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Many UQTR jump on the ice with their helmets off as they embrace each other in celebration of the win
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UQTR win Queen’s Cup over TMU in double overtime thriller

By Alex Wauthy

The Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold men’s hockey team fell 3-2 in double overtime at the Mattamy Athletic Centre Saturday night in the Queen’s Cup final to the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) Patriotes. 

Following the double-overtime winning goal one minute into the extra frame from fourth-year UQTR forward Vincent Milot-Ouellet, the Bold huddled around second-year netminder Kai Edmonds, got down on one knee and stared at the gloves, sticks and helmets of the celebrating Patriotes laying on the ice. 

The home crowd, which had pulsed with energy throughout the tense overtime periods, was one with the players—dejected and stunned. 

The Bold received their silver medals and UQTR was awarded gold as the sun set on a historic Ontario University Athletics (OUA) season of firsts for TMU. 

After the Bold left the ice, muffled UQTR cheers seeped deep into the tunnels leading to the home side’s locker room. The overzealous cheers seemed to last forever—while in the tunnels, a deafening silence overwhelmed the space.  

“We have been working towards this for a long time,” said third-year TMU forward and team captain Chris Playfair, while holding back tears. “It’s been years in the making here. A lot of sweat and a lot of effort from a lot of guys. You want to be lifting that trophy, and tonight, we’re not.” 

“We’ve been talking about it all year, we wanted to win the Queen’s Cup”

Despite the soul-crushing loss, the Bold’s season isn’t over yet. The U Sports men’s hockey national championship is coming to the MAC at the beginning of next Thursday, giving the Bold a shot at redemption. 

“We’ve been talking about it all year, we wanted to win the Queen’s Cup,” TMU head coach Johnny Duco said. “That’s out of the picture now and we gear up with three wins away from winning the national championship. We certainly feel we’ve got a team that can medal in this tournament.” 

Tension hovered over the crowd at the MAC upon puck drop, but TMU made quick work getting their fans engaged. The Bold dominated the first three minutes, barely letting the Patriotes cross half-ice while laying checks and clogging the neutral zone with active sticks. 

However, their momentum changed on a dime. A too-many-men penalty sent UQTR to the power play. 

TMU’s near-perfect penalty kill—which only relinquished one goal through the OUA playoffs—couldn’t withstand the Quebec squad’s attack. 

First-year forward Pier-Olivier Roy’s one-timer snuck through Edmonds’ five-hole and trickled into the net. Roy streaked to the right corner and banged on the glass—the ripple of the boards and cheers of the visitors ringing through the silenced TMU crowd. 

  • UQTR poses for a photo with the Queen's Cup
  • TMU defenceman Ryan leans against the boards
  • UQTR celebrates the game winning goal by throwing their gloves and sticks into the air
  • UQTR lifts the Queen's Cup as many players and staff touch the trophy
  • TMU defenceman Liam Ross skates away as UQTR celebrates on the other end of the ice
  • TMU forward Carson Gallagher looks down at the ice as he skates with his silver medal
  • TMU defenceman Artem Duda shakes hands with a UQTR player after the game
  • UQTR players pose for a selfie in celebration of a win
  • TMU forward Kevin Gursoy holds his hands over his face as he watches UQTR celebrate
  • TMU and UQTR shake hands following the game
  • Three TMU players skate on the ice
  • A TMU player lays face first in the net on the ice as one kneels and another skates off

First-year defenceman Edouard Cournoyer took a cross-checking penalty at 10:39 of the first period, and like UQTR, the Bold didn’t let their first power play go to waste. 

Ten seconds into the opportunity, a pretty tic-tac-toe passing play left second-year forward Connor Bowie open in the slot. On one knee, Bowie unleashed both a one-timer past UQTR netminder Alexis Gravel—bringing a roar from the TMU faithful.

“Great atmosphere, kind of like games one and three down in Brock—loud. [That’s] something that our guys enjoy,” Duco said. “[They] certainly deserve to have that type of crowd, that type of atmosphere in this type of game.” 

The Bold mobbed Bowie along the boards as TMU’s first Queen’s Cup goal-scorer in school history knotted the game at one. 

Despite mad scrambles, offsetting minor penalties and prime opportunities from UQTR, the Bold bunkered down and kept it tied entering the first intermission. 

The second period opened as a back-and-forth affair. Both teams used their strength along the boards to work for pucks and jockey for position as the intensity ramped up. 

“We deserved better”

Things hit a boiling point halfway through the period. Third-year defenceman Ryan Wells was levelled into the boards by a Patriotes defenceman as he entered the offensive zone. Wells remained on the ice until TMU got possession and the referees blew their whistle. Scuffles, face-washing and nearly fisticuffs broke out near centre ice—with both teams exchanging words, looks and cross-checks.  

“It’s playoff hockey, it’s the best kind of hockey there is,” a dejected Wells said. “You have to embrace it. You’re going to take hits, you’re going to give hits, it’s just the way the game goes.” 

UQTR more-than-doubled TMU in shots halfway through the game— 28-13—but Edmond’s stellar play kept his team afloat through the first half. 

“Kai is the backbone of our team,” Wells said. “Your goalie is always the last man back, he’s unbelievable, and I have watched him grow over the past two years now. He’s an unbelievable goalie, and he keeps us in games.” 

  • TMU netminder Kai Edmonds saves a shot
  • Four TMU players celebrate a goal
  • Two players prepare for a faceoff
  • TMU player Cole Cameron sits down at the bench
  • TMU forward Carson Gallagher sweeps the ice in celebration of a goal
  • TMU forward Daniil Grigorev skates on the ice
  • TMU forward Kevin Gursoy talks to a UQTR player
  • TMU and UQTR players prepare for a faceoff
  • A UQTR player crashes into the TMU goal as Jackson Doherty shoves and Kai Edmonds looks at him
  • The puck rolls past UQTR netminder and into the net
  • Five TMU players celebrate a goal

Fourth-year forward Carson Gallagher repaid his goalie’s efforts with an outstanding one-man effort at 16:08 of the middle frame. 

Gallagher picked up the puck just past the centre-ice logo. With three UQTR players diverging on him, he put the puck through the defender’s stick and legs—spinning him around. With the edge and a clear lane to the net, Gallagher went to his backhand and put it past Gravel. Bold fans erupted as the goal horn flared, with chants mocking Gravel breaking out behind UQTR’s bench.

“Anytime we can get a lot of people in the building it helps out out,” Wells said. “We got the short end of the stick tonight, but we love it. We hope for a better result starting on Thursday and heading into next weekend.” 

“We never want to feel that [again], we never want to see that again”

Edmonds came up big once again after Gallagher’s marker. Playfair’s pass was picked off by Roy, and the UTRQ forward had a clear breakaway from his blue line. 

Roy’s backhand-forehand move was met by Edmonds’s pad, keeping his team’s lead intact. 

Face punches and hockey hugs followed the period’s final buzzer, and TMU entered the second intermission 20 minutes away from what they hoped would be their first Queen’s Cup in school history. 

The Bold got a power play five minutes into the final frame but failed to execute with the man advantage. 

Less than a minute after TMU’s power play expired, second-year Connor Frenette netted the equalizer for UQTR. First-year defenceman Mavrick Gauthier’s slap shot caused a rebound, and Frenette gobbled it up, tying the game at two apiece. 

TMU pushed with two minutes to go but couldn’t solve Gravel. 

The first overtime brought chances, saves, cross-checks and every attribute encompassing a hockey game aside from the thing that counts the most—a goal. Fourth-year forward Zach Roberts, a thorn in the side of UQTR, had the Bold’s best chance with a one-on-one rush chance against Gravel. 

  • UQTR captain lifts the Queen's Cup and smiles
  • TMU captain Chris Playfair brushes his hair back as he skates off with his silver medal around his neck
  • TMU forward Daniil Grigorev looks down at the ice as he stands near the blue line
  • TMU and UQTR players shake hands
  • TMU forward Kyle Bollers takes his medal off his neck as he skates on the ice
  • TMU defenceman Ryan Wells stands next to Daniil Grigorev on the ice
  • Many TMU players kneel as they watch UQTR celebrate
  • Many TMU players stand at the blue line as they watch UQTR celebrate

UQTR had the only shots of the second overtime frame and it was the only two that mattered. Milot-Ouellet elevated the puck past Edmonds after a point shot handcuffed TMU’s netminder. Fourth-year defenceman Cole Cameron dove into the net, attempting to swat away the shot, but his efforts were futile. 

“We deserved better,” Wells said. 

Milot-Ouellet, who is from Trois-Rivières, Que., scored the golden goal for his hometown squad to secure the three-peat and stamp dynasty status on UQTR in front of the TMU faithful. 

“[There’s] not a lot of words for it, really,” Wells said. “You got to soak it in, we know what it feels like, so when Thursday comes around, we’re ready to go. We never want to feel that [again], we never want to see that again, so we got to give everything we got Thursday—we got to win three hockey games.” 

1 Comment

  1. Stuart GC

    That was a great hockey game, for any level of competition. Two smart, skilled, disciplined, talented and fired up teams going at it. After 121 minutes of hockey, one bounce separating them. TMU – you are as good as UQTR and as good as any program in Canada. Chin up, get ready for the next ride – lock it down and turn it on. Nationals puck drop Thursday night in your barn. See you there. You’ve earned it, go get it.

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