined for a total 106 points.

Patrick Grandmaître earns his first career OUA Coach of the Year award, having guided the Gee-Gees program from a group of 25 rookies to a first place contender in only three seasons.

Local product Yvan Mongo made a seamless jump from the QMJHL into the OUA, contributing points and playing in all situations in his rookie season.

With five members recognized with hardware this season, the Gee-Gees tied for most award recipients in the OUA East. 

Most Sportsmanlike Award — Brendan Jacome

A third-year forward from Georgetown, Ont., Brendan Jacome established career highs in all offensive categories this season. He scored 13 goals and 16 assists, for a total of 29 points in 27 games, all while taking no penalty minutes in the process.

His sportsmanlike play carried forward into the postseason, where he scored eight points in five games, again without a single penalty.

Staying out of the box was also advantageous for Jacome and the Gee-Gees, as he played a prominent role on the penalty kill that ranked sixth in the OUA.

"It's not something I really think about," Jacome said of his sportsmanlike play on the ice. "I just try and go out and play a hard clean game." 

Coach of the Year — Patrick Grandmaître

In his third season on the ice with the Gee-Gees, Patrick Grandmaître (Hull, Que.) has built the program from a ground up into an OUA powerhouse.

For the third straight season, Ottawa improved their overall record, this time finishing at the top of the OUA with a record of 22-2-4.

"When I got this opportunity to coach this team, you set your mind to what the ideal situation would be. I don't even think that ideal situation in my mind back then would be what we are today," said Grandmaître. "That's not just statistical results, it's on the type of group we have, the type of staff we have, and the overall feeling there is around this team and this program, it's been tremendous."

His team was nationally ranked in U SPORTS during every week of the season, most often at fourth overall in the country. Special teams excelled for Grandmaître's troops, ranking third on the power play in addition to sixth on the penalty kill. The team also gave up the second fewest goals and scored the second most goals.

"We're pretty disappointed on a great season, a tough ending to the season. This can put a positive spin on a frustrating end to a great, historical season," he said.

First Team All-Star — Kevin Domingue 

Since entering the league in 2016, Kevin Domingue (Laval, Que.) has been one of the premier goal scorers in the county. His 18 goals were the sixth highest in the OUA this season, while 19 assists established a new career high for the third-year forward.

This marks the second time Domingue has been recognized by the league, following an appearance on the All-Rookie Team following the 2016-17 season.

"I think every year I'm getting more confidence in my abilities to be productive and be a dangerous player on the ice," Domingue said. "I practiced my shot a lot, my speed and my strength is improving."

"Playing with players like Drover, Jacome, 'Locker' [Eric Locke] and [Jean-François] Plante throughout the year is a big reason why too. They made my game easier to play, I just had to be ready to shoot the puck or find the open area and I had confidence into them to find me on the ice. They're all really good hockey players that can do great things with the puck."

Second Team All-Star — Cody Drover

Another Gee-Gees to shatter career-highs this season, Cody Drover (Grand Falls-Windsor, NL) was an all around force on the ice this season. His 15 goals this year easily eclipsed a previous high water mark of six in his rookie season, and his 25 assists added to a new career high of 40 points, which led the team this season.

Also know for his sportsmanlike play on the ice, Drover only took a single minor penalty this season. Through 83 career games, he has 90 points and only four penalty minutes.

"It was a fun year, I think it was a combination of a few things, my linemates obviously," said Drover.

"Jacome and 'Dingo' are both amazing players and are really easy to play with and I think we were all starting to feel confident in our third season in the league."

All-Rookie Team —Yvan Mongo

It didn't take long for rookie forward Yvan Mongo (Gatineau, QC) to make a big impact with his new team, In his career debut on October 11, Mongo scored the winner in the shootout to push the Gee-Gees over the rival Carleton Ravens for a season opening victory on the road.

From there, Mongo continued to excel, scoring eight goals and 12 assists in 27 games, all while playing significant minutes alongside U SPORTS veterans Eric Locke and Jean-François Plante.

The rookie forward played a defensively responsible game across all 200 feet of the ice, and was only assessed three minor penalties all season long. 

"Going into my rookie year I had high expectations for myself so I had a good summer of training at Centre Performe Plus in Boisbriand with Stephane Dubé. When I came back home I tried to prepare myself mentally knowing that playing University hockey was going to be completely different than major junior," said Mongo. 

"Although it was a new challenge so I was pretty excited. I think I had a good year in part because I had the chance to play with great vets like Plante and 'Locker' all year which made my game a lot easier. I think I always had a good work ethic on and off the ice and I took care of my body."

"Overall I'm happy with my rookie season but I think I could've done better by being more consistent offensively," he said.