HIGH ACHIEVERS: Stay-Safe Edition
Keeping Local Sport Spirit High During the Pandemic
By Martin Cleary
WEEKEND WRAP: When senior/captain Jake Gaudet of Ottawa allows himself time to reflect on his men’s 2020-21 hockey campaign at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, he could label it: The Tale of Two Seasons.
The regular season and playoff hunt have been two different beasts for the Minutemen leader. Gaudet, a 6-2 centre, had only two goals and six assists in 21 regular-season games. But he has been far more productive in the playoffs.
After going pointless in the Hockey East Tournament’s first two games, he scored the only goal in the Minutemen’s 1-0 victory over University of Massachusetts Lowell in the championship game. The former Kemptville 73s Central Canada Hockey League player was the game’s first star and selected to the all-tournament team.
Gaudet continued his magical touch in the NCAA East Regional Tournament in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He scored two goals (including the opener) for the second time in his career and it was the 12th time he has had a two-point game.
His two-goal game sparked a 5-2 win over Lake Superior State, and put the Minutemen into the regional final against Bemidji State, which resulted in their fifth consecutive playoff win by a 4-0 margin and a berth in the NCAA Frozen Four.
The top line of Gaudet (C), Oliver Chau (LW) and Carson Gicewicz (RW) was on fire, combining for all four goals and two assists. Gicewicz was the marksman with three goals, while Chau had a goal and an assist and Gaudet added an assist.
“I have two really good linemates. They found me in front of the net tonight,” Gaudet told Matt Vautour of MassLive, after the win over Lake Superior State. “Those were two of the easiest goals I’ve scored.”
“I love playing with Oliver. He puts the puck on my stick. I was glad to be able to finish one for him, get him some points. We’re playing for our careers here. We don’t want this season to end.”
Minutemen head coach Greg Carvel, a former Ottawa Senators assistant coach, was upbeat after seeing Gaudet’s offensive success, after “we didn’t get a lot of that out of him this year.
“Gauds has got three goals in… two games and they’re the way he should be scoring – around the net, owning space, being a big player. We didn’t have a lot of guys going tonight and he was, luckily,” Carvel told Vautour.
The Minutemen will play their NCAA Frozen Four national semifinal on April 8 against Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs, which upset and outlasted No. 1 North Dakota State 3-2 for the Midwest Regional title game.
The longest NCAA tournament game went into the fifth overtime period before the Bulldogs snapped the tie at the 142:13 mark. Senators draft pick Shane Pinto earned assists on both North Dakota goals.
Cyclist Woods 11th overall in 7-stage Spanish event
Meanwhile, Mike Woods continued his strong cycling season, placing 11th overall during the Volta Ciclista A Catalunya in Spain. He was second in Stage 4 and sixth in the finishing Stage 7, eighth in the mountains and 10th in points.
Golfer Sale hot in NCAA
A week after being named Sun Belt Conference Golfer of the Week for placing third (tie) in the high-quality Tiger Invitational golf tournament at Auburn University, Rivermead Golf Club’s Julien Sale challenged for another title. He is ranked No. 7 in NCAA men’s golf by GolfStat.
A two-time champion of the Ottawa Valley District’s Alexander of Tunis tournament, Sale was in second place in the Tar Heel Intercollegiate event, after an opening-round, six-under 66. He charged to 10-under following the first four holes of the second round, but finished tied for sixth overall on Monday.
Sale was one-over par for the final two rounds of the 54-hole tournament, shooting 72 and 73 for a five-under 211 total. In his first round, he carded a six-under 30 for the front nine, which included a pair of eagles.
Ottawa basketball players make noise in Europe
The Danish women’s basketball season ended for centre Angela Ribarich in the semifinal round, after BK Amager lost its best-of-three playoff 2-1. Horsholm 79ers defeated Amager 81-65 to advance to the final.
Ribarich averaged 32.5 minutes, 15.5 points and 14 rebounds for the first two semifinal games, but only had 18 minutes of floor time in the decisive game for eight points, 10 rebounds. For the season, she averaged 24.9 minutes, 14.1 points and 10.5 rebounds.
Marial Shayok sparked recently promoted Bursaspor (11-15) to its fourth consecutive win in Turkey’s top men’s pro basketball league. In his 10th game, Shayok was one assist away from a triple-double as Bursaspor edged Pinar Kar 85-84.
A former guard for the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, Shayok scored 19 points and recorded 11 rebounds and nine assists in 37 minutes. In his previous game, he posted 32 points, nine assists and three rebounds. He’s averaging 21.2 points a game.
Local paddlers earn Team Canada nods
Six National Capital Region paddlers have been named to national teams for international regattas in 2021. Madeline Schmidt and Natalie Davison of Rideau Canoe Club and Sophia Jensen of Cascades were nominated for World Cup meets.
Jensen, a six-time world junior championship gold medallist in canoe, also has been selected to represent Canada at the world U23 championships.
The para canoe national team includes Gabe Ferron-Bouius of Rideau, and Mike Trauner and Brianna Hennessey of the Ottawa River Canoe Club.
Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 48 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.
When the pandemic struck, Martin created the “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at OttawaSportsPages.ca.
Martin can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com and on Twitter @martincleary.